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This DIY Push Pin Travel Map is a Clever Way to Track Your Adventures

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adding a pin to diy travel map

Love to travel?

Keep track of where you’ve been by creating a fun corkboard map to display at home. Today I’m sharing how I turned a laminated placemat map and piece of foam cork board into a clever DIY push pin travel map. It’s a unique way to commemorate all your adventures and to serve as a reminder to always keep exploring!

holding a US cork push pin map of travels

We LOVE to travel, so this board is where we have lived and traveled as a family!

I love the memories of traveling with our kids and the real-life education it brings. We specifically enjoy visiting national parks, and we wanted to start keeping track of what we’ve seen so we can start planning future trips. As you can see, we still have lots of ground to cover as a family, and this makes it more exciting to start dreaming of where to explore next!

cork board map on a shelf

There are two ways to display your brilliant cork board map!

You can display it on its own on a bookshelf (shown above). If you have the wall space and want to hang it up, you can also frame it (as seen below). I framed mine by removing the glass from a 16×20 wood frame, painted the backing with black chalkboard paint, and then attached my map to the front.

holding framed cork board travel map

Hip Tips:

  • Choose a map you’d like to use! I decided to buy a laminated placemat of the US and use it, but you can use a map of your choice. Maybe a map of the world would be fun for world travelers!

  • You’ll need some cork board for this project. I used a piece of cork foam board from the craft store, and it worked out great! I initially tried to use a roll of cork, and it was just too thin #craftfail. The foam will add the thickness to allow you to use a push pin easily.

  • Cutting the foam cork board is a little tedious, but it will be worth it, so don’t give up! I felt like it was easier to have the map hanging off the table a little, and carefully cut using a precision craft knife.

  • Use a bit of sandpaper to smooth jagged edges. I had a lot of jagged edges with the foam board, but luckily all it needed was some gentle sanding to make it look neat.

placemat of map and cork foam board

DIY Push Pin Cork Board Travel Map


Supplies Needed

  • 11x17 placemat map
  • cork foam board
  • scissors
  • precision knife
  • piece of sandpaper
  • push pins
  • spray glue adhesive or double sided tape
  • 16x20 photo frame *if framing
  • paint for back of frame



Use scissors to cut around the map in the shape you’d like to use.


Place the map down on the cork foam board. Trace around the map’s edge about 1/2 an inch out, using a pen.


Use a sharp Xacto knife and carefully cut just inside the outline, so you don’t see any pen marks. If  your edges are jagged, use a bit of sandpaper to gently smooth the foam edges.


Glue or tape the map to the cork foam board. Use short push pins to mark where you’ve traveled. Stop here and display on a shelf or continue with directions to frame.


Directions for framing: Take out the glass portion of 16×20 picture frame. Paint the back of the wood frame and let it dry. Glue or attach the map to the front of frame as desired. (Note: I saved the Alaska and Hawaiian islands from the placemat and glued those as well to the frame.)

DIY Cork Board Map of US framed

I think this is such a creative family project.

We really enjoyed putting together our map and are pretty psyched about it! It’s a cute and easy craft project that’s unique to display in the home as well. Additionally, it’s a great geography lesson and a visual reminder where all the states are located. Have fun creating yours!

Make this hanging wood poster frame for $10!

Join The Discussion

Comments 12

  1. Deb

    Another great idea from Lina! You are the best!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Aw thanks Deb!!

  2. Krissy

    Such a cool idea!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks Krissy! Glad you like it ❤️

  3. Ella

    Oh I love the pushpin idea! My teenager daughter wants to track how many states we’ve been to, so I got her one of those scratch off maps for her birthday. She loves it, but this is better! I love the idea of “pinpointing” exact places on the map we have been. I think it’s a great family project. Thanks for a great idea!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh yay! We really enjoyed this too. It’s motivating to start thinking of where to go next! Thanks Ella!

  4. Kimberly

    Love this! I’m going to use a world map like this in my classroom. We will use the pins to mark the locations of stories we’ve read.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh fun I love that idea Kimberly!

  5. marianne

    Can you tell us where you found those particular push pins?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Michaels craft store 👍

  6. riss

    I bought one from ebay but the world map and it is awesome! But this is much cheaper!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Ya – i like budget friendly projects like this! Thanks Riss

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