How do I make a map of a fake town?

Written by amma marfo
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How do I make a map of a fake town?
Maps of fake places can look very real. (Thumbtack in a map image by Nikolay Okhitin from

Drawing up a map of a fake town can be a creative way to make a world of your own, enhance a game of pretend or create a map to complement a work of fiction. Whether you want to make your map look real or you want your map to show cartoon creatures on it, you can make your map as simple or elaborate as you want it to be.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Sketch a light outline of your town on a piece of paper to create borders. Select an area on your map outside of the border to place a compass rose to indicate north, south, east and west.

  2. 2

    Denote mountain ranges by placing upside down V's on your paper. Draw curving lines across the page to add in rivers or streams. Add an ocean, a desert, forests or large prairies.

  3. 3

    Draw in the focus of the town by adding main buildings, streets and houses. Keep the drawings light and simple. Add in any other features of the town you would like, such as a local pool or pond, parks, tree houses, pathways or haunted houses.

  4. 4

    Look over the map to ensure you like the positioning of each of the items you have drawn. Make adjustments as needed to remove or change the location of any items.

  5. 5

    Use your pencil or a pen to darken the lines you want to keep for your landmarks and buildings. Make grassy textures in the fields, shade in the mountains and draw ripples in bodies of water.

  6. 6

    Write the name of the town in plain script or decorative and label any streets as desired. Add the names of border towns if you want to incorporate the idea that other towns exist just beyond your main town.

Tips and warnings

  • By working with pencil at first you can get a feel for the final look of your map before creating a finished map using pen, markers, coloured pencils or even watercolour.

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