Create an individualised world map featuring photos from your travels

Craft Idea: Creating a World Map with Photos

Create an Individualised World Map with Vacation Photos

For many globetrotters and jet-setters, memories are the best souvenirs from traveling around. Whether reminiscing about an exciting adventure in a far-away land or a romantic sunset on the beach - these memories are what make wanderlust creep up again and again.

With a self-designed world map, you’ll always have your favourite moments from your travels close.

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
  • Red string
  • Adhesive tape
  • Colourful masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Colourful pins
  • Double-sided tape or poster strips
Necessary materials for making a photo world map

The most important thing you’ll need for this craft idea is, of course, the world map itself; optimally, the map should be a large-sized poster. In this regard, your options are endless. Which map you decide to go with is just a matter of taste. On some free-of-charge photo websites such as Pixabay, you can find various world maps you can download in high resolution. You could order one of these as an ifolor photo poster in one of many various formats. For this travel world map it’s recommended to use a format at least 60 x 90 cm large.

Topographical maps are the most realistic since you’ll be able to see the various elevations in each country. 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. It’s recommended to choose a map that at least displays country names and their capitals to make it easier to navigate.

You can really make your self-made photo world map catch people’s attention by using an artistic world map. These kinds of maps don’t usually display country borders or any kind of labelling, but these creative maps are very decorative.

Various kinds of maps you can use for your photo world map

You could, of course, affix your photo world map directly to your wall. A solid backing, however, such as a white board or bulletin board, will make your map a bit more decorative and make your job easier to do.

Photo World Map: How to Correctly Edit Your Photos

Once you’ve picked out your favourite photos from the places you’ve visited, you’ve already got the difficult part out of the way. It’s then time to get them developed on premium photo paper. When selecting your photos try to keep the layout (portrait or landscape) as uniform as possible.

Make your photo world map really stand out by using Polaroid-style photos. You can easily create these yourself using your own digital photos in just a few steps by using a free photo-editing program such as “PhotoScape X” (for iOS and Windows).

In the program, just choose a three-section square collage, such as 2,600 x 2,600 pixels. You can adjust the dimensions of the three different sections individually. Adjust the upper section to be about half as big as the lower section (such as 1.8 cm above and 3.5 cm below) and choose the thickest border available. Then, if you upload a white JPEG for both the upper and lower third, you’ll end up with a Polaroid layout. After that, just upload your holiday photos one after the other in the middle section of the collage template and save.

Now all you’ll need to do is develop your photos online. ifolor offers the following formats for you to choose from:

  • Format 9 cm is 8.9 x 8.9 cm - 13.3 cm
  • Format 10 cm is 10.2 x 10.2 cm - 15.3 cm
  • Format 11 cm is 11.4 x 11.4 cm - 17.1 cm
  • Format 13 cm is 12.7 x 12.7 cm - 19.0 cm
  • Format 20 cm is 20.3 x 20.3 cm - 30.6 cm

Thus, the image length of each photo you upload with be cropped accordingly.

Your square photos will automatically be cropped to your desired format. The photos featured on the map in the example were printed out in format 13. You can easily develop your photos here.

Photo World Map: Step-By-Step Instructions

Affixing and labelling the photos

Now you have all the materials you’ll need to actually start crafting your one-of-a-kind photo world map. It’ll take about an hour to put together your map, but the joy of gazing at the end result will last much longer.

Step 1 - Affixing the Poster

Measure both the backing and the poster itself and mark the central point of the poster. Then, attach some double-sided tape to the rear side of the poster. Alternatively you could use photo/poster strips. Centrally position the poster on the backing and use a cloth to apply pressure evenly.

Step 2 - Attach the Photos

Now you can place your Polaroid-style photos around the poster and simply affix them at first with a piece of adhesive 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 marking your locations.

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 decorative masking tape.

Step 3 - Mark Holiday Destinations with String

Stick the pins in their respective locations on the map as firmly as possible. Then take a piece of the red string and first knot it around the pin. Then lead the string to the corresponding photo, cut it down to a suitable length, and place it under the masking tape on the photo. It’s a good idea here to do one string after the other instead of all at the same time to avoid messing up other pins and strings as you go around the map.

Marking the holiday destinations with string and pins

Step 4 - Decorating and Enjoying the End Result

All you’ll have to do now is decorate your world map with keepsakes from your travels such as seashells and label each photo with the location where it was taken. Then just find a nice place to put your new work of art and enjoy the feeling of being on vacation even when you’re at home.

The finished travel world map with individual photos

Should you be ready to make your own map, you can easily print out the necessary photo poster and your holiday photos.

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