Mappy Monday – A Genealogy Craft

A while back I was browsing the time sucker called Pinterest.  I noticed a pin for making a map out of cork to mark all the places you have lived/visited.  My genealogy brain immediately took over and gave the map an ancestor twist.  Wouldn’t it be cool to make a pretty map to mark where all of my ancestors have lived?

With the kids in tow, I went on a quick adventure to gather the materials I would need:

  • A cork board (I got mine at target for $10)
  • A map of the United States  (AAA offers free maps for members.)
  • A pencil
  • A Black Sharpie Marker
  • Exacto Knife
  • A piece of sandpaper
  • 1 Sheet of color card stock paper
  • Toothpicks
  • Hot Glue Gun

That afternoon, while my younger daughter was napping, I worked on my new genealogy map.  First, I cut the map of the United States down to the borders.  You don’t have to be precise since it is impossible to cut cork exactly.  I then laid the map onto the cork and traced the outline using a pencil.

Genealogy Map

Then the fun started.  Using the Exacto knife, I cut out the map.  I definitely suggest cutting the cork board out of the frame first.  I also recommend cutting a large chunk of cork off one of the corners to practice how  you will cut the cork board.  The board I purchased turned out to be 1/16 inch of cork glued onto 1/4 inch of pressed/glued cardboard type material.  I was only able to cut from the cork side to avoid tearing the cork off.  Some sections of the map took a lot longer to make sure I did not accidentally cut off important parts of the country such as Florida, Upper Michigan, etc.

Due to the composition of the cork board I purchased, the edges were a little ragged after cutting the map out.  To make my edges look more professional, I took a piece of sandpaper and lightly sanded around the entire map.

Next, I took the paper map I used as my template and placed it back onto the cork map.  I slowly traced each state with the pencil.  This left light indentations on the cork board.  After tracing all 48 contiguous states (luckily I do not have any Alaska/Hawaii ancestors) I removed the paper map.  Using the black Sharpie pen, I then lined each indentation on the cork.  I also outlined the entire border with the Sharpie using a thicker line.

The last step for creating the map was to take a piece of scrap wood we had in our garage and hot gluing it to the back of the map.  I did this so I can hang the map on the wall of my home.

Now that I had my map, I needed to decide what events and people to include.  I eventually decided to begin with birth places of my ancestors.  I created little flags using card stock.  I cut out rectangles and folded them in half to create squares.  I then glued the card stock squares onto tooth picks.  On each flag is written the city and state using a nice black pen.  I again used the paper map template to accurately place the flags onto the map.

Craft Map 3

I shared my Genealogy Map at the June meeting of the Marin County Genealogical Society.  The monthly meeting was in a “walk about” style where we all bring items to share and discuss.  At the meeting I had a conversation about what to include on the flags.  I received a great idea to use other colors of card stock to note marriages and deaths.  Now I just need to figure out how to display cities that had multiple events occur.  Any ideas?

Genealogy map Finished

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

3 Replies to “Mappy Monday – A Genealogy Craft”

  1. I don’t have ideas on what you can do about cities with multiple events, but I wanted to say that your Genealogy Map is a brilliant idea! You look so pleased with it 🙂

    1. Thanks! It was so much fun to make. I am working on fixing up the office in our new home. When I do, I will put up a photo of how it looks on my genealogy wall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.