map walls

I like maps. I like to stretch out old paper atlases and point out the places my dad grew up. I like to spin globes and dream of where I might travel to. I like to satiate my fernweh with these colourful pieces of paper.
Sometimes though, a map by itself isn't enough. I want the memories of places I've been, and photos of friends, and tickets from tourist attractions. And my interior-design loving mind wants it all to fit together, gorgeously.
This is where the idea of a map wall comes in. Start with a basic map--mine came from an issue of Frankie magazine. Try a children's toy shop or the charity shops {thrift stores/op shops} or even look on Etsy under handmade or vintage. You could even scan an atlas page to your desired size; the one I used is A3.
From here, let your creativity take over and build up your own unique art work around the map. Gather photos, ticket stubs, knick knacks, receipts, illustrations, pictures ripped from magazine, even journal entries. I found it helpful to come up with a loose theme for each of map walls; below I've used 'blue', 'Amsterdam' and 'faraway friends' as ideas to gather items for. You might not be able to see this but I've also stuck stickers where all my friends come from--there's obviously Cananda & America for the Fernweh girls, but also Russia, Germany, Denmark and Hungary as well as England, for my school friends.
{'faraway friends' featuring a magazine page, old photos, notes, a photo from abbey, a birthday card  and a cut-out title}
{'Amsterdam' featuring tickets, photos, receipts, notes from my journal, cut-up paper bags, more tickets...}
{'blue' featuring postcards, tickets, a few of my photos, adverts from magazines, an old bookmark}
Stick your map up on the wall. I used some pretty washi tape from Papermash--as well as looking lovely, it doesn't damage my walls at all. Picture rails, blutack or even using a pinboard in lieu of a wall are great alternatives too. Add all your bits and pieces around the map. Again, I used washi tape to stick everything to the wall. Don't get too bogged down in having any pattern to this--stick up everything that you like and then move it around a bit! Embrace the wonkiness too; these are just added as things catch my eye and it's not perfect. That's really part of the charm though. Anyone who's experienced long train delays, emotional moments in airports or the feeling of being almost suffocated in your hometown knows that travel {and life!} isn't perfect. As a reflection of where you've been and where you're going, a map wall won't be either.

This is a really fun and creative way to add your family's heritage, your travels this far in your life, and your fernweh, all together in a stunning piece of art for your wall. I guess it's almost like scrapbooking on your wall! Or maybe another excuse for being hoarding bits of paper and pretty images?

Have you made anything with maps before? Do share!


just to clarify; i'm not sponsored by papermash but they're a great resource for fernweh readers in the uk, if you're looking for pretty stationary!


  1. This is so wonderful! I love this idea! I really want to do it. Yeesss, as you know, I live in the UK... so this is perfect.

  2. I love maps! I have vintage map of London on my wall along with two maps of the underground (one vintage and one new from when I went there)and I have a map of Dublin on my wall too because I love Ireland. I live in New Zealand by the way! Heres a link to my blog --- http://lemonwoodandhoney.blogspot.com/2011/12/mini-room-tour.html --- theres a photo of my maps in that post. Just a little peek really. Hey this magazine of yours is just to wonderful! Your blog is oh so pretty and very inspiring too! LOVE IT!

  3. What a great idea! I love vintage, and historical maps. I'm thinking one of those on my wall surrounded with book excerpts and old photos would be fun.

  4. what a great idea! i have a map in my school area, and a million scrapbooks full of photos and such. i should try this :))
    -jocee <3

  5. Lovely, Libby! I have a big map on display in my room that I gaze at all the time and I keep little mementos elsewhere. It's still the same idea, though, the scrapbooking and fernweh. :) Gorgeous!

  6. Libby, I can't even tell you how much I love this. I smiled so big at the second photo - that's the little flower/pinwheel that was attached to the very first letter I sent you. And the note on the coffee cup? Aaah, I love how we share so many memories from across continents.


  7. I have cards, artwork, scripture, postcards, photos, as well as anything that reminds me of my friends up on my wall! I have yet to put a map but it's certainly on my list of things to do!

  8. I have a massive map in the middle of my wall, with photos of Europe & friends & pretty places & things I love surrounding it. I love your Amsterdam wall especially. xo

  9. This is such a cute idea! I have a world map that I've been meaning to put on my wall but I haven't been inspired yet. Hopefully this helps!

  10. I did something like this on my wall several weeks ago, when I redecorated!! How lovely! I have a map of the world, and I actually drew 'Fernweh' on it yesterday. I also circled London and pointed to the Isle of Orkney... places I MUST see before I die. :)

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