Cut Out Map

Personal art is something I love having in my home and something I really enjoy making.  Last year, I made a cut out map of Savannah, Georgia, where Ben and I honeymooned.  Patricia from PVE and I traded art, and she requested a map cut out of New York.  Well, I’m at it again, this time with our home town.  It started when I decided to clear some of our junk from the basement.  After hanging the Savannah cut out in the living room, I looked around at our bare walls.  Specifically, these matching bare walls on either side of the dining room doors.

Wanting to prominently display my hard work, I decided to make the Savannah cut out a set.  I complied images from Google maps to map out our town.  After piecing the pages together in Photoshop, I adjusted the size until I had my design perfect.  To save ink, I made a street overlay, which is just a new layer that I trace the lines over.

If you want to make your own cut out, it would be easier to take your map to a print shop (even Kinkos, now FedEx Office), enlarge it to the size you want, and print it on plain paper.  Basically, I’m lazy and cheap, so it is easier for me to make the overlay, divide it into 8 by 10 print sheets and tape my papers together, like this:

I use that printed design as a template by taping the edges on top of my nice paper.  Then I cut.  And cut.  And cut some more until my fingers hurt and my hand cramps.  If that doesn’t make you want to try this, I don’t know what will.  Haha.

At first, the boys colored next to me while I worked.  When they get bored, I’ll take a break to play with the kids or clean up the house and come back to it.  Honestly, I don’t know how long this took because I worked on it when I felt like it and when if was convenient.  Maybe six hours total for a 14 by 18 design?

Once my design is completely cut out, I carefully peel back the template.  Because I already had one framed map, but not another frame to match, I bought two 22 by 28 inch plain wood frames from Hobby Lobby for 35 bucks thanks to a 50% off sale.  Not the prettiest frames, but spray paint can fix that.

While at HoLo, I bought two sheets of mat board to cut a new mat for each frame and a sheet of dark gray paper to back my map.  And here’s the newest art addition in our abode.

With Savannah flanking the other side of the doors.

Eventually we’ll need a dining table to make the space look more like a room.

For now, I can admire new art in a substantial frame and mat.

V loves to point out some of the roads and knows where our house (and the old house!) are.  Which means he approves of the art.

What art have you made lately?  Cut out designs?  Perhaps a painting?  Feel free to share, I’m always needing art.

16 thoughts on “Cut Out Map

  1. I LOVE these! I definitely need to make something like this….or how about you send that Savannah one my way since I already live here and it would save me time. HAHAHAHAHA!

  2. I’ve done some DIY art here and there, but I have to have something to trace, I can’t even draw cute stick figures. Anyway, I made a paint chip Nuggets logo and some Paint by Numbers paintings of my cats. I would probably attempt paper cutouts if I had one of those fancy cutting machines, but using a craft knife for extended periods of times is too painful, and I need my hands for work. Yours look great btw!

    Nikki Kelly @ the ambitious procrastinator

  3. that is an awesome idea! I can sympathize with you on the hand cramps after design school…haha but I would love to try this eventually!!

    1. Hi Kristin!

      So glad you like it. 🙂 And thank YOU for nominating me for two lovely awards.


  4. Thanks for the detail on exactly how you make your map art — for some reason I thought you cut it out of vinyl. I may attempt this — your finished pieces look so cool!

    On a side note, I follow the Tumblr ‘F— Yeah, Tattoos,” which is a site where folks can post images of the cool tattoos they get, and I just saw the following there: It looks just like your etsy art!

    1. Hi Little More Spark!

      You’re welcome! I’m glad it helped. Please send pics if you decide to make your own. 🙂

      Oh yeah, I saw that on Pinterest and decided to make an art design like it.


    1. Hi Leila!

      Yep, I complied Google Maps for my base. If you already have a map, you could use that for your template. For my street overlay, I have the map as my background. After sizing the map, I add a new layer. Then select the pencil tool and adjust the diameter to the size of your streets. To keep your lines straight, click on one end of a street, then hold ‘Shift’ and click on the other end. This will connect the dots and makes it much easier to trace. Do this same thing around corners by making small spaced clicks.

      Hope that helps, but let me know if you still have questions!


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