This is a project I've had in the back of my mind for a long time. Like so many other projects, it's taken me a while to sit down and take the time to finish up this (very tedious and time consuming) map project. I have a seemingly endless supply of mostly useless small pieces of scrapbook paper. This was an ideal project for using up some of those tiny hoarded scraps.
I had an old, cheap world map poster that I decided to sacrific in order to use it as a stencil for this project. I repurposed the back board from a broken poster frame that was the same size as my map poster and wrapped it with brown butcher paper as a background for my map. Cardboard or foam board would have worked just as well for this.
This entire project was done with no other tools beyond a pencil, glue stick, and exacto knife (I find swivel knives to be the best tool for detailed cutting work). I started by cutting out the continents and then using the map as a stencil to trace the placement of the continents onto the brown background. I left islands attached to the map poster, saving them to add last in order to not loose tiny cut out island pieces.
I started the tedious task of cutting out countries individually, tracing the country from the map poster onto a piece of patterened paper, then carefully cutting out the patterened country and gluing it into place on the brown background using a glue stick. In retrospect, it probably would have been a little easier to clump some of the pieces together, such as gluing all countries from a continent onto a separate continenent piece (perhaps using a patterened paper, so very small countries could simply be represented by the background paper peeking through, rather than having to struggle to cut out a tiny shape and place appropriately). The islands were easy to add at the end, once again placing the original cut up wall map on top and using as a stencil.
I absolutely love the way this project turned out, and while it certainly took a little while of careful cutting work, it was actually extremely easy. Even easier if you have something like a cricuit or other cutting machine!