Add a Custom Map to Your Notebook

It is easy to take a small map and glue it into your notebook or journal. However, what if you want to insert a simplified or customized map into your writings? The technique below will work for maps or almost any kind of illustration.

My daughter is spending six months in Siem Reap, Cambodia, at a mission with an orphanage, boarding school and large butterfly sanctuary. I wanted to include a basic map of her location within the context of Cambodia and the surrounding countries. Below is the process I used.

Graphite Paper

The secret to copying accurate drawings from other sources is to use graphite paper to trace your desired insert onto paper. I found a roll of Saral transfer paper at my local art supply store for around $15.00. This roll 12 inches wide and 12 feet long. Saral manufactures five different colors for different purposes: graphite, white, blue, yellow and red. I used the graphite for this map because it is easy to erase.

Transfer Process

After locating a blank page for the map, I secured the graphite paper (graphite side down) to the page. I taped the small map that I found online on top of the graphite paper. I used washi tape for both layers. Using a color pencil I traced the borders displayed on the map.

When finished tracing, I carefully peeled off the graphite paper. I traced over the graphic lines with a Sharpie Pen and then erase all of the graphite lines and marks from the page (graphite can be messy).

I realized during the inking process that I forgot to trace Tonle Sap Lake in the center of Cambodia and the river that flows in from Laos. I made a couple of measurements with a ruler and drew the lake free-hand.

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