Embroider A Map To Commemorate A Trip

JonMarke and I took a 9 day trip to Ireland for our honeymoon and it was just amazing! It’s so green and gorgeous everywhere and we enjoyed the heck out of driving around the entire country seeing the sights and taking in the beauty! We brought home a couple of souvenirs, but I really wanted to commemorate the journey so that we would remember it forever. So I decided to embroider a map with the route we took on our honeymoon!

Embroider A Map To Commemorate A Trip

I found the idea via Pinterest on Martha Stewart’s site; you can see her original tutorial here.

I didn’t know anything about embroidery when I started (when I saw the original Pin I thought “Ooh shiny!”, and went right to work before really thinking it through), but that’s what the internet is for! I found a bunch of good tutorials about the many many many different embroidery stitches, chose one, and got to work.

It took me a long time to finish it because I was trying to make it as a surprise for JonMarke. I could only work on it when he wasn’t in the house (but when I was, obv) and that almost never happened! But I managed to get it done sometime after the middle of October, when we got back from Ireland, and before Christmas when I gave it to him. Only two months! But, if you’re not trying to hide it from your husband it shouldn’t take you nearly that long.

If you want to try this for yourself you only need a couple of things:

  • a map (we got ours for free in Dublin when we rented a car)
  • embroidery floss ($1 to $2 each at Michael’s)
  • a needle
  • scotch tape

I don’t have any pictures of the process cuz I started this about 4 months before I started the blog…sorry 🙁

The tape is the most important part; you want to put strips of tape on the back of the map covering the places you plan to embroider. This will give it a little more strength and help keep your map from ripping with all the holes you put in it for the stitches!

I used three different colors of embroidery floss: a deep burnt orange, a medium maroon, and a very dark rich purple. Those were the colors of our wedding, so I figured it was fitting.

I separated the embroidery floss into groups of two strands, then twisted two strands of each color together (six strands total, which is the thickness of a normal, un-separated piece of embroidery floss). Obviously if you just want to use one color you don’t need to do this part. 🙂

I used a stem stitch in order to give the embroidered line some thickness. (The map is about 2′ x 3′ and I didn’t want the embroidery to get lost because it was small or thin.)

We started our honeymoon in Dublin, so I started the stem stitch in Dublin and worked from there.

To make it a little more interesting I also embroidered little stars over the places we stayed overnight (the orange stars) and over “attractions” that we visited (the purple stars).

Embroider A Map: Cliffs of Moher, Galway, and Ashford Castle

I also wrote out “Our Honeymoon in Ireland” in the upper corner. I used a back stitch for the lettering and less thread for some parts so that the letters were thinner (6 strands total for “Honeymoon”, 4 strands total for the rest).

Embroider A Map: Our Honeymoon In Ireland

We decided to get the map framed so that we could hang it on our wall. I am totally in love with the frame we found, it’s gorgeous! It’s a little hard to tell from the photo below but it isn’t completely black; there is a bunch of dark grey “distressing” on the edges of the accents.

JM picked out the mat color and he did a surprisingly good job matching it to the map itself, and to the blue/brown linens that we have for the bed. 🙂

Embroider A Map: Framed Corner

I’m totally thrilled with how it turned out! We now have a giant framed map above our bed that reminds us every day of how awesome our honeymoon was!

Have you taken any trips recently (or not so recently) that you want to commemorate? This is a great way to do it, though I suppose it is a bit involved if you don’t already know how to embroider. 🙂 Any other ideas for trip “keepsakes”?


I link up at these awesome parties!

Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Jill @ Create.Craft.Love. says

    12 years ago

    I love this idea! Can’t wait to try this! Thanks for sharing at the Pomp Party! Pinning to our Pomp Party board!

  2. Nicole says

    12 years ago

    Great Job – I’m trying my hand at embroidery … luckily I don’t have to hide my project from anyone 🙂 This would be great project to pass the time during a road trip! Visiting from Freedom Friday link up – have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Niki says

    12 years ago

    It’s so cute! What a way to remember a great trip and decorate your house.

  4. Amy says

    12 years ago

    This looks amazing. I love the idea, I love the execution and I love the meaning behind it.

  5. Lisa says

    12 years ago

    What great idea!!! And it turned out beautiful!

  6. DCAggie says

    12 years ago

    You can also contact paper the entire under side of the map. That way it also keeps the rest of the map from getting wonky as you embroider your route.

  7. Katie says

    12 years ago

    That is amazing (both the map and your honeymoon, lol)! What a great idea, Jessi! I love maps and decorating with them, and this is such a good idea to personalize one.

  8. Lynne says

    12 years ago

    What an absolutely fabulous idea – I was wondering how you kept the map from tearing (before I read the instructions). Great idea, thanks for sharing!

  9. Kendra@ A Proverbs 31 Wife says

    12 years ago

    This is sooo cool! I’m not big on embroidery, but we are going to the Philippines in January and maybe, just maybe I should try this.

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