Back when I was playing Dungeons and Dragons, I used to make rather nifty maps for the players on special quests.

This is how I made them:

  1. Start out with a regular paper bag, thinner ones tend to work better. Cut out a section that will not have creases or overlaid edges.
  2. Soak them in instant coffee or iodine. The cheaper the better.
  3. Dry them using an oven or the top of a woodstove. This gives you interesting random mis-colored areas.
  4. Draw your map or add your text using waterproof India ink and a quill or nib. I've made maps that were 6 inches by 4 inches, and it took me a couple of days at this stage. Take your time.
  5. Reheat the paper to make sure the ink is dried.
  6. Using cheap cooking oil, lightly coat the paper on both sides. Don't soak it - put on a light layer so it is absorbed by the paper. You may need several light coats with thick paper.
  7. Reheat the paper.
  8. Fold the paper as if it were to be stored in a pocket or pouch.
  9. Put it (folded) in a paper bag and place a large weight on top of it. The paper bag will absorb the excess oil, and the weight will also help to set your folds. I used to use a 55lb anvil on a Franklin woodstove. Make sure you don't make the woodstove or oven too hot, or combustion will take place!
  10. After a day, re-fold the creases in the opposite direction and repeat the above step. Do this process until you're satisfied.
  11. You may want to put burned spots or burn the edges. My best maps have this.

Some of the maps I came up with look very authentic. I've had them over 20 years, and they still look great.