How to Make a Pirate Treasure Map: Inspired by NETFLIX Families

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Netflix.

It's summer time! For many families that means summer vacations, time with family and friends, and lots of relaxation. It also means lots of time home with the kids, and parents looking for activities the keep those little minds and bodies occupied. At my house, we swim, play outside, build forts, have picnics, shop, cook, and do crafts (not all in the same day... well maybe with a lot of coffee). We also stream Netflix to mix things up for family movie nights, long car rides, when the kids need down time (lord knows they refuse to nap!), or even to spark some imagination... Which leads me to the Pirate Treasure Map we made!

Netflix.com/families is new, available to members and non-members, and has lots of new categories we've been into lately. Some of our favorites are TV for Curious Kids–such cool age-appropriate sciencey stuff there, Are We There Yet?– good for long car rides, Quiet Time– when they just won't nap anymore, Get Ready for Preschool, and Family Movie Night. And there are no annoying commercials, all for $7.99/month.

This particular week Jake and the Never Land Pirates and Tinker Bell were the kiddos choices and got them talking about adventures, and pirates, and treasure, and all fun stuff you get to think about when you're a kid. ("Mom, could we fly if we had pixie dust?") My 3 year old has an official Jake pirate set from his birthday but the map it came with was flimsy and paper and didn't even last a week (lame). So he asked if we could buy another one. That's when I thought I could probably make one even better than the original. Here's what ya do.

Here's how to make the Pirate Treasure Map:

  • Large sheet of paper - mine was 17" x 11" copy paper
  • Scrap of thin light-colored solid fabric, same size as your paper
  • Markers
  • Water Colors (maybe some other paint if you have it)
  • Wash Out for Kids Mod Podge (or regular, but the kids one washes out of clothes easy)
  • Lighter or Candle - this part is for the parents... don't set your kid free with fire!

Step 1
Seal your paper and fabric together. Paint your entire sheet of paper with Mod Podge. Then smooth your fabric on top of that, removing bubbles. Don't worry if it doesn't match up exactly on the edges. Then paint another layer of Mod Podge over the fabric to really seal the deal.

Your paper and fabric should be glued together now.

Step 2
Paint it up.
When that is dry, paint your paper with a mix of mostly brown, black, and a little yellow and orange water colors. Make it really watery and add more paint towards the edges so it gets darker as you go out. Let that dry.

Since that wasn't as dark as I wanted, I got some black acrylic paint and rubbed it around the edges with a paper towel.

Step 3
Create your map.

Print out, use stickers, draw, cut out from magazines, etc. any images you think would work on a treasure map. Skulls, a compass, a treasure, palm trees, pirate ships, whatever. Mod Podge those suckers around. If you're feeling artsy, you can draw some trees, or mountains, or water.

Step 4
X marks the spot.
Connect all your images with a swirly dashed line and a big X where the treasure spot is. I drew mine with a red marker. (you might have to wait for the Mod Podge to dry) I also added a little detail via squiggly lines with a sharpie.

Step 5
More paint!When everything is dry, paint over it again with your water colors to blend everything and make it look old. The more wrinkles the better!

Step 6
Feel the burn!

Okay, you don't feel it, but the paper should. Burn the edges. I'm pretty sure you get it but, this step is not for the kiddos! I stood over my kitchen sink in case I needed to quickly extinguish my map (or myself). I used a lighter and slowly burnt the edges of my map all the way around. I just lit it and pretty much blew it out immediately, section by section. Sorry, no pics of the process... couldn't burn, hold, and take pics without lighting myself on fire. lol

You might want to brush off the ashes a bit... a little messy.

Now roll 'er up and congratulate yourself on making one durable (seriously, I tried to rip it.. can't) pirate map good for many adventures to come!

Arrrrrrrrrrrrr! Shiver me timbers that's a nice Pirate Treasure Map!

And, I had to leave this one in. Big sister totally annoyed that her little brother gets the spotlight for a moment. Keeping it real!

So next time you're looking for a little creative inspiration for your summer time family crafts, consider Nextflix.

Netflix.com/Families is a new destination designed to meet your family’s summertime entertainment needs. On Netflix.com/Families, parents can find lists of movies and TV shows for all kinds of special summer moments.

Visit www.Netflix.com/Families for more information on the best ways to stream as well as videos from families using Netflix.


  1. LOL I love Kaley's expression! Your map turned out great!!!

    1. I was so focused on Austin while taking the pictures I didn't even see her face until I went back through them. Jamey and I were cracking up. That's 100% Kaley.

  2. Awesome map, with three little boys living with me this is going to be an excellent project. And they are very much Jake and the Neverland Pirates fans.