DIY Travel Journal—Repurposing Old Maps

DIY Travel Journal made from old maps

This article was originally published in the June 2015 Issue of VRAI Magazine. 

As you begin to plan out road trips and embark on new adventures this summer, don’t forget to pack a journal! Sure, you can document plenty of sights on your smartphone or digital camera, but writing down the details of the day helps you capture even more. Some of my favorite childhood memories come from our annual family vacations. We criss-crossed this country, stopping at all sorts of landmarks and sights, from The National Mall in Washington D.C. to the St. Louis Arch to the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings in Colorado. Along with the rolls of film used to capture our stops (because this was long before smartphones existed!), I always kept a journal, taking time each day to record how many miles we’d driven, the sights we’d seen and the stories we’d heard. Though I never evolved into much of a scrapbooker, I kept brochures, ticket stubs, and maps of all the places we toured and visited.

Document your vacation with a special travel journal

Document your vacation with a special travel journal

While I don’t journal nearly as much as I used to, this month’s “Nostalgia” theme inspired me to craft up a special travel journal, much like the ones I kept as a kid.

What you’ll need:

  • a journal
  • a map (I used what I had on hand, but it would be cool to use a map of the place you’re visiting)
  • Mod Podge
  • cardstock or construction paper
  • a ribbon for the bookmark (optional)
  • other: scissors, pencil, ruler, paintbrush
Materials needed for Travel Journal

Materials needed for Travel Journal

Remember how you used to recover books in elementary school? (please tell me I wasn’t the only one who had to do this!?) I used this same technique to recover my notebook, except after I got the edge flaps measured and folded, I glued the map to my journal using Mod Podge so it would stay put.

How to cover a notebook

How to cover a notebook

If you need a refresher on recovering books, here’s a few quick tips:

  • Cut the map to fit the size of the journal, leaving about 1-2″ around each side.
  • Fold the long sides over, then close the journal and trip the corners at the top and bottom.
  • Coat the front, then the back cover with Mod Podge, then carefully smooth the map over.
  • Now fold down the top and bottom flaps. I opted to glue them down with more Mod Podge for a more secure fit.
  • The last step is more for looks—I added a piece of cardstock to give the interiors of the covers a cleaner look, but it also helps make the journal a bit sturdier.
  • Once finished, my journal seemed like it needed a little something, so I added a ribbon bookmark and a construction paper “pinpoint”.

Wherever your travels may take you this summer, I hope you’ll find a special way to capture all the wonders seen and memories made!

Travel Journal made from repurposed maps

11 thoughts on “DIY Travel Journal—Repurposing Old Maps

    1. Two Purple Couches Post author

      I always have to have something to write or doodle in. How cool that you have journals from living abroad! There’s just something about capturing experiences in a journal that outweighs everything else!

  1. Lisa

    HI Emily, omg that is such a cute idea. So simple but darling for keeping special trips, moments and memories. Love it. Thanks again so much for linking up to our Something to Talk about Link Party and have a weekend, xo Lisa at Concord Cottage
    Lisa recently posted…Fresh Peach CobblerMy Profile

  2. Pingback: Something to Talk About Link Party 24

  3. Lisa

    Hi Emily, hope you had a great weekend. Just wanted you to know Coco from the Crowned Goat featured this darling travel journal on her blog today for our Something to Talk About Link Party! Come on over and join the fun when you can. Happy Monday, Lisa at Concord Cottage
    Lisa recently posted…Something to Talk About Link Party 24My Profile

    1. Two Purple Couches Post author

      Hi Lisa! Hope you had a great weekend, too. I saw the feature on CoCo’s site & it made my Monday 🙂 Can’t wait to head over and check out the party today!

Comments are closed.