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DIY Wall Art: Make a Custom Corkboard World Map

A fun way to mark where you've been and where you're going, a large world map made out of cork gives you limitless possibilities.

Michelle Edgemont

Materials Needed:

  • 1 24-inch wide roll of cork
  • acrylic paint in color of choice (we used neon pink)
  • tacky glue
  • 18x24-inch frame
  • clear tape
  • small scissors
  • paint brush

Print Map and Flag Templates

This tutorial shows a world map, but this technique can be easily translated to a map of the United States, your state or your city. Download the world map template and United States map template.

You'll also need to print out the custom flag templates for a later step.

Measure and Cut Cork for Map

Lay out the roll of cork on a flat surface. Measure and cut a 16" by 24" piece of cork using scissors.

Paint Cork for Map

Paint the piece of cork with pink paint. Set the painted cork aside and let dry. This will become your map.

Cut Out Paper Map Shapes

Tape together the printable map of the world. Follow the guide that’s printed on page one and draw in the outlines of any countries that didn’t print because of the paper margin. Use small scissors to cut out all of the countries. Cut out all of the little islands, too.

Cut Out Cork Map Pieces

When the pink cork is dry, flip over so the pink side is facing your table.

Place the cut out pieces of the world gray side down on the back of the cork. Place each country and island wherever it will fit. It does not have to geographically placed in this step.

Trace the countries with a pen. Use small scissors to cut out all of the countries and islands from the cork.

Attach Cork Background to Backer Board

Unroll the rest of your roll of cork and place the cardboard back from your frame on top. Trace the cardboard and cut along the lines you traced. Use the tacky glue to attach the cork directly to the cardboard backing of your frame. Let dry.

Assemble Map

Place the cork-covered cardboard back into the frame with the cork facing out. (You won’t be using the glass or plastic that came with your frame.) Arrange the countries and islands on top of the plain cork to resemble the world. Tip: Refer to the black template that was included in the printable to remind you of the correct placement of all the tiny islands.

Cut Out and Attach Destination Flags

Adding flags for places you've gone and places you'd like to go is a fun way to personalize this map. Cut out your favorite tags from the Map Tag printable. There are also blank flags, too, so you can write your own. Attach to the map with push pins.

Hang and Enjoy

Display the finished map alongside travel books and photos.

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