Pirate Map


My wife dressed up as a pirate for Halloween this year. Naturally, she needed a pirate map. Somehow, I didn’t already have one of these ready to go, so I whipped up a quick one in Campaign Cartographer 3+. Here’s the original image:

Treasure MapTo get the final, aged and worn version you see in the header this is what you do:

  1. Print it out on parchment paper. You can get this from anywhere you can get fancy resume paper, like at Staples, in a few different varieties. Normal paper would be fine, but I’d go at least cardstock if you have it.
  2. Set it on fire! Weee! Be careful. Best to do that outside on the pavement with a bucket of water to douse the flaming map in, since you can’t blow it out once it’s actually going. Also note that fire burns best going “up”. If you want to burn it significantly and not just char a corner, hold it so the fire is on the bottom of the map, towards the ground. Then get ready to douse it really quickly, or you’re going to need a new map. Getting it wet is fine anyway, since the next step is:
  3. Bake it in tea. Boil some water, put your map in a cookie pan, and preheat your oven to 350ish (put it into convection mode if you have it). Note that paper burns at 451 degrees, so just make sure your oven is less than that. Steep some nice black tea in a kettle for a few minutes, then pour it over your map so that it’s covered. You’re going to evaporate all the water off, so more tea means more waiting (and more tannins on the surface of the map). If you want, you can place the tea bag on the map at this point. That’s what caused the light splotch over the sea monster.
  4. Drink the rest of your tea while you wait for the map to bake. It will take between 15 minutes and half an hour with a convection oven, depending on how much water you put in. If you wait too long, you paper might get stuck to the pan, which is not ideal. If you do it this way, you are going to have tannins (the brown patterns) all over one face of the map, with the other just being generally tea-coloured. If you don’t want that, you can soak you page in the tea for a bit and then dry it out (in the oven but without the tea, if you want).

So there you have it! I did this super quick the night before Halloween. A better treasure map probably would have had thicker linework, but I think it turned out alright.

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