Introduction: The Goonies Treasure Map

Hey you guys! Are you fans of the Goonies? Of course you are! So let's make the map.

First I must give credit to Muggle Magic for his excellent Goonies map instructable here:

I made Muggle Magic's version of the map but there were some things I wanted to do differently. I therefore drew my own vector image of the map by shamlessly plagiarising his files, as well as adding details from the original fanzine and stills from the movie.

In case you hadn't noticed, more than one version of the map was used in the movie. When we first see it in the Walsh's attic it is very stained with red ink or blood splatters and spilled wax, and it bears lots of indecipherable text. But when we see it again in the kitchen a few minutes later it looks much cleaner and has lost the ink splatters and extra text; even the tears in the middle are in different positions. I included elements from both maps in my version, plus some tweaks of my own. I changed the Spanish riddles so they reflect what they actually say in the movie. For example, the original prop read "Cince veces seis" (five times six) but Mouth says "Diez veces diez; ten times ten". At the bone organ he pauses for dramatic effect on the word "muerto" which wasn't on the original prop, but is on my version. On the back I even included the chord that Andy mentions: "A, C-sharp, D".

If you want to change the way it looks you can download my vector files (I used Inkscape to draw it) and tweak them however you like. Note the file is 32Mb.


  • Printer
  • Instant coffee
  • Hot air gun

Step 1: Print It!

Making the map is easy - just print out the Goonies Map PDF file. If you have an A3 printer, choose the A3 file to print a single double-sided sheet. Select 'flip along short edge' in your printer settings.

If you have an A4 printer printer, choose the A4 file to print two, double-sided pages that you can glue together.

Since you're going to age the paper with coffee you may want to do a test print and throw some water on it to see if the ink runs. If it does run then you'll have to try a different printer. Laser prints should be fine with water, but inkjet may not be.

Step 2: Age It!

To age the paper I recommend staining it with instant coffee. I used about a tablespoonfull in a cup of water. When the paper is wet it will be super fragile so I settled on the technique of draping the map over something and spraying the coffee on with a water sprayer. This makes it much easier to pick the paper up and turn it over without tearing it than if you try to do it in a sink. This means you can do both sides in the same step.

Let it dry out, then decide if you need to repeat the process again for a deeper colour. I ended up soaking it three times because I wanted it pretty dark. By using a sprayer you can also build up patchy, age-spoted effects each time.

Step 3: Burn It!

When you're done staining it*, tear out the final shape of the map to match the movie prop. Tearing looks better than cutting with scissors. You can do this by eye or you can print out my Goonies_Map_Border_Guide.pdf file, lay it over the top of your map and tear around the guide lines. Take care not to tear through the musical notation on the back. To make the tears in the middle of the map I used a pointed knife to pierce and perforate the line first, then I could press through the paper so it tore exactly where I wanted it to.

Now you're ready to char the edges. If you're anything like me you made pirate maps as a kid and probably just held the edges over a flame. And you probably discovered that this is hard to control as half your map burned away before you could stop it! My suggestion is instead to use a hot air gun (you know, for paint stripping). With a hot air gun you can control the browning of the edges to a fine degree without making them unrealistically black. You can even make brown patches in the middle of the paper. What's more, if you hold the paper over a shiny metal surface like kitchen foil or a steel sink, you can get even more control with the reflected heat, by adjusting the distance between the gun, the paper, and the reflective surface.

*I actually stained it again after charring the edges which helped to blend and unify everything.

Step 4: Fold It!

All that's left is to fold the map so the two halves of the doubloon meet in the middle. Plus you can add any further distressing with paint or wax or whatever you like. Now you have the key to One-Eyed Willy!