Often while traveling we take lot of pictures to remember moments in that country. Sometimes we find a dry leaf at a beautiful place and want to keep it as a memory or sometimes there is a memorable coffee place receipt we want to keep as souvenir. However when we go back home we forget where we picked that up. Even if we don’t forget we don’t have a way to keep it with it’s location and details. This is where a map book comes in handy. All you require are the basic things and little bit of planning and you can create your own souvenir book. Let’s find out how you can do so!

Things you need for Map Book

  • Book Planning
  • Thick Paper sheets, Colorful Papers
  • Scissors
  • Colorful pens
  • City Maps
  • Receipts, dry leaves or other material collected from traveling
  • Pasting material or stapler

It is easier to proceed step-wise. You will need maximum 2-3 hrs to make the book. Let’s start.

Step 1: Planning

Before actually cutting the paper, planning for the book is necessary. First, note down all the cities you visited during your travel. Write how many days you stayed in the city in front of each city. This will help you calculate space needed to for writing travel experience in each city. Once this is done go over your souvenir material and calculate pages you would need for each city. These pages should have space for your city maps you collected while traveling and also for the other trinkets. Write down the number in front of the city.

Calculate total number of pages needed based on above two factors. Add 4 pages extra in the calculation, 2 for front, 2 for back. Once total number of pages is fixed we can next plan what kind of pages we need. Use hard sheet paper for front and back. They serve as cover and make a long lasting book. Book pages need not be hard sheet paper but still with greater GSM. Heavy GSM paper will hold on the glue. Letter size A4 paper is 55GSm. It is very thin for our purpose we need a paper which is bendable but at the same time thick. We need 200-300GSM paper, often used for water painting, magazine covers. I have used locally hand made colored paper with heavy GSM for my books.

Step 2: Choosing paper size and color combination:

I prefer using paper in a specific color combination such as blue and black. You can also use country flag color for papers. Maps are often printed in bright colors thus dark color papers are usually preferred by me.

Size of the paper is important. I prefer 5 inch (W)x 8 inch (H). Map book when completed should be easy to go through,  bigger page sizes make the book heavier and uncomfortable to hold. Small size of pages are not good either, soon we run out space and have to add more pages to the book.

Step 3: Making the book

To make the book, we first start form creating page signatures and then sewing them up into book. Lot of different techniques can be used to do so. I prefer binding the book with Coptic stitch. Coptic Stitch enables pages in 360 degree angle, so that map can be folded and opened up later for view. This technique also creates space between the pages so that pasted material can fit in without destroying the frame of the book. Here is a YouTube video  where you can learn the stitch.

Step 4: Pasting maps & write up

Once the stitching is done and book is ready, now you can paste your maps in the order you have planned. You can put your own creative ideas and insert whatever you feel important. I like collecting beer or local drink labels from the countries. I paste them on thin tracing paper and staple those to the city page where I bought the drink. You can even paste additional paper on pages forming little pockets. You can add your show tickets and stamps in these pockets.

Use bright colors to write your experience on pages. I mark places on the maps also where I visited just to create travel route. There are plenty of ways to beautify map book.

Laos, Thailand & Singapore

My Map Books

Maps books can be maintained for long time. I have created 4 major books so far based on my travels- Italy, Israel, Cambodia and Laos-Singapore-Thailand (combined). Each has different color cover based on country theme. As I traveled many places in India, I have huge collection of maps and I am planning a big book this time.

I would like to know what you think about map-books? Have you already tried making one? If not do try it and let me know your experience.

Manali Bonde

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I have an unique eye to see, understand beauty in things around me. I collect lot of stories in my travels around the world , not just that but also I love to tell those stories and curious things. Go through various other articles on the website, I hope you find them amusing. To know more about me click below.

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