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DIY Photo Map

Hey guys! This week I am so excited to share with you this DIY Photo Map! Most of you have probably already seen this US Color in Map on our Etsy page, but here's a new take on it!

Here's what you'll need:

- A computer

- Printed US Map

- Scissors or and X-Acto Knife

- Glue Stick

- Printed photos


This is the version that I used to create the correct sizing for the photos, but it is more for someone who has a basic knowledge of photoshop.

1. Your first step will be to bring in a *TRANSPARENT* US onto your artboard. Make sure to LOCK your US Map layer, so it stays in place.

- Create a new layer, and bring in your photo you would like to put on one of the states.

2. Next, take your photo layer, and put it BEHIND the US map layer. This way you can see the outline of the state easier.

3. Take the Lasso tool, and hold your cursor while dragging it along the edges. Unless you are some kind of photoshop wizard, your outline might look a little messy. Thats okay! Just make sure to go around the OUTSIDE of the lines, so that you can just hand cut them off later.

- Right click your selection, and click "New Layer Via Copy". (Make sure the layer with the photo is selected, or else this won't work)

4. After this step, there should be a new layer with your cut selection. Hide your original photo layer, and your new layer should look something like this:

5. Drag your photo off to another artboard, and create a page to print with all of your states like this:

6. Make sure when you print to DESELECT "fit to page". You want to keep it's true size when it comes off the printer to fit on your map. Viola! You have your pieces ready to cut and glue.


If you don't have photoshop, or don't know how to use it, this is for you! I am not going to go into as much detail with this, since there are multiple ways to do this.

1. Create a page as big as the size of the Map vector you have, and drag the map in.

2. Bring in the photos you want to word, and place them to the size you'd like them to be on the map.

3. Delete the map, and print the photos the way they are sized.

4. Once they come off the printer, hold your map/ photo up to the window or tracer, and trace the edges of the state from behind your photo.


- Cutting with an X-acto knife will help you to get the most perfect edges you can! I kinda like the more hand- done look, so I didn't try super hard to make it perfect

- When placing the photos on the computer, try to choose ones that look will look good in the dimensions of the state. If needed, you can resize and pull some edges over to make sure it's all covered.

There ya go! I used a 12x18 print of our Watercolor Color in US Map. It was the perfect size (for future small states). Here's a link to it here:

*If you order one, make sure to let me know you are needing the digital copy of it, and I'll send it over to your email for FREE with your order*

Make sure to tag us on instagram at @shopshannonsweeney so we can see your finished map!!

Hi! I'm Shannon, and I'm so happy to have you in this little corner of the internet. I love sharing blurbs about life, decor, and my art. Hope you enjoy!

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