diy project: halligan’s american travel map

Summer time really gets my travel bug a-jumpin!

I am guilty myself, but so many of us long to travel abroad yet don’t take advantage of our very own American continent! This July, my husband Adam and I are hitting the road for a sweet heart’s road trip to explore some of the USA’s beautiful Southern states.

We both have big travel dreams. To help us keep up with the places we have been and the places we want to go I created this American travel map that doubles as a piece of interactive artwork for the home. Happy traveling and crafting! – Halligan

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


bandsaw (optional)

Xacto knife and blades



wood glue

drill and drill bit

computer printer and paper

paint brush


18″ x 24″ piece of thin plywood

22″ piece of 1″ x 2″ wood strip

2 eyehooks and picture hanging wire

20″ x 16″ piece of 1/4″ cork

ball headed pins

water slide paper (optional) –



1.  Cut out a 24″x18″ rectangle of thin plywood.  If you don’t have a saw you can ask the nice folks over a Lowes to help you out.  I rounded out my corners on the bandsaw for an extra aesthetic detail.

2.  Paint your board desired color.  I went with a traditional blue.

3.  Print out map templates.

Download templates here:

Template 1

Template 2

Template 3

Template 4

Template 5

Template 6

4.  Trim up map pages, tape together, and cut out paper America and circles.

5.  Tape paper America and circles to cork. Using an exacto blade in a sawing motion cut out cork America and circles.

6.  Glue down cork pieces using wood glue.

7.  Print and cut out compass and mod podge onto the bottom left hand side of your board.  I used a water slide image transfer paper, which creates a translucent image.   You can find transfer paper here:

Download the image here:


1.  Cut one 18″ piece and two, 2″ pieces of 1″ x 2” wood.  If you don’t have a saw, you can ask the nice folks over at Lowes to help you where they cut moulding.

2.  Drill holes in the 18″ piece about 1 1/4″ from the end and screw in eyehooks.

3.  Glue all three pieces to the back of the map, and lace picture hanging wire through two eyehooks.


1.  Print and cut out paper flags and fold in half.  Insert pins into crease and glue shut.

Download images here:

2.  Think about where you’ve been and where you want to go and mark your destinations.

  1. Alyssa says:

    Hi! No trouble with Template 3…but I do get blank pages for 5 and 6! Could I get an e-mail?

  2. tabitha says:

    my BF & i totally want to do this project and have already purchased some items, but we cannot for the life of us find 1/4″ corkboard. where did you get yours?

  3. ~Kris says:

    I love this idea! I just wish that Hawaii and Alaska were included (since they are a part of the USA)

  4. julia says:

    amazing! i’m definitely going to try this, thanks for the great post!!

  5. la marmotte says:

    that is a really good idea !

  6. rachael says:

    hi, where did you find 1/4 inch corkboard? i went to home depot and they only had large rolls of it (like the kind for putting under the carpet). and osh sold only 12×12 inch squares. where can i find it online?

    1. Amy Azzarito says:

      Rachel – You can get large pieces of cork from Amazon.

  7. John says:

    GREAT! I’m making one of the whole world, I’ll upload a photo when it’s finish

  8. Savanah Low says:

    I made one for a friend who travels with her cat, which included little cat flags to show where the cat has been. I also altered it slightly to include the entire world, and added in some illustrations. Instead of cutting out everything from cork board, I made a stencil of the world, and then painted it on the cork board. Check it out on my carbon made album!

  9. Scott says:

    Where is Lake Michigan? The State of Michigan looks like a big blob….

  10. Melissa says:

    John, did you finish the board for the whole world? Also, can you please upload the template for that? :)

  11. Bess Giles says:

    Could you please email me the newer templates. I am unable to print 5 & 6. Thanks!!

  12. Jess says:

    I would love to see one of the world as well as copy the templates!!!
    Any chance of uploading them here?

  13. Jess says:

    having trouble with templates 4-6. any chance you could email them? thanks! cute project!

  14. Kristen says:

    Any suggestions on how to draw out state lines and the lakes for Michigan? Or do you have a template to help with that? Love it!

  15. Magali says:

    THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR, FOR ABOUT 2 YEARS NOW. I’m 15 now and I travel tons!!! I collect pins and I have so many and I’m so passionate about them, I’ve hung them on all types of things but I’ve been looking for a really nice way (I’ve had them on a black canvas as of now). I’m going to take your idea, make cork maps of USA, countries in Europe and split them apart, and South America. THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH.

  16. Anna says:

    You forgot Hawaii and Alaska…

  17. Lisa B says:

    This is such a great idea. I am creating one right now. I have the map cut out on the corkboard. I would like to include lines to separate the states. Im not sure if I need to tile a map to do so. Can someone walk me through how to do this? I’d really appreciate the help.


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