The Academy Opens on April 6 Join the Waitlist
The Academy Opens on April 6
November 30, 2011

DIY Canvas Map: Part 1

Today's project was a gift for Matt. He is the most common outlet for my crafty experiments. His birthday was last month and as always, I wanted to get him something different. We aren't spending a ton of money lately with the...

Today’s project was a gift for Matt. He is the most common outlet for my crafty experiments.

His birthday was last month and as always, I wanted to get him something different. We aren’t spending a ton of money lately with the whole wedding planning thing going on, so I tried to get creative.

I remember going to visit my friend Lauren Beaman’s house in Knoxville years ago and she had this awesome world map on the wall. It was on a canvas and in 3 pieces. It was for her and her husband Casey to put pins in for all of the places they had and would travel. I thought this would be a great gift for Matt as we both value traveling and have already been to so many amazing places.

I texted Lauren asking her where she got it and she told me that she got it from Pottery Barn years ago.

That’s not a problem of course because I knew that I could make one.

Let the craft project commence.

How to Make a Canvas Map

I got 3 canvases from Michael’s – one slightly wider than the other two and all three were the same height. I bought a world map ($7.99) from Barnes and Noble. The size of the map needs to be larger than the size of all of your canvases put together so that it will fit over all of them.

I recommend getting a map from a bookstore or online. If you buy them at Office Max or a Parent Teacher Store, they are bright primary colors for kids to learn and don’t have the rustic look that this one does.

I also got sewing pins, Mod Podge and a sponge brush.

This was a really easy project. So easy and fast, in fact, that I forgot to take pictures of each step.

Step 1: Lay the map over the 3 canvases and cut it into 3 pieces. You also may want to cut off any unattractive border on the map.

Step 2: Coat each canvas with Mod Podge and wrap the corresponding map piece on it like a present.

Step 3: Let dry and hang on the wall with about 2″ of space in between each piece.

I gave it to Matt without putting the pins in because I wanted him to pick his color and us do it together.

Matt: Blue Pins
Christy: Pink Pins
Places we’ve gone together: Green Pins

We ran out of pins so we need to get some more but you get the idea.

When I gave it to him, he loved it! We sat on the couch at his house and had so much fun remembering and putting pins in all of the places we had been. And as a bonus, my bank account loved how little I spent on a great birthday present!



Update: After a ton of questions on this project, I wrote another blog clarifying some of the instructions. Feel free to check that out if you need extra help. 

Related Articles

Dec 11, 2014
5 DIY Gifts for Every Budget

Giving and receiving gifts is one of the most fun parts of Christmas. Calm down—I didn’t say it was the purpose of Christmas. I said...


Leave a Comment

  • OMG, Pintrest fame!!! That’s so exciting. I am not surprised how much that bouquet blew up on there. You are mighty crafty!

  • Oh friend! That’s awesome. I actually did see that Pin and I had no idea it was you. I wish I had the patience to write up about all my crafts for a blog. I always think that If i ever did have a blog it would be about crafts. I just have no patience at all for the writing side of it. I’m the worlds worst speller for starters!
    I love this story and that I am friends with someone so famous!

  • Marianna says:

    Love the maps. Andy and I just started this as well a few weeks ago.

  • Karina says:

    Hola, I´m here for the bouquet 🙂 and now I love your maps too, you are amazing… and the quote was from Legally Blonde. Greetings from Guatemala.

  • CRUZ – YOU ARE FAMOUS!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMOUS BLOG!!! HOLY MOLY! That is so incredible! Maybe I should Pin more… ha! And the world map is nothing less than amazing. I’m not surprised at all that you have made something budget friendly, yet still looks amazing. DIY Queen of America. You’re FAMOUS!!!

  • Hey, I am trying to recreate this, I bought the same map from BandN and I would like to know what size of canvas you used. Did you use a panel or a normal canvas?

    • Christy says:

      I used 3 different canvases – make sure that the total space of all 3 canvases together is smaller than your map. I used one large one for the middle (maybe 18 x 24?) and 2 thinner for the sides. (maybe 12 x 24?) I hope this helps!

