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Get Your Craft On: Making a Wedding Map

You see them all the time, those super cute maps enclosed in wedding invites. I just love those. Wedding maps just make me want to hop in my car and roll like a real live Dora the Explorer. I know you say Who NEEDS the map? Well dear reader I, sadly for one, have a really old car and it doesn't have GPS. Sure I could buy one but that would be like putting mag wheels on a mini van. Interesting but not really worth it.

So for those of us who are GPS deficient, offer a map especially a gorgeous hand illustrated one like this from City Sommelier

More light hearted but just as beautiful, are the maps created by amazing calligrapher Laura Hooper.

Then there is the straightforward but very elegant maps, like the custom maps created by Distinctive Directions. Clean lines and simple icons make getting there a snap and so worth the trip.

Wanna get your craft on and create your very own wedding map. Here's a DIY:

1. Open your web browser and go to or another online map service like Type in the address of your ceremony venue and click Search Maps.

2. A map of the area surrounding your location will appear. Zoom in, using the sliding scale navigation bar until  you get a good view of your venue and nearby major roads. Make sure you have enough detail to make the map interesting but not so much, your guests get confused. Keep it simple, within a 5 to 10 mile radius is best.

3. Click the print icon on the Google page. A small window will pop up with a printable version of the map.

4. Right click on the map and choose Copy from the menu that appears. If you are unable to copy the map, you can take a screen capture to transfer it from your screen to your document. To capture a screen in Windows, press the Print Screen on your keyboard. Next open an image editing program such as Microsoft Paint. Go to the Edit menu and select Paste. Once the image has been pasted into the editing program, you will be able to crop the image and edit out any extra objects you don't want.

5. Open Microsoft Word. From the Page Setup menu under the File tab, select Custom Page Size from the Settings options. Set the custom page size for 4.25 inches wide by 5.5 inches tall.

6. Set the margin spacing to 0.25 for all margins, left, right, top and bottom.

7. Click on the document and paste map into the document.

8. Double click on the map to select it. A black border will appear around the map to indicate it has been selected and the Format Picture dialog box will open.

9. Click on the Layout button and choose In Front of Text for the format.

10. Next, use lines and curves from the drawing toolbar to trace the streets and highways on the map. These can be found under the tab Insert. Click on Shapes. You can use dots and dashes as your lines as well as increase or decrease the line thickness and color to your liking.

11. Once the street lines are in place, add labels to the roads. To do so, click on the Text button on the Drawing Toolbar. Place your cursor on the location you would like to create a text box. Click or drag in your document window to create the text box. Now click inside the text box to add teh street or location name. Remember you can format the text box by double clicking on it. A dialog box will appear which will allow you to change the background, borders and other options.

12. Mark your ceremony location by using a cute icon or graphic. You may want to consider adding additional landmarks but not to many!

13. Delete original map. Simply click on the map and press the Delete key. You will now have your very own wedding map.

14. Print map on cardstock.

15. Create a new document with a custom size of 4.25 by 5.5 inches and 0.25 margins along all sides. Type in the written directions to your venue. Print on the back side of the map.

To create shapes to represent outlines of cities, bodies of water or points of interest, use the AutoShapes feature in the Drawing toolbar of Microsoft Word. If you are more confident try the Freeform feature to create your own shapes. 

For more fun, funky or retro look add cool graphics to your map like I did to create this one!

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