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Newlywed Map

Several months before I got married I saw an idea for something called a “Newlywed Map,” and fell head over heels with the project. I quickly saved the idea and vowed to make it part of our home and our lives in the future. Since I’m clearly a procrastinator, it seems only fitting that I share this map with you after our anniversary.

This map is essentially a piece of interactive wall art that will grace our many homes in years to come. Traveling has always been a huge part of my life and I’m excited for our new nomadic lifestyle. 

I love that we can track where we’ve been and will be able to share this idea with our kids when we have them. My husband and I traveled a lot before we got married, but we decided to start marking this map from when we got married. We’re also using three colors: white, for places we’ve been together; black, for places my husband has been (deployments/TDYs); and red, for places I’ve traveled. We’ll add a baby blue and/or baby pink pin when youngsters arrive.

Making the map was a cinch! My husband and I found an old-school map we loved from a cute boutique store in Savannah, Georgia, and bought a frame and the rest of the materials from Hobby Lobby (any craft store should have the materials). 

World map
Foam core board (not to be confused with cork board)
Spray adhesive
Map tacks


Step one: Trace around the map onto the foam core board (contrary to the photos, you should use a ruler to trace it so you can get a straight edge!) and cut the board with a razor (also contrary to the photos, use a razor blade and not scissors. Scissors will make jagged edges, and you want this to be straight! I did this twice and forgot to take pictures the second time…)
Step two: Spray half the foam core board (outside or inside with newspaper under the board) with adhesive spray. 
Step three: Wait about 15 seconds to let the adhesive stick and quickly place half the map on the board, starting with the corner. Smooth it out as best you can. Repeat steps two and three with the other half of the map.
Step four: Place map in frame.
Step five: Mark the places you’ve been with map tacks!
Bon voyage 🙂


  1. Ohhh yours is so cute! I've had the materials for this project for almost 2 years now and I waited until we moved to put it all together, then realized they don't sell frames that fit my American size map in Japan so I had to have one custom made. Just got it back this week. Took some photos and it's waiting to be hung on the wall. We're using 3 colors as well for places we traveled separately and together. I'll get around to blogging about it eventually =)

  2. I love yours! I first noticed the map idea at the home of a former soldier, because I babysat his daughter. I thought it was an awesome idea and my fiance and I have been looking for the perfect map for quite a while!

  3. We did the same thing! But your map is way nicer! I have two huge ones that were laminated, one of he US and one of the whole world, we used stickers on ours. But I really love your idea of using different colored pins for each person. Plus yours is way cuter with the frame! Thanks for posting, now I want to revamp our map 🙂

  4. Sounds like something your dad and I did when you were growing up, but we only used a map of the U.S. How wonderful that you are using a map of the world!

  5. I love this idea! Too bad all of my pins would be in the US, LOL! I need to get my passport asap, I want to do some traveling. 😀

  6. We have one of these in our house and I love it! We are huge travelers. The only area of the world that I have more pins than my husband is the Caribbean. He's definitely won the middle east/africa! =)

  7. Love it! I had one of these made, but we liked the finished product so much that we're both too afraid to actually put tacks in it. Now I feel like I need to make a second one for tacking. lol. Thank you for the tutorial! It will come in handy for this.

  8. So awesome- it looks great!!! My mom made one of these for her travels but it's not nearly as professional looking! Love it!!

  9. Love, love, love this idea! My husband and I have been talking about doing this ourselves to document our journeys as a military family. Now, I know how to make one! 🙂

  10. Love this idea! I have done the interactive maps online for where I've been, but never really thought to do it in real life. I'm so doing this when I get back to the States.

  11. Great idea! I have been working on something similar! When you add kids to the equation how will you mark family trips?

  12. That is super cute! I'm not sure I could remember and try to make a map after all this time. But it would be a really awesome gift!

  13. This is really cute! I had a map for when my husband first enlisted and was going to keep track of where he'd traveled for him, but then he was in Italy for 3 years and I left it at my parents' house. Woops!

    Now that I've been reminded about this fun ongoing project, I may have to start gathering the materials to make a new one, especially since we're overseas!

    Have fun putting all those Italy and Europe pins on soon!

  14. Can I ask where you got the frame? I'm putting this idea together for a present and don't know if I need a shadow box frame or if a regular one will do (without the glass of course). Thank you & happy holidays!

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