Now that it’s nearly August, many of us are suffering from a serious case of wanderlust — especially if we haven’t taken a vacation this summer. Travel not only fills that need for adventure, but it helps us recognize how big the world is, and how many more trips we need to make!
This is a contributing guest post by Keilah Keiser. Keilah is a Content Marketing Specialist based in San Diego. With a background in business marketing and travel blogging, she specializes in developing and promoting content that drives growth for her clients.
Instead of thumbing through Instagram for travel inspiration, try taking to the physical map to plan out your next adventure and decorate your living space with a pushpin travel map. There are many options out there when it comes to travel map decor. You can go the route of purchasing a pre-made version, but they are often costly and lack the sentiment that goes into creating your own. To solve for that, CarRentals created this beautiful DIY guide that walks you through how to create your very own map, customized to living space and budget. This step-by-step tutorial comes complete with photography examples and a material list to create a travel map that doubles as inspiration and home decor.
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To make the project even more budget friendly, they include a selection of pinning legends that match several map aesthetics. In 2-3 hours, you can create wall art that showcases your past travels and helps you plan out your dream destinations, so when those magical moments fade you can still keep your adventures alive. Happy DIYing!
How to make a DIY Pushpin Travel Map in 10 Steps
- Cork roll
- Hanging hardware
- Smoothing tool
- Push pins
Step One – Cut the cork to match dimensions of the map
Spread out the cork roll and use a tape measure to match the dimensions of the cork to those of the plyboard, which in our case is 24 inch by 36 inch. Mark the dimensions on the cork and begin cutting.
Pro Tip – Cork has a tendency to be rather delicate, so be sure to take extra care when cutting the roll to prevent unintended rips or tears. We recommend using a precision knife or similar fine point blade to create a perfect edge.
Step Two – Apply glue to the cork and lay onto the plyboard
Pour glue into a plastic container and then use a small paint roller to apply generously to the cork. This will help evenly distribute the glue and prevent lumps when it dries.
Pro Tip – Cork is very absorbent, so make sure you apply a generous amount of glue. Use an adhesive like carpenter’s glue to ensure a strong hold.
Step Three – Place heavy items on top of cork
The weight of heavy items will help bond the cork and plyboard. Let this sit for 30 minutes.
Pro tip – Be sure to use flat items like books or the glass piece of a frame to prevent any indents or tears in the cork. This will give you a nice, flat surface to apply the map in the next step.
Step Four – Apply glue to the cork board and place the map on top
Pour glue into a small container and apply to your corkboard with a foam paint brush. Be sure to spread the glue evenly so there are no visible lumps when the glue dries. Use spray adhesive for this step.
Pro Tip – As mentioned above, cork is very porous, so make sure it is tacky to the touch before you place the map down.
Instead of thumbing through Instagram for travel inspiration, try taking to the physical map to plan out your next adventure and decorate your living space with a pushpin travel map.
Step Five – Smooth out any air bubbles in the map
Run a smoothing tool over the surface of the map to evenly distribute the glue and remove any air bubbles. Be extra gentle so as not to tear or puncture the map
Pro Tip – Be sure to use a tool that doesn’t have sharp edges and won’t leave marks on your map.
Step Six – Paint your frame and allow to dry
While you leave the map portion of your project to dry, it’s time to paint the frame. Depending on what type of paint you use will determine how long it needs to dry — let sit for approximately 2 hours.
Pro Tip – Be sure to have brushes of different sizes to allow you to get in the crevices of the frame.
Step Seven – Attach hanging hardware to the backing of frame
After your frame has dried, it’s time to attach the hanging hardware. Some frames may come with this pre-assembled. If not, be sure to complete this step before placing the map inside the frame to prevent any damage during assembly.
Pro Tip – If your frame doesn’t come with hanging hardware, you can find this at your local arts and crafts or hardware store.
Plan Your Pinning System
There are many ways you can pin your travels like using different colored pins that correspond with past adventures, locations you plan to visit soon or dream destinations. For a unique look, you can also use a single color pin with small paper punch stamps. Prick the pin through each shape and tack into the map. If you travel often, this may get congested, so consider doing this for favorite destinations such as your birthday, honeymoon or trips taken with loved ones. Once you’ve established your pinning system, it’s time to create a legend with corresponding pins or use our customized legend printables and add to your map.