Wood Burned Middle Earth Map on Pallet Wood




About: G'day everyone. I'm a maker of things. Nerdy decor, props, experimental woodwork and more.

Have you even been out for a peaceful stroll through the Shire but find yourself wandering lost through Mordor? Fear no more, with this wood burned map of Middle Earth you will know your way home.

Whether you're new to wood burning like me or you know what you're doing, this wood burned map of middle earth on pallet wood creates a unique wall feature and cool piece of home decor.

For this build you will need for following supplies:



  • Pallet timber
  • A couple of smaller pieces of wood
  • Carbon paper (graphite transfe
  • Screws
  • Wood glue
  • Wax
  • Picture hangers


  • A wood burner - I used a cheap wood burning pen
  • A screw driver
  • A sander or planer

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Step 1: Prepare the Backboard

The first step is to pull apart an old pallet to obtain the pallet timber planks.

Lay down about 4 or 5 planks and stagger them as seen in the first picture.

Using glue and some small screws, attach some smaller pieces of wood to the pallet planks in order to keep them all together.

Flip it over and either sand or plane the front face of the backboard.

Step 2: Prepare Your Template

Print out you map. You can find countless maps of middle earth on google. You could also use maps from skyrim, game of thrones, or other fantasy maps.

Lay down the carbon paper face down onto your backboard. Apply a little tape arounf the edges.

I only had enough to cover half so once i completed the tracing step, i moved it across and traced the other half.

Place down your printed map over the top of the carbon paper and hold in place with some tape.

Using a ball point pen, trace the outlines of your map.

When you remove the paper, the carbon should have transferred onto the wood. (see last photo attached)

Step 3: Start Burning

First trace the basic outlines of the map.

I found using a round burning tip the easiest as it would glide across the wood grain in any direction.

Press small dots into the wood for the tree/forest areas.

Use a fine point tip to draw the waves around the coast areas.

Use a more wider flat tip to apply some shading on the western side of all the mountains.

Take your time. Go slow. Be patient. You will get there.

If you make a mistake you can use some fine grit sandpaper to sand down a little and then re-burn.

Step 4: Apply Finish

Rub some wax or your favorite wood polish/finish onto the map.

As we are only using pine pallets, there shouldn't be too much grain detail that will pop out and hide the burned map detail.

Optional: For added effect use a small flame torch to burn around the outside edges of the map.

Step 5: Hang on the Wall and Display

Attach some picture hangers on the back and display you cool wood burned map of Middle Earth.

This is a pretty easy project but takes a bit of time. I think the results are worth it.

Next time i think i'll make the map area a little bigger just to fill the space i had to work with.

I made a YouTube video of me making this project. Check it out :)

Thanks for reading my instructable!

Step 6: Wood Burned Middle Earth Map on Pallet Wood

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    6 Discussions


    6 days ago

    I love your map of middle earth. I can picture this hanging on the wall of a hobbit house with the Shire done in great detail. Lord of the Rings has been my favorite series of books long before they were movies. I used to do 3D modeling for model trains with my dad back in the 60’s. I always dreamed of building a Middle Earth themed train set. But who has the room for that? Then you come up with a wood burning solution. Thank you for triggering a flood of ideas for wood burning projects I can do this winter.

    1 reply
    Crow Buildssabechamp

    Reply 5 days ago

    Thank you. Yeah the options are endless hey. I would love to do some model scenes from lotr. Maybe a model hobbit home. There's a youtuber called Luke Towan who does awesome model scenes.


    7 days ago

    Lovely project for all fans of Tolkien's worlds! I voted for you. Are you familiar with the "Wheel of Time" Series of books by the late Robert Jordan? You might enjoy the complex "world" of nations he created as another challenge for creative map making.

    1 reply
    Crow BuildsOutofPatience

    Reply 6 days ago

    Hi, Thank you. No i'm not farmiliar but it sounds really cool and i love fantacy worlds. I'll check it out


    7 days ago

    SUPER COOL! Very neat idea and a great job! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1 reply