Introduction: Custom Marauder's Map Variation With Disappearing Footprints

After viewing the wonderful instructable about how to make the Marauder's Map from Harry Potter
(, I decided to make one upon which my daughter's Live Action Role Play company is based. The above photos show some of the imaginative characters that get together in the woods to play an immersive fantasy/horror game several weekends during the spring/summer/fall. I thought it would be really neat to make her a customized map of her game's layout similar to the Marauder's Map from Harry Potter. Her game takes place at the foot of the Bakura Mountains in a place called Tempest Grove on the outskirts of the town of Prospero Port on the continent of Maud'Madir.

Step 1: Main Inside Map Layout Guide.

I made my project digitally; however, you can actually hand draw any of the components if you do not have the option of using a computer and printer to complete the project.

The map includes an inner section and two outer sections attached on the back to the inner one.

The above image is a guide to the sizing chart I used to make the inside main section. It is divided into six sections.

Step 2: Inside Map

The Prospero Port Map for the main map layout is created in a separate document. It is based on an old map from the 15th Century. You can find similar maps online to use as a reference for your own map. When done, the map is then cut in half and one piece is positioned on the far left and the other on the far right as in image 2 above. If you are drawing your map, fold the two end pieces into the center and draw it on the two sections placed together.

Step 3: Inside Map Part 2

The inner section of the main map between the two Prospero Port map sections is the area for Tempest Grove at the base of the Bakura Mountains as indicated in image 1. The layout is the same as the layout for the game. I have added the walkways in the woods and the areas where campsites and specific game areas are located. Image 2 shows the completed inner map and image 3 shows the map with the brown paper overlay added. I wanted the map look somewhat realistic and printed it on brown paper so that both sides would be brown. You could consider using brown paper as well if you are drawing your own map.

Step 4: Outer Map Section Guide

The above image is the guide to make the two outer sections that will be attached to the back of the main map and used to fold over the inner map to create the cover.

Step 5: Outer Map Sections.

The outer map sections create the cover for the map. Image 1 makes the map of the continent of Maud'Madir. Once created, it is cut in half and one piece is placed on the far left and one on the far right of the outer map guide. In image 2, you can see the placement for the cover map pieces.

Like the inner map, if you are drawing your map by hand, you should fold over the outer map paper on the fold lines to bring the two outer sections together and then draw your map to make the cover. The two sections inside are filled with additional character references as in image 3. They can also be used for writing notes for the owner of your map.

There is a little extra space added to the section dimensions in the center to take into account the extra space needed to fold these pages over the others to make sure the cover pieces will come together in the center.

Once completed, cut the outer section down the center. These two pieces will be attached to the back of the other main map piece. Image 4 shows the map with the brown overlay.

Step 6: All Map Sections.

The image above shows the completed map pieces. The two sections on the far right and left are the outer map pieces. These pieces are joined on the back of the main map at lines 17 and 19 as indicated in main inside map layout guide.

Step 7: The Invisible Ink!

It is really great to read the comments to instructables. Sometimes you can find additional inspiration. This is what happened when I read them for the reproduction of the Marauder's Map. Someone commented about adding heat sensitive ink, so I researched and found out that besides regular ink, inks come with heat or light sensitivities. Light sensitive inks are called "photochromic" and are black/blue light sensitive. I investigated using the powders and actually bought some (the first 3 images contain some information about using these types of inks). At the same time, I discovered a little black light science kit for kids and ordered that as well (see image 4 above).

When both arrived, I tested them on the paper to see which would be more suitable. The powder did work; however, it left white residue, and I was interested in using something that would be invisible without the black light.

I used the pen in the science kit and found that it was virtually invisible until the paper was exposed to the black light. Perfect for making invisible footprints on the map!

I purchased a small black light flashlight at my local Canadian Tire store for revealing the secret footprints.

Alternative: If you are drawing your map or do not want to use the invisible ink, you can make copies of small square sections of your map and tape them on top of the same section on the map to make a flap. When you lift the flap, you can have footprints underneath on the original map.

Step 8: Riddle Accessory

In addition to the map, I made a parchment (on canvas) with a riddle to explain about using the black/blue light to reveal its secrets. I used a brush marker to write on the canvas for some authenticity. I used some ink and chalk to mark up the canvas after writing the riddle on it.

Step 9: Final Map Images

The images above show the pieces of the completed map, including the invisible footprints under the black light.

Step 10: Map in Action.

Check out this little video to see the map in action.

Epilog Challenge 9

Participated in the
Epilog Challenge 9

Paper Contest 2018

Participated in the
Paper Contest 2018