Decorating with Memories: Map Board

Though the majority of wall space inside our house is decorated to our liking, there are a few places that have been calling for just the right piece of art.  We recently saw this project on the blog Young House Love and thought it would be perfect in our dining room.  Here’s a link to the original:

The pins in the map show the places you’ve traveled together as a couple.  We thought this was a fantastic idea and set about making our own version.

Travel Pins Wall Art


1.  Laminated US Map (Amazon, $22.49)

2.  1/8” map tacks (Amazon, $4.66 for 100)

3.  2ft by 3ft cork board with wood frame (Staples, $31.49)

4.  Hammer

5.  Drill

6.  Wall anchors & screws

7.  Level


1.  Center the map on the cork board and place a pin in each of the four corners.  Be sure to smooth out the map with the palm of your hand as you go so it stays taut against the board.

2.  Choose which colors will represent eras in your life.  We chose purple for our college travels, blue for our adult life, and green represents places we’ve traveled to for work.

3.  Get pinning!  You might need photo albums or facebook to help you recall your travels over the years.  We had a great time recalling our trips and talking about our future plans as we did this.

Map Pins Close Up

4.Mark your anchors. This cork board was actually pretty cool, it came with a paper template that you could level, center, and use to mark the wall so you’re not dealing with the big board. If your board doesn’t come with that template, you can use a piece of masking tape instead.  It is a handy little trick; you just tape from one hole to the other on your board, mark the tape with a marker, and tape the wall.  Make sure the tape is centered and level, then you can just put the holes through the marks on the tape.

Leveling the template

5. Installing the anchors.  The instructions said to use a drill to put a hole through the drywall, but that seems like overkill, you can just punch through with your screwdriver…right up to the point where you realize you’ve hit a stud.  Seems that drill is necessary after all.  For the hole without a cleverly concealed stud, you tap the plastic anchor into the hole and screw the screw in until it is sticking out a  little so it can hold the board.  For the stud you drill a hole a little smaller than the screw size, ignore the plastic anchor, and just screw it in until it is just out from the wall.

Drilling anchor holes

5. Hang the board. If the template works as advertised (which it did!) then you just hang the board on the screws. Finally just double check that it is in fact level and you’re done!

Hanging the Map ArtIt's Level!Finished Map Art


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