Make Your Own Folding Map Booklet




About: Currently splitting time between college, work, Army, and my own studio. My interests range the full spectrum, but is always willing to help.

Want freedom from using your phone for navigation?

Want a tangible keepsake for your travels?

Let's avoid those complicated map folds and get back to the basics--page by page instructions!

This booklet incorporates a handy printout from Google Maps to guide your way

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Step 1: The 'Fold'

This fold is of my own design, so I get to name it... I'm thinking of "The Mouth Map Fold". Any suggestions?

(If you've seen this fold anywhere else, source it in the comments, cause it seems so simple to not have been thought of before)

I've attached a PDF print off of the template in the next step, so you can practice the fold

1.) Fold the paper hotdog-style

2.) Fold the outer edges into the center, again hotdog-style

3.) Fold the entire paper hamburger-style

4.)(this part is tricky) take the hamburger folded edges and align them to the inside folded hotdog lines

5.) Repeat step 4 to the other side, this will allow the page to freely fold

Step 2: Files/Supplies/Video

In the days before commercial GPS, travelers would use maps, or printouts from MapQuest to guide their way. Nowadays, we conveniently have smartphone apps to lead us. However, if you want something more tangible to have, then a foldable map booklet might be for you.

Using Google Maps, I searched up a destination and a starting point. Google has a neat feature where you can print off the directions, which is what I did. I'm sure there are other ways to do something similar, so go explore what works best for you.

I've attached PDFs of pages you can print and bind to the outside of your booklet, to improve the Aesthetic

I've also added PSD files, so if you have Photoshop, edit away!


Step 3: Fold & Fold & Fold & Glue & Cut

After all the papers have been printed off, and you have the idea of that fold down, let's move onto the next step.

Fold each of the papers into the Mouth Map Fold, then glue them together.

Take care when gluing, so that all the papers are oriented the way you want them.

(I know this because the first time I made this, one of the pages was backward)

I trimmed the glued edges, to reduce the space usage if the booklet

Next, the cover.

You can either fold it as I did in the picture, and glue it straight onto the booklet, or you can go to the next step and bind it into a more professional book.

The size of the cover depends on how large, in total, you want the booklet to be. You can keep it flush to all edges, or overlap it quite a bit, so it'll fit on your shelf better

Step 4: Bind It, I Chose a Hardcover Style

Using recycled cardboard from a cereal box, I cut out a matching pair of rectangles.

These rectangles were slightly smaller than the height of the booklet, as to not stick over the edges.

Leave a space in the center for the spine. Mine was about a quarter of an inch.

After the two cardboard pieces were glued down, glue down both sides of the booklet.

To create the straight spine effect, I just pinched each side of the spine, moving down as I did so.

Step 5: The Catwalk (a.k.a. Show It Off)

Take pride in your creation! You now have a tangible keepsake for your bookshelf or road trip collection.

As always, improve! Send suggestions or comments my way, and if you like it, please VOTE!!!

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This was my first time using new software and recording equipment, but it's how I explore and expand my knowledge.

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    6 Discussions

    dragon flyer

    1 year ago

    Your 'hotdog style' and 'hamburger style' folds totally threw me - never heard of that before and still don't get the significance of the terms...

    1 reply
    WilliamS443dragon flyer

    Reply 1 year ago

    "Hotdog style" is when you fold paper vertically making the paper long and skinny. "Hamburger style" is when you fold the paper horizontally making it short and fat. Hope that helps!


    1 year ago

    Very well done. I'll try this to keep all my Cal Topo maps for my next backpack trip together. Thanks.


    1 year ago

    Thanks for showing us this little tutorial. Not sure the next time I plan on printing out a map, but I definitatly have other ideas for this type of fold. I love the idea of printing out a map and incorporating it into a keepsake item after a trip.

    Penolopy Bulnick

    1 year ago

    Maps always seem to be such a pain. Way to make them hassle-free :D