Handmade and Fan-Made: The Marauder’s Map Brought to Life from Scratch
We here at MuggleNet love a good DIY project. The more creative, the better! But we love them more if it comes from our readers. Harry Potter fan Bianca Van der Auwera from Belgium created her own Marauder’s Map from scratch, and she was kind enough to share it with us.
Ms. Van der Auwera, a proud member of Hufflepuff House, really got into the Harry Potter fandom in college when a friend encouraged her to follow the series more closely. She credits her friend with having “converted [her] to the ‘geek side.'”
I remember at that point I’d seen all the Harry Potter movies except the last one. I’ve always liked the movies and that magical world. But then, finally, I watched the last movie and that is when the real addiction/passion – call it what you want – started.
It’s always wonderful to have a friend you can share your passions with. In Ms. Van der Auwera’s case, the same friend who encouraged her to get a little geekier also went to Harry Potter: The Exhibition in Brussels, Belgium, with her. There they saw props, replicas, and collections that inspired Ms. Van der Auwera to start her project.
I started looking up some info on the exact content of the map and found a few reviews of the official replica from the Noble Collection. People compared it to the movie scenes where the map is visible and concluded that the official replica is actually not so great. And I completely share that opinion. Besides, the ‘DIY’ versions that are available on the [W]eb are not at all challenging.
Despite not having the most accurate reference for her own map, Bianca Van der Auwera was still eager to make “a real authentic – i.e. completely handmade – version of the Map.”
So there was no other option than to start from scratch and make everything my own. Also, being quite a perfectionist, this was an ideal project to get my hands on.
Once she got started, Van der Auwera spent over 100 hours creating her Marauder’s Map. Before anything could get going, she had to research.
I gathered as much information as I could about the exact content of the Map. That goes from the movie scenes to the official replica, to reviews comparing these two, to the pictures of the Map I took at the [exhibition]. I also explicitly looked for reviews talking about ‘errors’ in the existing replicas. I really wanted my Map to be as accurate as possible.
There was some sizing involved with the layout of the map. Ms. Van der Auwera said that cutting even a few millimeters too small meant she’d have to start over. The amount of patience and dedication must have been sky-high!
Since standard paper comes in white, she had to color it a brown to make it look aged. Then she could start the content of the pages.
Before actually drawing, I’d always sketch the geometry of the page with a pencil first, along with a few more difficult parts. Due to the ‘scaling problem’, this was not always a smooth process. For the inner page, I relied on the [sic] artistic freedom, and I used [‘T]he Tale of the Three Brothers[‘] as text for the corridor lines and magical spells to fill up the space.
The perfectionism really seems to have paid off! The details on the pages definitely look like they came straight from the movie. Ms. Van der Auwera said the hardest part of the whole map was getting the math right and “knowing you cannot make any mistake because you can’t simply start over.”
Bianca says she doesn’t have any plans to start a new project anytime soon and that her version of the Marauder’s Map was all in good fun.
Since I’ve put a lot of work and effort into it, it’s nice that other people enjoy it too. If you have a creative side to your personality, I can definitely recommend starting a personal project like this.
I’d like to extend a special thank you to Bianca Van der Auwera for sharing her Marauder’s Map with MuggleNet.
If you have a project you’d like to show off, you can email all relevant information to firstname.lastname@example.org.