DIY Thrors' Map




About: I like to build things cheap, without buying anything except what I have(Which is mostly cardboard). I like Tolkien's works.

Some of us like books, especially the maps in them. I really like "The Hobbit" and I thought I should make Thror's map. And here I am! This can work on any printed map/drawing/writing.


Step 1: Printing

I couldn't find a suitable map to print, all of them were black or white or weren't the same map as the one in the book. I made a printable map, that was like the one in the book. Here it is: Print it with a laserjet printer and off we go. Note: go in image and save as Note II: Make sure in the preview that there is a border around the frame

Step 2: Cutting Borders

Now that you have it, before you age it like fine mead, You'll want to cut odd that border, not all the way though. Mark the borders on the right and left sides of the printed frame, making sure it has about 1/4 an inch of space after the printed frame. The lightly press on the marking with a hobby knife, although don't cut, since the light pressing you just did will let you rip a straight line, which will be straight, but still have the texture as if you ripped it, and that texture makes it look older. Now you have a bane. The top border that had the right amount of space from the frame, but it isn't cut. To make this look like the others, sandpaper it, but be sure not to sand the frame or any ink. If you want to round the edges, sandpaper them until desired.

Step 3: Initial Dipping

Prenote: you CAN stop after this step, if you wish To the point, you need to lay the paper on a shallow cookie pan, and make some tea, no sugar. Using the teabag as a brush, paint the paper. Wait about 5-8 minutes then pour the tea on. Be sure that the tea isn't over all the paper so It dries fast. Wait 15 minutes then pour the water out, then wait ten minutes just to dry it

Step 4: For Transport

Ok, when I made mine I had to leave and go to another place, but from previous tries, if you carry it regularly it will rip. to carry gently place a paper towel on a table, put the map on it, put another paper towel, put a pencil on the edge, and roll using he pencil as an aid. To open take the pencil out, the take the paper towels. If it curls, just place something on it

Step 5: Coloring

So you don't want it to look as pale as Gollum, smart. In this step you just need to put it back in a cookie pan, get two bowls, fill one with instant coffee And one with some strong tea, with two tea bags. Take the tea bag when it's soaking and dip in the instant coffee, and make sure the beads stick to it, if it dries out, splash some tea on it. Paint it brown like a dwarve's beard, and let that soak for a minute or two . Pour the tea in the coffee beads and you should have a thick blend, pour it on. Wait 10 minutes. Pour the liquid out, wait 3-4 minutes and get on to the next step. You can keep the brown liquid it you want

Step 6: Color Spreading

Note: if the paper isn't moist from last step, or it dried, use the liquid and slowly brush it on but make sure it isn't soaking. Ok, this step is easy, get some vinegar and pour it on from a higher place, and put it somewhere and leave It overnight.Doy mind the bubbles. Then in the morning, take it out and place some paper towels on it to get the vinegar out, wait a couple of minutes and done



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13 Discussions


5 years ago on Step 6

have you checked the pH of your finished paper? it might be kind of high. if you want it to last longer (think of old newspapers falling apart from their own acid content) I wonder if you could neutralize it with a solution of baking soda or washing soda or even very dilute lye, though that might be too strong. I know that if you have the right test paper there is a way to calculate what will neutralize it but that wouldn't answer for how it affects your finish. maybe anyone doing this project could make some extra pieces, treating them the same as the map, then testing out different bases.

2 replies

Reply 5 years ago on Step 6

I believe airtight framing could solve this problem, but I only made this as a prop for a friend. If I knew how to test the ph I'd have no problem checking this.


Reply 5 years ago on Step 6

excluding air would prevent oxidation, but I don't think it would stop acid from doing it's thing. also that serious level of archival protection would rather undermine what I was imagining to be an economical decorative wall hanging.

if you want to check the pH pool supply, garden, and many drug stores sell pH tests, or just google "pH test" and you will see all kinds of test kits, paper and liquid, lots under $10. some come on a roll like scotch tape and will be good for hundreds of uses, depending how much you cut. to use the paper ones the map will have to be wet, but given your process I don't imagine that would be a problem. just touch a test paper to your wet map paper, the test paper will change colour, you compare this to a key that comes with the pH tests and read the pH. well, technically it will be the pH of the water, but if the water has been in and on the paper for a while that should be close to the same. there is a chance that the colour from the test paper could get on your map paper so check on the back. assuming it is acidic I would then soak it in a base solution, rinse in fresh water, then retest to see how much the pH has changed and repeat as necessary. probably too much trouble for a disposable prop, but prudent for a framed antiqued map


4 years ago on Introduction

Had to come up with how to do this same exact thing, and now i read this ible. That's how it always works isn't it? Great job. Ive done this to a whole ton of middle earth maps now. one good thing to do is to use that fancy paper that has all the textures in it. it gives it added design and makes it easier.


5 years ago

Ok, thankyou sooo much! Now i can start! :D good job btw


5 years ago on Introduction

awesome! looks great. i never thought about using sandpaper good idea :)