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View of a world map with retro prints and square prints

Craft Idea: Creating a World Map with Photos

DIY Wall Decoration for Globetrotters

For many who like to travel, memories are the best souvenirs from traveling around. Whether an exciting adventure in far-away countries or a romantic sunset on the beach – these memories are what make wanderlust creep up again and again.

Here we’ll show you how you can use both your most cherished travel memories and our square and retro prints to design your own brilliant world map.

Photo World Map: What You’ll Need

You’ll most likely already have most of the necessary materials for this DIY project in your home. If not, you’ll be able to find them in any craft store or supermarket.

You’ll need:

  • A world map
  • Holiday photos
  • String
  • Adhesive tape
  • Scissors
  • Multi- or single-coloured pins
  • Optional: colourful masking tape and Post-its
  • Double-sided tape or poster strips
  • A waterproof marker or pen
Materials for creating a world map – retro prints, square prints, string, and a marker

For the main component of this craft idea you’ll need a world map, optimally one in the format of a large poster. Naturally, the selection here is endless. On some free-of-charge photo websites, such as Pixabay, you can download high-resolution world maps in various styles and colours. You can then develop these as an ifolor photo poster. For designing a world map with your own holiday photos, it’s recommended to use a format at least 60 x 90 cm large.

Topographical maps are the most realistic since they display elevations in the various countries. These maps, however, are often not labelled at all or just display the name of each country. If you’d like a world map that’s a bit more clearly arranged and packed with info, you could go with a more stylised world map with labels. World maps with too much info on them, however, could quickly become an eyesore.

Alternatively, many world maps are available in pastel tones as an art print. These might not have labels on them and rarely display country borders, but they tend to be a bit more decorative.

Depending on the material of the wall on which you plan to display your DIY decoration, you can affix your photo world map directly to the wall. Alternatively, you could use something like Styrofoam or a corkboard as a backing.

Selecting and Editing Your Photos for Square or Retro Prints

Square prints and retro prints are both square-formatted prints of your photos in 10 x 10 cm format, but have different image sections.

Retro prints and square prints; with and without borders

The square prints have a square image section and can be ordered either with or without a white border. You can use the Online Editor to choose the perfect image section after uploading your photos to the ifolor website. Simply drag your desired image section into the printable area.

Retro prints are more suitable for landscape format photos since the retro print image section has a slightly landscape format. The wide lower border gives this format a typical retro look that is usually reserved for pictures taken by instant cameras.

Tip

You can also use the Online Editor to make some other changes to your photos before ordering them: simple colour corrections, cropping, rotating, and zooming.

The retro prints are especially well-suited for creating your photo world map: the wide lower border gives you room to use a waterproof pen or marker to write the name of the country where the photo was taken directly on the photo. If you want to use multiple holiday photos from a certain country, you can combine both retro and square prints to make a sort of mini collage and play around with their arrangement.

Close-up photo world map with square and retro prints

If you’d only like to use square prints, you can design your photo world map without any labels or perhaps add your own labels in the form of Post-its or small tags.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Once you have all the materials you’ll need for your photo world map, you can get started with its actual creation and design. The amount of time needed varies depending on the size of your world map as well as the number of photos you want to attach. You should plan spending at least an hour on this project – the joy of gazing at the end result, however, will of course last much longer.

Step 1: Affixing the Poster

Measure both the backing and the poster itself and mark the central point of both. You can affix the poster to its backing with ether pins or double-sided tape. Alternatively, you could use photo/poster strips to affix your poster. Centrally position the poster on the backing and use a cloth to apply pressure evenly.

Labelling wide-bordered retro prints

Step 2: Labelling and Attaching the Photos

You can use a waterproof pen or marker to label your retro prints. Afterwards, place your photos in the vicinity of the corresponding travel destination around the outside edge of the poster and affix them at first with a piece of tape.

Pay special attention to the order in which you arrange your photos around the edge so you can, if possible, avoid criss-crossing strings when later marking your locations. You should choose a colour of string/thread that goes well with your world map. We used simple jute twine for our world map.

Once you have all of your photos in place, in a sensible sequence, and evenly spaced around the poster, you can then affix the photos at the top with pins or alternatively with decorative masking tape.

Marking your holiday destinations on the world map with pins

Step 3: Marking Holiday Destinations with String

Stick the pins in their respective locations on the map as firmly as possible. Then, take a piece of your string and first knot it around the pin. Then lead the string to the corresponding photo, cut it down to a suitable length, and then affix this end of the string with a pin as well.

It’s a good idea here to go around the edge and attach strings to your photos in order so you can avoid messing up other pins and strings as you go around the map.

Step 4: Decorating and Reminiscing About Past Memories

All you’ll have to do now is decorate your world map with shells or other keepsakes from your travels such as boarding passes or ticket stubs.

The finished world map with retro and square prints as a travel souvenir

Have fun trying out this idea for yourself!

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