Lonely Planet Writer

Couple create stunning string and nail map of Europe to mark off adventures

Here is a beautiful and simple idea for the artistic travel enthusiast with a passion for design.

Tom and Brittany Horn's map of Europe.
Tom and Brittany Horn’s map of Europe. Image by Tom Horn

Tom and Brittany Horn created this stunning map of Europe using the simple tools of string and nails on wooden board. They planned the project as an interesting and interactive way to mark off the areas that they had visited on recent trips to the continent.

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The couple created the interactive design with nails and strings. Image by Tom Horn

“We started by using some wooden posts from a fence panel that fell down in our backyard. Then, we got a large sheet of paper and traced the outline of Europe on it using a projector. We nailed the map to the wooden boards along the outline using white nails. When the outline was complete, we tore the paper off and attached all the nails with white string,” Tom explains.

Creating the outline with nails and paper
Creating the outline with nails and paper Image by Tom Horn

“Lastly, we used larger nails for our actual destinations and attached different places with a range of coloured yarn. It really pops!”

The project took about 5 hours to complete in total, with the bulk of the time being spent nailing the individual pieces into the board.

The completed map.
The completed map. Image by Tom Horn

The map features places like London, Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Cinque Terre, Vienna, Berlin and Madrid.

The couple plan on travelling to Vancouver, Seattle and Portland soon and will add the adventure to their map when they return.

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Brittany Horn with her little helper have fun making the map. Image by Tom Horn

You can follow the Horn’s adventure on their personal blog here.