Faux Leather Treasure Map

by Lydia Fiedler

Create pliable, realistic faux leather with paper and a cosmetic product.


  • Brown paper grocery bag
  • Water mister with a fine sprayer
  • Hair silk or similar
  • Waterproof ink
  • Map stamp (Hero Arts Antique Hero Map used here)
  • Matte or gloss medium
  • Gilding Wax or gold ink (Hero Arts Hero Wax Gold used here)


  1. Step 1

    Stamp a map stamp or desired image onto a grocery bag with a waterproof ink, or leave the bag blank. The written tutorial will show the blank example, and the video will show the stamped one.

  2. Step 2

    Use a fine water mister to spray the bag, and gently crumple it up into a ball. The paper should be just damp, not soaking wet. Allow to air dry crumpled. You can also gently dry it with a heat gun.

  3. Step 3

    Unfold the bag gently, and smooth it out - but not all the way flat - you still want to see the wrinkles.

  4. Step 4

    Rub the map with BioSilk or a similar product until it's a consistent, much darker color. Rub it deep into the paper fibers.

  5. Step 5

    Crumple the bag again and allow to air dry.

  6. Step 6

    Open bag and gently smooth.

  7. If desired, use the direct to paper method to add ink to the high points, and/or ink blend the edges with a darker color. Both will age your map or plain leather piece.

  8. Step 7

    Cover the map with gloss or matte medium and let dry.

  9. Step 8

    With your fingers, lightly add gilding wax to the high points of the map and allow to dry.

  10. Step 9

    Finish your project. This is the blank version.

  11. Here's the stamped version.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Faux Leather Treasure Map. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

What could I substitute for biosilk?
muscrat  |  Sat Jun 25, 2022 at 11:03 AM
Kathy, do you have glycerin?
dini  |  Sun Jun 26, 2022 at 9:40 AM

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