Making A Map

Today, I’m going to show you all how I made my maps! For this, I used only a pencil and paper and a program called


  1. Draw everything out
  2. For trees, do scribbles. For towns, do black dots and color them in or do horrible miniature drawings that won’t show up in any detail later



  3. Scan it in or take a picture of it and import it to the computer
  4. Trace all borders and coastlines with black, then play with brightness/contrast and levels settings until you get something that looks like this:
  5. Find some fun fonts for naming things (fancy looking but still easy to read: keep in mind that some people have trouble reading cursive). LABEL EVERYTHING (make separate layers for the text: I’ll show you a cool trick to make it stand out in the next step)
  6. For, once you’re absolutely certain that these are the names and the fonts you want, make copies of all your text layer(s)
  7. Go to effects>stylize>outline
  8. Adjust the outline settings until you’ve got a fairly thick (thick enough that it’s visible but not so thick that everything looks like snowballs) outline, then hit OK
  9. Select all the white on your outline layer and delete it
  10. Change the brightness/contrast settings to make your new outline layer white
  11. Put your new layer behind your text layer
  12. Play around with the transparency until it looks the way you want it to
  13. Tada!
  14. Make a new background layer and delete as much white as you can out of your outline layer
  15. Put all the color on your new background layer (don’t color over your outline!)
  16. Make another layer under the color layer and fill it with white
  17. Play around with the transparency of your color layer until it looks right
    All done!

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