DIY: How to Create and Draw a Treasure Map

Updated: 11 Aug 2018

How to draw an antique pirate map

Below is a technique for transforming a paper sheet to look like an antique scroll or an old treasure map.

It is best to use quality paper for pencil drawing but regular paper, such as printer paper, will do fine too.

How to Create an Antique Looking Paper

Step 1: Burning the Edges of the Paper

This step is optional.

Using fire is dangerous and produce smoke. It should be done outdoor and under a grownup supervision.

Burning the edges of a paper Burning the edges of the paper
Paper with burnt edges & antique look Paper with burnt edges

Step 2: Coloring the Paper Sheet

For an old and faded look, immerse the paper for several minutes in water with concentrated tea or coffee.

After receiving the desired shade, remove the paper from the dark liquid and let it dry on paper towels.

To speed up the drying process it is possible to dry the paper outside or to use a hair dryer.

Dipping paper in dark liquid for antique look Dipping paper in tea
Drying the antique looking paper Drying on paper towels

How to Draw an Antique Treasure Map

Drawing an antique treasure map or a pirate scroll in 2 steps:

A ruler can be used.

Drawing or sketching a pirate map is similar to drawing cartoon characters or drawing coloring pages.

Pencil sketching an antique pirate map Step 1: Pencil sketch
Pen sketching an antique treasure map Step 2: Technical pen sketch

Objects to Add for a Treasure Map

It is helpful to use reference photos or search the web for concept art to add to the pirate map.

Objects that can be added to a treasure map:

Legend: Understanding signs such as trails, trees, mountains, treasure, buildings, etc.

Map readability: Compass rose, scale bar, longitude, latitude and even altitude lines.

Marine symbols: Ship, anchor with rope, steering wheel, marine navigation devices and so on.

Drawing of a treasure map on antique paper Antique looking treasure map