      • Amy B says:

        What is the depth of the canvas you used? I don’t want to lose too much of the map in wrapping it. Yours look pretty thin though….

        Thanks for the tutorial!! The map looks awesome 🙂

    • Laura says:

      Hello, i’d like to do it as well but I’m not able to find the map….I LOVE URS!
      No one has got a direct link of the b&N website where I can buy it!! thank you

      • Christy says:

        SO sorry! I just bought mine in the store! Hopefully you can find a vintage looking on online? Amazon maybe? Buy the map first and then buy the canvases to fit it since there are plenty of canvas sizes but not a ton of maps. 🙂

  • Erin says:

    OK, I love this, but did you only use one map? Because I can see argentina finishes in the first panel, but then there is another chunk of it in the second panel. I want to do this for my boyfriend but don’t want to mess it up!

  • Erin says:

    Did you use 1 map or 3? because I can see the end of argentina in the first panel, but then it appears again on the second panel for a chunk. I want to make this for my boyfriend!

    • Christy says:

      Hey! I used 2 but only because I messed up on the first piece. You can use one and have some parts cut off on the wrapped edges or use 2 and overlap where you cut them so that all parts of all countries are shown on the front panel. I hope that helps! Good luck!

  • chris says:

    LOL – I’m here from Pinterest, too. I have long wanted a map just like this for exactly the same reason you are doing it. Thanks for the directions!

  • Kate says:

    I feel like such a stalker…I saw this on pinterest and then started reading your blog…Hilarious!
    P.s. Your team should have won that decorating competition;)

    Kate (Ontario, Cda)

  • Congrats on your stats jump. I do see a lot of your things posted on Pinterest, and I’ve repinned a lot of them. Today is the first time I’ve remembered to use the URL there to come visit the site. I’ll be back often. You’re also going to get a pin in my board of My Favorite Blogs. Thanks for having such a fantastic blog!

    • Christy says:

      yes! I bought it from Barnes and Noble. 🙂 You can put mod podge over it though for a glossy look.

  • Laura says:

    I saw your diy of the map on pinterest n i felt in love! Have you got the direct link where i can buy the map on b&N?i can’t find it!

  • piper says:

    Hi! i found this on pinterest and thought i would give it a try! i found the map at barnes and noble! love! and i was wondering what size canvases you used?

    • JB says:

      Hi Piper,

      I was curious if you bought the map online or in an actual store? I have been searching for the map and have been unable to find it online. Thanks!


  • angelyn says:

    Hi! I’m looking for the exact map used for this project, but like some others have said, I can’t find it on the B&N website. Would someone mind posting the product number or some other information to help me find it elsewhere? I saw that it’s by Rand McNally. Thanks!

    • Caitlyn says:

      You are an angel! I’ve been looking all over the internet for a great map that is large enough, and this link is my saving grace! Also, this is an awesome diy project! Thanks again!

  • Jo says:

    I love your idea so much. Can you give links to buy the map and canvasses? The colours on the map are so beautiful and the canvas sizes are perfect. Thanks.

  • Krista says:

    Hi! I am doing this exact project and bought the exact map in the picture. I was wondering what size canvases you bought? I know they are different sizes, if you remembr that would very helpful! Thanks!

  • Amanda says:


    Does the mod podge bring the color out on the map? From you pictures the color really pops was wondering how you got it to do that.


  • Rachel says:

    Love it. Maps are not everywhere. I found on Frontgate were too expensive for my budget. Found some at Jo-ann Fabric (by accident) @ 60% off. Then I bought my canvas according to what I wanted to do. Modpodged it also. Map made by DCWV where they say you can buy it.

  • Christina says:

    I’m probably making this so much more complicated than it needs to be but aren’t you losing some of the lap when you wrap the canvas? It doesn’t seem like you’ve lost to much of the map. Didn’t know if I should get 3 maps to make sure i don’t wrap somewhere we’ve gone