Free Valentine’s Day Gift Download: Make This Heart & Map Print!

Free Valentine’s Day Gift Download: Make This Heart & Map Print!
A sentimental DIY Valentine's Day gift idea, regardless of what stage your relationship is in.
DIY Valentine's Day Gift Idea - How to Make This Heart & Map Print!

Last year we put together a collection of Valentine’s Day gift ideas that are available on Etsy. Far and away the most popular with you guys was the heart and map print.

This year, I’ll show you how to make your own simply and affordably!

This is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift no matter how far along in the relationship you are. If it’s a relatively new relationship, the maps you choose can be their hometown and where they live now. If you’ve been together for awhile, the left side can be where they're from, and the right side where you’re from.

If you both grew up in different places than where you live now, a nice longer term relationship gift would be the heart with 3 maps, with your birth maps on the outside and where you guys live together now in the middle.  If you live in your hometown, you could choose ancestral countries, favorite places you’ve visited together, honeymoon spots, really anything that has value to the both of you!

DIY heart map tutorial

Step 1: Download the Photoshop File

Right click, and Save File As:

Two Map Version Download

Three Map Version Download

The Photoshop files use color layers as examples instead of maps to keep the file size down. (With map examples the PSD was over 100mb, without they're 6mb.)

Step 2 : Find Your High Resolution Map Images

Go to Google Image search and search for “YOUR CITY Vintage Map”.

Click on Search Tools, and under size, change to “Larger than… 4 MP”. Scroll through the options and find one you like. If there aren’t any results you like drop the image size down to 2 MP and see what comes up. The higher res, the better the details will be on the print. If you still can’t find anything you like, you can search by a county (Allegheny County vintage map) or  a broader region (western Pennsylvania vintage map).

Google Image Search - Large Vintage Maps

There's also a fantastic archive of giant maps at Big Map Blog.

Step 3: Paste the Maps into the Photoshop File

Once you find the map, click on “View image” in the Google image viewer. You’ll be taken to the full resolution image where you can right click and choose “Copy”.

Google Image Search - View Image

Back in Photoshop, go to the Layers palette, which should be on the lower right side. Find and click on the layer called “Left Map Example”. Paste in the map you’d like to be on the left side of the heart.

To get the map to be in the shape of the heart, we’ll use a “clipping mask” on the newly pasted map. To do that, hold down the Alt / Option key on your keyboard and place the cursor between the new map layer and the “Left Map Example” layer and click, like so:

How to create a clipping mask

Create a clipping mask by holding down Alt / Option and clicking the line between the two layers

DIY map heart

Repeat that process for the right side map for the two map version or the middle and right maps for the three map version.

To reposition what part of the map shows within the heart shapes, simply use the Move Tool and drag the layer you pasted in until the portion of the map you want is visible. Do this for each section.

Reposition map

If the part of the map you want to be visible is on the edge, make sure the Example layers are not accidentally peeking out. You can guarantee this by clicking on the Eye next to the Example layer to make it invisible.

Step 4: Save & Print

Once you have your map the way you like it, simply save it as a high quality JPG or TIFF file and have it printed wherever is convenient for you. I love Costco, their 16″ x 20″ prints are less than $15 and super high quality. You can also check out Staples, or any local print shop will be able to help you out.

Step 5: Frame It

The Photoshop file is a 16” x 20” image. I use Ikea frames for all of the Free Art Downloads; for the price and style they can’t be beat. Some of them use plastic instead of glass, but the added expense of going to a frame store always seems too prohibitive.

That’s it!

If you end up making one, I'd love to see how it turned out! Share a photo in the comments or tag us on Instagram @primermagazine.

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.

  • Tim Wilson

    Very cool. This is a great idea and I like the design, thanks.

    • Andrew

      Glad you like it!

  • ds

    great idea! love this series. In the past I’ve made the wooden framed map and printed out the old steamship pic as well. thank you for the decorating help.

    • Andrew

      Awesome!! That’s really cool! 🙂

  • Matt M

    Really cool idea. I can also see my house in the top example!

  • RS

    Does anyone have instructions to do this on Gimp?

  • Lucas Oliveira

    My girlfriend is from Kentucky and I’ve made her one. I haven’t went to staples to print it yet but here are my result. Also for those who don’t own Photoshop you can do a 30 day trial for free. Link:

    Thank you for the idea.

  • Lucas Oliveira

    Forgot to upload image 🙂

    • Andrew

      Awesome!!! Looks great, hope she likes it. 🙂

  • Saul Prado

    I can’t paste in the image, what am I doing wrong?

    • Heidi Nam

      How did you paste the image?

  • Saul Prado

    wait sorry, got it to paste in, but how do i zoom in on the portion of the map i want to be on the left?

    • Andrew

      Saul, Go to Edit > Transform > Scale, or Control/Command + T. That will turn on the scale bounding box and you can drag the corners to be bigger or smaller. Hold shift while you’re dragging to maintain the aspect ratio. Let me know if you have any more questions!

      • Saul Prado

        Got it, looking great so far. Thanks man!

        • Andrew

          Sure! Love to see it when you’re done.

  • Kevin

    Where do you open the images if you have a Mac? Do you need photoshop app?

    • Andrew

      Yeah, these ate photoshop files, but you may use a free alternative like Gimp.

  • M.Tz

    What mat did you use for the top left black frame?

  • Kahlil Ortiz

    Anyone know how to do this using GIMP?

  • Raheem

    I really like this but I can’t quite find a map that is large enough to fill a section of the heart. Is there a way to enlarge the maps once you paste them into PS?

  • ColbyJH

    Excellent idea, Andrew. The girlfriend loved it!

  • Juan Carlos Lopez Torres

    Great personal gift from the heart add a few “happy times” flowers and GF will love it!

  • Scott

    Can I use Lightroom for this? thanks

    • Andrew

      Not for including your own map images.

  • Fanny Lau

    cool design

  • Joe House

    Hello, It will not allow me to paste the pictures

  • tinyCosmos

    What maps are in the sample? They look great!