This post was most recently updated on September 22nd, 2020
I never tire of creating things. When I come home from a trip, I usually have a pile of maps, postcards, brochures, and photos. I want some things to remember my trips by. But I also enjoy making gifts for others. Some of these ideas help me use my souvenirs, while others are just great to have if you’re a traveler! So when I found these fun travel-related crafty projects, I just knew it was time to share them with you, too.
1. Handlettered Cards
Follow these simple instructions for your own handlettered cards made with maps or brochures. I made mine with a New York City subway map.
1. You need a blank card and an extra piece of nice paper, slightly smaller, for your handlettering
2. Start with a piece of paper and write the name of a city or attraction
3. Draw a new line parallel to every “downstroke”
4. Fill in the space between parallel lines
5. Cut piece of map or brochure to fit front of card; glue to card.
6. Glue paper with city name on top, centered (I use rubber cement or glue sticks)
7. Add an envelope; you’re ready to mail it!
2. Frame your favorite locations
My daughter actually made this gift for me. She found maps of the places where my husband and I met, where we were married, and where we lived while raising our children. And then she stitched tiny little hearts to mark each location, and framed it for me. I love it!!! Wouldn’t this make a great gift for someone you know? Or you could use it to mark special places you’ve traveled.
3. Use Those Maps
These are great ideas I found on Steph’s Silver Boxes blog. I love how she came up with so many ideas for using maps, such as wrapping gifts, decopaging maps onto wooden letters, lampshades or even coasters!
4. Rock the Displays!
I love to bring something tangible home from each trip, and an easy thing to bring is a rock, especially from a beach! (Now, don’t bring rocks home from antiquities sites for obvious reasons!) I have a beautiful smooth perfect skipping rock from Numana, Italy and a sandstone rock from Zion National Park. A cool way to remember the places you visited is by displaying your rocks with a message or the name of the place you visited!
5. Fabric Scrap Luggage Tags
Someone got creative! I just loved this idea of using up bright-colored fabric scraps to make beautiful luggage tags that will be easy to spot on the baggage carousel. Kudos to Robin at Craftster.org, where you can find her tutorial.
6. Another Use For Your Spare Change
It’s nearly impossible to leave a country without a pocketful of loose coins. You’ll probably drop them in a jar and forget about them, but here’s a better alternative, from Indigo Amethyst. Frame them and display them!
7. Camera Strap Tutorial, with a twist
Remember the old fanny pack everyone used to use? It was an awkward-at-best solution for carrying all the small things you needed to have with you. Rachel, from Imagine Gnats, came up with this great idea for a “Cammy Pack” camera strap — a camera strap with built-in pockets for the little things you need to have with you! Find her tutorial and free PDF pattern here.
8. Magnetic Travel Puzzles for your Kids
I thought this was a great idea by Lindsay Nieminen of Carpe Diem Our Way. She used superhero flashcards, but I think it would be fun to use postcards, maps, or photos, too. It’s a wonderful way to remember your travels while helping to keep your children entertained, especially on a road trip or on the plane!
9. Make Christmas Ornaments
I love to purchase Christmas ornaments from the places I travel to. I have a hand-painted egg from Germany, a porcelain scene of Pike’s Place Market from Seattle, and a pressed glass imprint of Ellis Island from New Jersey. But wouldn’t it be fun to make some of my own? Here’s a few more ideas for travel craft projects you can use to adorn your tree…
(click on photo for photo credits)
10. Saving Jars
If you haven’t been able to travel for awhile and need some inspiration to help you save, this is a great project I found from Something Turquoise. Be sure to check out her easy tutorial!
If you like to make crafts, I hope these ideas inspired a creative spark for you. If you’re looking for more, check out my first collection of ten crafty travel projects here. Please share how you use your travel souvenirs…or how you decorate your home with travel crafts!
Here are a few more travel craft-related posts you might enjoy:
Using Travel Photos to Make Cards & Books
I LOVE that Cammy pack idea! And, I’ve done the same thing with the rock art; I drew geometric patterns all over a rock I brought back home from the beaches of Numana, Italia! I love how it looks sitting on my book shelf and it acts as a GREAT reminder of what a wonderful trip that was. 🙂
What a cool post! I love all these ideas, but especially the first one! I’m such a travel hoarder but this is a great way to put some of these things to use ^_^
I love these ideas, especially all the uses for old maps. Great post!
I love the idea of having a frame with your favorite locations. That’s so clever. Thanks for this!
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Great ideas all around. Wifey too loves to do something with the map. She frames them and inserts tickets and various souvenirs into the frame. It kinda looks fun with the place name painted on the borders!
A friend of mine recently started hand lettering and I love her work so far. Am looking forward to get into that, too, when I have some more time on my hands!
Girl, you are speaking my language here! I LOVE crafts and I LOVE travel, so when I find crafts like these I’m instantly making a Hobby Lobby shopping list in my head! Haha! I’ve definitely made Christmas ornaments before – I love making them out of kitschy keychains that people sell as well. I’m definitely going to do the ‘Frame your favorite location’ craft as soon as we have a place to call home. So sweet.
I’ve always wondered what to do with some of the things I pick up on my travels. I have a couple of picture frames with currency and things like tickets stubs, but this has inspired me to take it to another level and maybe revisit those boxes that contain things I didn’t know what to do with and transform them into Christmas decorations!
wow… so many interesting ideas! I especially love the use of the maps. I think putting maps on day to day items is a great way to keep your wanderlust burning and inspire you for future travels.
Love the idea of using your maps as collages and coverings / wrappings for different things around the house – I have SO MANY city maps from every destination weve been, might try and replicate that trash bin! Thanks!
These are lovely ideas. The best one I thought was the one about framing coins. We end up with a fistful of coins from each of our sojourns abroad and usually these lie in some corner of the drawer as we are not numismatists by any stretch of the imagination. But framing them is a great idea and we will definitely try it out.
Really love some of these ideas! Lots of fun crafts to make. I would love to make some of the map projects sometime. We always love purchasing Christmas ornaments from our travels, too! Would be fun to make some ornaments though as well!
I need to find a crafty way to display the patches I have collected from around the world. I have almost 150 patches that are currently taped to my wall. I also need to stop printing photos and then creatively decorating the frames.