Mapping our memories

For my birthday two years ago, Jarrett took a vintage-style map wall sticker and created a pinnable map for us to display in our living room and track our camping adventures. As the holidays approach, this simple, affordable, DIY idea would make a perfect gift for the adventurer in your life. 

Mapping our memories

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For months now I have seen ideas floating around on Pinterest of the wall maps people use to pin all the places they have traveled. I loved the concept, but I wanted to put a slight spin on it and use it to record all the places we have camped–adding to it each year as we camp in new places.

We forgot to take pictures of how Jarrett put this map together (at the time I wrote this post we were still getting used to blogging!), but it was pretty straightforward, so I’ll describe the basics for those interested in creating their own.

We started with a vintage-style USA map that we found on Amazon. It is a National Geographic Wall Pops edition–which means it is a giant sticker you could adhere directly to your wall if you wanted. But for our purposes we slowly peeled it off the paper backing and affixed it to a piece of luan plywood. (This is a lightweight board that gives the map structure.) It took two sets of hands to get the sticker evenly and smoothly positioned, and we went slow to make sure we squeezed out any air bubbles. Jarrett then made the white frame from regular wall moulding. He used a staple gun to attach the map board to the moulding frame and added a wire hanger across the back.


To pin the places we’ve camped, I wanted something that would blend in with the map and my living room’s decor. I love how some maps have bright flag pins that stand out from the map, but my living room’s palette features lots of natural, subdued colors and bright red, yellow, or blue flag pins was just not going to work. So Jarrett found some copper colored nails at Lowe’s that ending up working perfectly. They are called “weather strip nails” and we used the 3/4 x #17 size. To add future nails, we have to take this off the wall, since it takes a little hammering to secure the nails in their places. But once they are in, they aren’t going anywhere!

If you prefer the brightly colored flag pins, then mounting the map on luan would probably not be the best option. Using foam board would be a better choice since the pins would pierce it more easily. 


We have added several more pins to Ohio and Pennsylvania since I took this picture and we may have a *problem* in the future fitting in lots more pegs in that region. Hmmmm. Guess it’s time to branch out some more in the camping destination department. In 2017 we’ll be heading to Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, plus a few more states once we finalize our itineraries. But watch out West Virginia, because we also have our eye on you! 😉


So that’s an abbreviated tutorial for how to create your own DIY map to track your travels and adventures. If you have any questions, email or comment over on the Facebook page and we’ll do our best to help! Happy camping–and have fun crafting!

DIY memory map

2 thoughts on “Mapping our memories

    1. Kristin Post author

      Hey Gretchen! And I agree–copper is so fun…I have quite a few copper antiques sprinkled through my decor. 🙂

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