Destinations Magazine

Building a Travel Home: DIY Travel Pin Map

By Livingthedreamrtw @livingdreamrtw

Building a Travel Home: DIY Travel Pin MapOne of my favorite travel blogging images is the digital travel map that highlights cities and destinations that its creator has visited. In one quick glimpse you can see every place in the entire world they have been and with just a little thought, imagine where they may be going next.

As we are building a home full of travel decorations, I knew that one day I would be taking this popular digital map and converting it into a real-life decoration to be used as the centerpiece for one of our rooms (with a fantasy of it being in a travel-inspired bar room).

I always expected these maps to cost upwards of $150 or more when finished, as is the case with some of the nice ones available on AmazonBuilding Travel Home:, but I could never bring myself to spend that kind of money. Instead, I put on my crafting hat and ended up being able to make my own professional style map at home for just about $50 US and an hour of my time.

If you've ever fantasized about making a map of your own, here's what you do.

Items Needed for a Pinnable Travel Map

Building a Travel Home: DIY Travel Pin Map

The pre-made maps sold on Amazon have a huge mark-up in price mostly because the construction work is done for you. If you're okay with paying for the premium, a few good looking ones are available hereBuilding Travel Home:, hereBuilding Travel Home:, or hereBuilding Travel Home: and you can skip on down to the next section after picking up some pins and a hanging implement.

For everyone else who wishes to build theirs at home like we did, you'll need the following items for a 3-foot wide map:

Note: Your bulletin board may come with a hanging implement but you may need alternative items depending on your wall and how you want to hang your map. We'll touch more on that later.

Method of Construction for a DIY Travel Map

Building this travel map is pretty straight forward and follows a few simple steps.

1) Window Cling, Meet Bulletin Board

Take the window cling off of its backing and place it as evenly as possible on the bulletin board, ensuring you avoid adding air bubbles as best as possible. When the window cling is placed, push out any excess bubbles to the edges.

We had two major hurdles to deal with in this step.

First, our bulletin board was a bit warped so we had to weigh it down a bit to ensure it would level out (which was pretty easy). Second, the bulletin board we purchased measured 35″ edge to edge, so the 36″ window cling was just a bit too large. When adhering we wrapped the excess map around the edge, giving the bulletin board an almost canvas-like appearance.

We decided that we liked this style better than trimming the map to fit the available bulletin space, which sounds like a bit of a nightmare, so we were glad to avoid it.

2) Test Placement and Hang

Building a Travel Home: DIY Travel Pin Map

Determine where the map will be hung and measure the height and distance between the mounting points accordingly. Making careful notes on the hole placements and distance between each in the bulletin board is key as they do not give you a good amount of wiggle room when hanging.

There are many different ways to hang a bulletin board, and the most common (and likely recommended in the bulletin board package) is by drilling a hole into the wall and installing a wall anchor. As was the case with our Turkish lamp, I do not like to make recommendations when it comes to hanging objects in your house as wall materials and hanging methods can vary quite substantially.

For us, our walls are made of delicate plaster and we avoid drilling or installing nails wherever possible. We found that these wall hooks worked great for our bulletin board, although to be honest you may wish to wait to buy these at a local store once your board arrives and you can confirm the size and available opening space. We did have to use a wrench to close the opening of the hook to improve the aesthetics when hung as well.

After placing the hooks on the wall we let them rest for the recommended 24-hour period before hanging our map permanently.

( Note- We recommend doing this step second as you can get a good idea of what the map will look like on the wall, and also not have to worry about having a few hundred pins potentially falling out during your adjustments. As unlikely as that is, it was not a risk we were willing to take.).

3) Start Pinning!

Building a Travel Home: DIY Travel Pin Map

When the window cling is placed properly, and you have prepared a hanging spot on the wall for the map, you are ready to begin pinning. We recommend getting pins with the smallest heads possible (ours were 4mm width), especially if you are well traveled, as space becomes tight rather quickly. Typically sewing pins are smaller like ours, while branded map pins tend to be the size of a standard push-pin and were to large for our needs (seriously, they're huge).

Building a Travel Home: DIY Travel Pin MapBuilding a Travel Home: DIY Travel Pin Map

As with most bulletin boards, the holes you make get larger each time you place and remove a pin in the same spot, so take a few minutes before getting started to decide on a pinning method that interests you most.

Building a Travel Home: DIY Travel Pin MapBuilding a Travel Home: DIY Travel Pin Map

Will you push them in to various depths? Place them straight up or at angles? Color code trips or regions? Ensure a spectrum of colors in each region? It is best to plan exactly how your board will look when finished before starting to ensure you do not repeatedly add or remove pins which will cause them to be loosely held in place.

Once you have a plan of attack, get to it!

This was quite possibly the most enjoyable decorating project we have done and finding some of the small, off-the-beaten-path cities we visited on a map made for a great challenge. You may need to have a computer handy for this one!

Isn't that awesome?

4) Hang Your Completed DIY Travel Map!

Our outbound links within this post contain Amazon affiliate information. If you found this article helpful purchasing through these links will help support our site. A win for everyone!
Building a Travel Home: DIY Travel Pin MapBuilding a Travel Home: DIY Travel Pin Map

To build your own wall map, you can either purchase a pre-made map at the following links ( here, here, or here) or purchase your window cling, bulletin board, color coded pins, and hanging implements by clicking the items in this sentence.

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Building a Travel Home: DIY Travel Pin Map Building a Travel Home: DIY Travel Pin Map
Building a Travel Home: DIY Travel Pin Map

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