Introduction: Choose Your Adventure | London Map & Flag Set

About: Designer. Thinker. Doer. Hiker. Lover.

Originally created as a tool to help visualize my new city (I moved from San Francisco to London), this adventure map chronicles the places I've been and the journeys I have yet to take. Red flags are things I've done, yellow mark the places I've been told I should go or places I see and want to remember.

Using a cork board as a frame, I pinned the map to the board and began placing flags for places I've already been. When I have a free day, I check the map and make a day of new museums, parks, and restaurants that are located near each other. This has become an awesome way to kick odd conversations with friends and guests who visit also ask about specific flags and make plans with us based on their wish-lists.

Would you like to try this with your own map or with a different city? Make your own with the directions below!

Step 1: Find the Right Scale Map

London is a HUGE city at ~650 square miles! I wanted a specific scale for the map. My ideal was one where I could read street names or points of interest but wide enough that most of the things I'd add pins for would be inside the map.

Finding this map took some looking and I almost made my own. DIY maps are fun, but this one was only £3.50 and just the right amount of detail.

Step 2: Cut Your Flags

I had access to a laser cutter so I made my flags have a little accent on the side. A simple template for cranking these out made light work - about a minute a sheet (30 flags) and the negative space on the sheets turned out to be its own special treat.

Feel free to make flags any way you like! Cut with scissors, paper cutter, scrap booking tools, craft knife, etc. How else can you make these?

After laser cutting, I folded these in half to prepare for assembly.

Step 3: Glue to Pins

I found £1/box sewing pins with different color beads on top at the local grocery store. These and a glue stick were all I needed to complete the pins.

I do recommend something with a bulb top instead of a flat top.

Step 4: Write Out Your Flags

Of course you can write out your flags before or after gluing on the pins. I tried both ways and after the first batch, I decided that it's nice to have a set of pre-made red and yellow flags so I can write on new flags as easily as possible.

Step 5: Place the Flags

Place your flags and plan your adventures!

What else could you do to your map to make this your own? Here's a few ideas for ways to extend:

- Take photos on your adventures and surround the map with small frames of your new memories
- Add call-out photos of places, meals, etc. in the map itself
- Make a Google doc/map for friends to add new flags to your map

Step 6: Enjoy Your Adventures!

This is something I got stuck in my head and couldn't let go of, so I'm glad I made it happen :-)

Since I completed it, this has been so much more fun than I could have imagined! I have this hanging in our dining room and when new people come over, it's a nice ice breaker. Everyone so far has automatically added their new suggestions, which leads to genuine conversation over their favorite things to do in the city.

Want to make your own? Upload a photo of your city map in the comments!

Papercraft Contest 2015

Runner Up in the
Papercraft Contest 2015

Host with the Most Challenge

Participated in the
Host with the Most Challenge

Time Contest

Participated in the
Time Contest