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How to Make a Goonie Map / Pirate Map

Yesterday was the 29th anniversary of the release of The Goonies; that 80’s movie about kids discovering a Pirate treasure. Frankly The Goonies is my favorite movie of all time. I used to live it, breathe it, dream it, and try to reenact it. You can bet I tried setting boobie traps in my back yard, had a crush on Sean Astin, and perfected the art of Goonie map making to the tee.
So today I teach you how to make an awesome Goonie map that looks authentically old and can pass any pirate test out there. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

1. Rectangular piece of paper.
2. Fountain pen (any pen with “flowy” ink).
3. 1 cup of black coffee
4. 1 coffee can or similarly sized circular object.
5. Lighter or matches
6. Ruler
7. Paint Brush
8. Imagination

Making your map:

Goonie Map_2014-06-08_003
Made circa 1988

I based my map on the Goonie Map. It had the outline of a coast with numbers around it, burnt edges, holes, Spanish clues, musical notes on the back, and a split image of a doubloon on each side. Of course you can make your pirate map as you wish.

1. Draw a coastline and set your landmarks (leave some space on the sides for the doubloon). Pirates stayed near the coastlines and used landmarks to identify locations.

1a. Use a fountain pen or similar ink pen. Back in pirate days ballpoints were nonexistent.

2. Write clues for each landmark. You don’t want your map to be obvious to the average joe. The clues in The Goonies were written in Spanish. I made mine of what I remembered of the film (circa 1988). NOTE: The notes are not absolutely necessary, but they look cool.

3. Fold your map vertically in 4 (first fold vertically in half, then repeat once more). You should have 4 equal sections like in the picture above.

Goonie Map_2014-06-08_0024. The doubloon:

a. Bring the two outermost sections of the paper together and lay flat. Use the coffee can or circular object to draw a circle centered between the two sections. Half the circle should be on one section of the paper and the other half and the other section.
b. Unfold the paper. Use the ruler to draw a line closing each semicircle.
c. Re-fold the paper. Decorate your doubloon so half the information is on one section and the other half on the other. I used “1632”, the year mentioned in the movie and “The Inferno” which was the name of One-Eyed Willy’s boat. I also added 3 shapes imitating the rocks used to identify the location of the tunnels in the movie. Mikey uses the doubloon to identify these rocks and reach the restaurant.

5. Turn your map over. Draw a musical pentagram on the top edge of the map (5 horizontal lines with the musical symbol on the left edge of the pentagram).


6. Fill your pentagram with notes. I made those up, as I frankly did not remember the notes Andy plays in the movie.

7. Now for the fun part. Use the paint brush to paint your map with coffee. This will make your map look authentically old and withered. Make sure to paint on both sides and cover the entire paper with the coffee.

8. Lay flat to dry.

9. NOTE: Children. Get an adult to help you with this step! Do not attempt this on your own!
Once your map is dry proceed to create the burnt off edges. The map is actually burnt during the movie in a scene that later gets edited out.

Goonie Map_2014-06-08_0049a. Roll your map into a cylinder. Use the lighter or match to burn one of the edges. As soon as it catches fire, blow it to put it out. The edges will continue to burn red for a little bit and soon turn off.
9b. Repeat this step with the other edge.
9c. Now unroll the map. You should have the top and bottom burnt.
9d. Re-roll the map starting from the bottom so the remaining two sides are on the edges of the cylinder.
9e. Burn each side of the cylinder as in steps 9a and 9b.

10. Unroll your map. You should now have all the edges burnt. Use the lighter or match to burn a small hole in the map from behind the paper. Blow out as soon as there is a flame. The edges of the hole will continue to burn a little expanding it.

11. Repeat step 10 to make as many holes as desired.

Violá, you now have an awesome Goonie / Pirate Map!


I like putting my thoughts and ideas down on paper. Why not share them with the rest of the world?

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