Map Lovin’

Whether vintage or new, maps and globes are a weakness of mine.  Along with birds, built-in shelving, anything colored Sea Green (like our guest bedroom), and chocolate.  I have several vintage globes on a shelf in my office. 

This small United States map to share places Ben and I have traveled together sits on my bookshelf.  

A large, modern-day world map poster hangs on a wall in my office.  The colors are always fun and it’s interesting to see the landscape change over time. 

In a little more artsy fashion, I recently added a paper cut out of the Great Lakes, too.

Well, I did it again.  This time, a road map of Savannah, Georgia, where Ben and I honeymooned nearly five years ago.  I decided I wanted something bold and graphic, so I bought two large sheets of cardstock, one cream, one charcoal grey.  Then, I used Google maps and Photoshop to piece together modern downtown Savannah.  After printing my template (on several 8.5 by 11 sheets taped together), I taped my pattern to my cream cardstock.  Two days later, I had a complete cut out.  I didn’t have a frame ready, and I also didn’t want to damage the design, so I taped it to the wall.

Then I remembered that I had an empty frame sitting under the bed.  The only problem?  It didn’t have glass.  So I called a few local hardware stores and found that Ace Hardware cuts glass.  I ordered a sheet and picked it up later that day, excited to frame my hard work.  I wasn’t too excited when I realized it was about 1/8 inch too large for my frame.  So, Ben to the rescue.  He scored the back of the frame and cut the wood out for the glass to fit.  As he cut my frame, I cut a mat.  After attaching all components, we had a new piece of art for our guest bedroom. 

It hangs between the entrance and closet doors.

It’s not perfect, but I love how it looks. 

What are your weaknesses?  Do you share the same affinity of maps and globes?  Perhaps you like nearly everything from a specific store?  Any chocolate cravings?

31 thoughts on “Map Lovin’

    1. Thanks, Kim! Chicago would definitely take some time, but you could do just your neighborhood. I didn’t do all of Savannah, just the historic district.

      Justine, I love the Ork posters, too! So much fun. I’ve considered getting a Minneapolis poster because that’s where Ben and I met. 🙂

      Annabelvita, Love the map wall! So cool!

  1. Wow… that looks amazing. You should add these to your Etsy shop. Just out of curiousity, how long did the cutting process take you and what cutting tool did you use to cut it?

  2. Thanks everyone for all of your kind words! Seriously, I really appreciate it!

    Amanda, It took about two days to cut the design out, but not straight of course. I took breaks for the boys and other necessary things. Originally, it was about 17 inches square. I just use a plain Xacto knife with a sharp blade. I would consider selling them if people seemed interested. 🙂

  3. Love youre map Amanda…you are so talented! I love maps (of special places), birds, hardback books and pictures of my family…check out this Etsy shop, Joann, the shop owner is amazing, I have a map of San Francisco that she made for me, which is where my hubby and I honeymooned and I’ve purchased several from her for gifts for family and friends. She has tons of vintage maps and do just about anything you ask for. She’s wonderful to work with too…just thought you might like her stuff since you like maps so much. I think map art can be so personal and unique…you should offer your new cut-out maps in your shop.


    1. Lorie, Thanks so much for the suggestion! Her shop is great!

      Jenny, Thanks for sharing the link. So glad you could use the bookplates! 🙂

      Lisa, Thank you for you kind words! I really love how the map turned out. If anyone is interested in one for yourself, please send me an e mail with the city of your choice and we can discuss pricing.

  4. Great job! So graphic and a great conversation starter. I’ve got plans to take a map of somewhere The Hubs and I have lived and cut out the letter of our last name for some cheapo but fun artwork. Maybe decoupage it on a cardboard craft store letter? Now, to narrow it down fromthe 6 places we’ve called home over the past 9 years…

  5. What a great idea! I am going to look into doing this for our area. So creative and a great conversation piece.

  6. Great map!! What are in the glass jars on your top shelf? I am curious.

    I have a weakness for tandem bikes (were on our wedding invites), flip flops and books

    Cheers from Utah

    1. Hi Rika, We have items from our travels in the jars. Some have sand and shells, pinecones and rocks, ticket stubs and maps. I love that we can see them and they’re not stuck in a drawer.


    1. Hi Claire,

      A custom cut map is definitely a great gift idea! If you give it a try, we’dlove to see photos on our Facebook page.

      So glad we could provide a little inspiration!

  7. Your ideas are awesome! I’m heading over to check out your shop…

    I have to ask – what version of photoshop do you use?

    1. Hi Lauren,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I use Photoshop 3, but the new Photoshops are great, too, of course.


  8. Thank you for stopping by Our First Nest and your comments! In college I spent a couple years as an architecture major and always loved the model making and paper projects. This project was so much fun to make, and one of my favorite pieces of art in my house. Thank you for the inspiration!

  9. Hello!
    This map is AWESOME! I had the idea to do something similar for my hubby. He is a map aficionado and we have moved 8 times in 20 years of marriage. I thought it would be cool to do something will all the neighborhoods we have lived in (or some such thing). I have been stuck at how to go from Google map to framed masterpiece. 🙂 Does Photoshop take the map from google and simplify it? Or are you basically printing the google map with the aid of Photoshop and the simplified map is ALL due to your fabulous cutting skills?
    Thank you for your help!

    1. Hi Jennifer!

      Thanks so much for your sweet compliments! I use Photoshop to piece together Google maps and get it to the size I want. Then I print the map out, piecing together the sheets. That makes my cutting template which I place on top of my paper and cut away everything but the streets. You can also trace over the streets using Photoshop to make a print version.


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