Creating your own customized map of all the places you have traveled through or visited is a super fun Cricut or Silhouette project. You can really make it your own by using different colors of vinyl, substrates that the vinyl is applied on, patterns, quotes, or sayings. Using vinyl to make a map of all of the places you’ve been is a fun way to get your family involved in your crafting addiction too! Get the kids excited about marking off family vacay destinations after a trip. This project also makes a great gift if left blank and ready for the gift receiver to fill out.
I’ll walk you through the basics of how I created my travel map using a combo of both heat transfer vinyl and adhesive vinyl. I decided to use just a United States map, but you could definitely make it a world map if you wanted to (just adjust the size of your project accordingly).
What I Used
• 16” x 12” Wood Board
• Wood Stain – I used Minwax in “special walnut” color
• Happy Cut HTV in Black
• Adhesive Vinyl Pattern – Shimmer Ombre Mermaid
• Weeding Tool
• Transfer Tape
• Pink Heat Press Machine
• 3” x 4” Envelopes
The first thing I did was stain my board using the Minwax stain. Don’t forget to wear rubber gloves! I used an old rag to wipe the stain on the board going with the grain of the wood. I let it sit overnight to dry, even though I’m super impatient, I figured it was best.
I cut out the map outline and the song lyrics I wanted using black Happy Cut HTV on my Silhouette Cameo 3. I’m really loving this new HTV, by the way. It’s so easy to weed and to work with! Next, I weeded away the excess vinyl and position it on my board.
I adjusted the pressure knob on my heat press to a light pressure - to make the top platen further away from the bottom platen. I made sure the piece of wood fit snug in the press and adjusted the pressure to where it was going to close completely and lock into place on my board. I used a setting of 275 degrees for 5 seconds to apply the Happy Cut to the wood (yes, HTV on wood. You’ve been missing out if you haven’t tried it yet).
I loaded my patterned adhesive vinyl onto my mat and cut out the individual states. Don’t forget, you won’t mirror this time around since you’re switching to adhesive vinyl. Once it was all cut, I weeded it and applied the transfer tape to the surface of the vinyl. Squeegee from the center outwards to remove any bubbles and to adhere the application tape to the vinyl.
Before anything else, I used a Sharpie to label each state by writing the state abbreviations on the transfer tape. I knew once I cut them apart that my seriously lacking geography skills would get the best of me. After I finished labelling them, I used scissors to cut each state apart.
Since I made this map for myself, I went ahead and applied the states that I’ve already traveled to on my map (I actually was really nice and only did states that my boyfriend and I have been to together, not just the ones I’ve been to – so this is something we can keep up with together). Just pull the state off the paper backing by lifting the transfer tape. Line it up to the HTV state outline. Squeegee it down and done! If you’re giving this as a gift, you’d skip this step unless maybe you filled in their home state.
I wanted to keep my pre-cut states in these cute little envelopes to keep them all together and easy to find when it comes time to add a new state. I used 4 and labeled them as West, Mid West, North East, and South East. I put the precut adhesive states (with transfer tape still covering them) in the envelopes that they belonged in.
Since this map was a project for myself, I went a little cheap and just used washi tape to adhere the envelopes to the back of the wooden board for safe keeping. I’m sure you could come up with way cuter ways of attaching them, but hey, it works for me. I’m also going to add a picture frame hanger to the back so that I can hang this on my wall.
That’s it! It’s an easy project with lots of room for personalization and customization. Give it a go using your own touch and show us what you come up with!
Feel free to give us a call or email us if you have any questions about this project and how you can create it yourself at home.