Maps of all kinds are a popular form of décor, because they allow us to bring a little bit of a special place inside our own homes. Whether they represent cities or countries, places we’ve been or places we dream of visiting one day, maps help to expand our horizons. There are many ways to incorporate them into a room, but I have to admit that one of my favorites is a Family Travel Map, designed to record and display where we’ve traveled together. I found a galvanized metal map of the USA at Michaels that was perfect for this project. The way it works is that I letter the name of each state we’ve visited inside the shape of the state itself, then as we continue to have adventures, I add them to our map. You’ll notice that our family clearly needs to do some exploring in the Midwest!
Galvanized metal USA map (mine was $18.99 at Michaels)
Pencil & eraser or iPad
Paint markers (I used a black oil-based Sharpie paint pen)
Step 1: Make a list of the places you’ve visited.
Step 2: Print out a blank map and use a pencil to sketch a plan for lettering the states you’ve visited.
This will give you a chance to play around with shaping the words inside the states. You can also do this digitally if you have an iPad, Apple Pencil, and the Procreate app by uploading a map.
I recommend using a combination of multiple different fonts to make it visually interesting. I used Rae Dunn Print, Faux Calligraphy, Whimsical Print, Bubble Letters, and Elongated Script. Rather than just writing the names normally, I did my best to fit the letters in a way that filled up as much of each shape as possible.
Step 3: Use a paint marker to letter the state names directly on the metal map.
Sometimes, I was able to write out the entire state name, while other states like South Carolina, West Virginia, and Delaware needed to be abbreviated instead. I used a black oil based paint marker for all of my lettering, but you could use any color or combination of colors you like.
Pro Tip: If you happen to make a mistake, you can remove the paint marker with a wet Magic Eraser and start over!
Step 4: Display your project, but remember it’s always a work in progress!
Anytime you have a chance to visit a new place, you can take it off the wall, letter in the state name, then put it on display again.
This map is a particular favorite in our family, because every time we look at it, it reminds us of good times we’ve had together on various vacations and work trips. It’s a fun record of our travels and an encouragement to visit new places we’ve never explored! Of course, if you prefer, you could letter in every state and just create a statement piece of map decor.
What would your map look like? If you try this project, I’d love to hear about it. Don’t forget to share all of your latest creations with us in the Amy Latta & Friends Facebook group. See you there!
Be sure to pin this project for later and share it with your friends…
Here are some other fun hand lettered home decor projects you might enjoy: