DIY: How to Create and Draw a Treasure Map

Updated: 07 Feb 2019

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.

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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


It takes time to prepare an old looking paper and wait for it to dry. Therefore, it is advisable to prepare several paper sheets in advance.

How to Draw an Antique Treasure Map

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

A ruler can be used.

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

Start by drawing with a pencil. When you reach the desired outcome, go over it with a pen and gently erase the pencil marks.

Supply for drawing:

For pencil drawing, visit Pencil Drawing Supply Review.

A regular pen can be used, though artist's drawing pens are much better. These are some recommended technical pens.

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, steering wheel, marine navigation devices and so on.

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

Suggested resources:

To create your own coloring pages, follow this guide - Tutorial: Homemade Coloring Pages.

If you want to reproduce nostalgic cartoon characters, visit How to Draw Comics in 3 Steps.

For MANY, high quality, craft & art classes, check out CreativeLive.