Tuesday, May 7, 2024

GriffWorld Travel Map Letters DIY

Oh, the places we've been!

Years ago - and what seems like a life time, when the hubs came up with the idea of naming our travel adventures, "GRIFFWORLD VACATIONS" Did I say, hubs loves to travel! In case you're wondering, our last name is Griffin and the hubs goes by the name, "Griff" to all of his friends. He even came up with a logo like this one pictured below:

And he also mapped out our trips by way of Google, too:

So all of this gave me an idea for our Sustainable Craft Challenge Blog Hop hosted by Julie @Sum of their Stories! This month's theme is TYPOGRAPHY!  Simply put, (btw, I had to look up the meaning), typography is the style or appearance of text or the art of arranging a message in a readable and aesthetically pleasing composition - like GRIFFWORLD, lol!

Decorative letters are quite trendy these days! I had the idea of making cardboard letters using recycled cardboard from a box and transforming them with maps of the places we've traveled.

And repurposing maps onto letters is a creative and eco-friendly way to give maps new life especially if it shows the places you've traveled!  Plus, it's an artful memento of your trips - you're reminded of those special destinations and a sense of adventure every time you look at them!

It's easy to make letters out of recycled cardboard! And then transform them into traveled map decor! Here's how:

Materials Needed:

  • Cardboard flaps - from a very large and thick cardboard shipping box
  • Letter templates
  • Pencil/scissors/utility knife/small sharp scissors
  • Cutting mat/board
  • Mod Podge (Matte)/paint brush
  • Laser lever
  • Masking tape
  • Command strips 
We recently ordered an outdoor water fountain for our patio and it came in a very large and thick cardboard box. Great to recycle/upcycle!  

It was easier for me to just remove the flaps (8) from the box and save the rest for another project.
Then I found large clipart 8" letters online to print out and use as templates to spell the words, GRIFF WORLD. 
Once I had all the letters printed out, I started cutting them out.

And once all the letters were cut out, it was time to place each letter on the cardboard flaps. I was able to put two eight inch letters on each flap.
And then, drew around each letter using a pencil.
Once that was done, it was .  .  .
time to cut each letter out. From here on out, I will use the letter G to show you how I made the map letters. It would make for a very long and perhaps boring post to show how each letter was done.

Since there were ten letters in GRIFFWORLD, I wanted to divide the Google Map into ten groups - going from left to right on the map - to cover each of the ten letters to print out. 
With each group representing places we've traveled.

The first map is of  Australia. I found it a bit difficult to actually get the visited places lined up with the letters. I would actually hold up the map on top of the letter facing the sun so I could see where the places hit the letter. And while holding the paper map on the letter, I would lay the letter down with the map on top of the cutting mat. Then lift one end of the map up to add mod podge over the letter, smoothing it out. Then lifting the other side to apply the mod podge on the letter and smoothing the entire map out on the letter. Once the map was dry, started cutting the map out around the letter using both a utility knife and .  .  .  

small sharp scissors.
Once the map was cut out on the letter, I dipped my finger in the mod podge and smooth the paper edges down around the letter, then I applied a light layer of mod podge to seal and let dry (not shown).
Here are all the finished map letters with some, but not all of the traveled places listed:

G - Australia - Sidney, New South Wales
R - New Zealand - Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland
I - Hawaii - Lahaina, Kahului, Honolulu
F - United States - California, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oxnard, San Francisco,         Seattle, Colorado, Grand Junction, Denver, Las Vegas, Nevada, Dallas, Texas,       Fort Worth, Pittsburg, Bridgeport, Connecticut, New York, DC, Wildwood, NJ,         Ocean City,  Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, Leland, North Carolina,                         Washington,  NC. Columbia, South Carolina, North Myrtle Beach, Key West           Florida, Islamorada, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, Florida Dallas,         Texas, Forth Worth,
F - Alaska - Skagway, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, Victoria British Columbia
     Canada - Vancouver, British Columbia
W- Mexico, San Miguel de Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Cancun 
O - Jamaica Montego Bay, Ocho Rios
R - US Virgin Islands, St Thomas, Charlotte Amalia  Cruz Bay 
L - Nassau, Freeport, Bahamas, Haiti, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Barbados
D - Florence, Rome Italy, Madrid, Spain, Paris, France,  

Next, it was time to hang them on the wall in the hub's mancave. First, he applied masking tape where he wanted the wording centered and spaced, while I added Command strips to the back of the letters.
Then he used a laser level so I could place masking tape across the last line of wording (WORLD). Then we guesstimated where the center letter R would go, lol!
And added the other letters going before and after the letter R. Sorry about the lighting and shading of the photos. 
Once WORLD was up, it was time to add GRIFF, starting with the letter I. Using the same method as before, centering I,  and .  .  .
adding the R and G, and finally the last two Fs. Since the hanging strips were applied near the top of the letters, it was easy to remove the masking tape lines from the wall. 
The hubs really loves how GRIFFWORLD looks in his room! And I do too!

We have a trip planned to visit Dubai and parts of Africa in 2025. I guess we will start adding the word VACATIONS next! Stay tune!

Welcome to our monthly Sustainable Craft Challenge! As I mentioned before, this months' theme is TypographyThe challenge is all about sustainable crafting with a different theme each month!  The projects must have some sort of a sustainable element to them. This could be an upcycling or recycling element, or something that reduces waste, uses leftovers, etc. 

Be sure to check out all the creative Typography Sustainable Craft projects from my fellow crafters listed below:

Mel @Decor Craft Design - DIY Spring Tin Bucket Vase

Gail @Purple Hues and Me -  GriffWorld Travel Map Letters DIY

Terri @Our Good Life -  Quick and Easy Handlettering on Glass

Christine @Christine's CraftsDementia Fidget Blanket - Easy to Make and Adapt!

T'onna @Sew Crafty CrochetRae Dunn Inspired Cutlery Placemat


  1. This looks fabulous. You would never believe that it started out as an old cardboard box! Love the use of the actual places too!

  2. Such a fun project. I did not know your hub’s love of travel.it makes perfect sense and a nice addition to his man cave.

  3. I can see doing this for my grandson's room in our house. Wouldn't that be super cute?

  4. Wowza Gail, what a fun project! It looks great. I love how personalised you made the whole thing, not only the name itself but the way you included the places you've been to as well. Brilliant!

  5. Wow! Your GRIFF WORLD looks awesome! Before reading, I thought you used wooden letters, so I'm preally impressed that you made these with cardboard. And I'm impressed with how you and your husband made sure the words are leveled and centered on the wall. I'm terrible about that. I just put holes all in the walls and hope for the best, but most of the time my wall art is crooked! lol

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