Treasure Map Project

My house is one massive hunk of pestilence if I ever saw one.

And I hate head lice with the white-hot intensity of a thousand burning suns.

We’ve done 2 treatments each on my head and my kids’ heads with Lice MD, which doesn’t burn or smell–but it is for real some greasy oily sticky gooey mess. And if it doesn’t do the trick, my next step is to look into actual napalm. We’ve nit-picked every night and we’ve washed all the things, and hopefully, hopefully, we’re in the clear.

Both Mia and Merrick have been battling some sort of freak fever that comes and goes with suddenness and violence and I am just plum worn out from bleach-wiping every conceivable surface of my home in a futile attempt to keep everybody healthy.

The dogs still smell skunk-tastic. My parents will be here for their bi-annual visit and I’ve decided that the house will just not be clean. I’m gonna leave crap everywhere–scrap papers, beautiful “drawings” that my children have done, various art projects that would be homeless outside of my kitchen. The paint splatters in the sink. This is the place we live, in all its colorful, germy glory.

Anyways, because my kids still climb walls in sickness and in health, and because I love The Goonies, we decided to make a treasure map.

This was a fun thing to do with my kids. They thought I was a totally rockstar when I busted out with fire. Everything else, they could pretty much do themselves. Folks, it doesn’t get more pinteresty than this.

Forgive me if I didn’t take pictures of all the steps because I’m forgetful like that, plus this is by no means hard to do. You will need:

  • paper (nothing too thick, because it will be difficult to achieve a nice old worn-out look. Any size will do, depending on how big you want your map to be. We used some butcher paper from a roll we bought at Sam’s.)
  • a lighter
  • acrylic craft paint: red, brown, and like a burnt sienna color.
  • black ink (If you don’t have any, some slightly watered-down black paint should work.)
  • paper towels, paint brushes, water, and a hair dryer.

First, we burned the paper along the edges and also we burned a few holes in the middle.

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Next, we took the paper over to the table and laid it flat. We dipped our paper towels in water and squeezed them out a little bit, then dabbed the paper towels in the brown and burnt sienna paint, and rubbed the paper towels along the paper, covering every inch of both sides. (Dry the paper on the first side with the hair dryer before moving onto the back side.) The idea is to not get too heavy with the paint–use just enough to add a little watered-down color. Using the paper towels helps because it spreads the color well, and you won’t have any obvious brush strokes. (P.S. I’ve heard of dipping paper in tea. While that does tint the paper slightly, it does not give it that uneven, old, weathered look.)

After we blow-dried the back side, we started on the ink. (We used Higgins.) We got a tiny paintbrush, dipped it in the ink, and started making our drawings and dots and letterings and whatnot–anything you might think your map might need.


Then we took the red acrylic paint and painted the “X”. Also we flinged some “blood splatters” because really, what is a treasure map if it is not soaked with blood?

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Finally we blow-dried the whole thing again, stood back, and marveled at our creation:


He has the key to One-Eyed Willy.


About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

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