Framing A Love Story

It’s raining! No, not outside, but it seems like I’m getting caught up in a lot of showers these days. I’m talking about wedding and baby showers! Don’t even ask how many I’ve been to in the past year—I’ve lost count. And while I know the happy couples and expecting parents may have put a lot of thought into the items on their registries, I sometimes like to go my own way, especially if it’s for a close friend. After all, Aunt Susan can buy you that Le Cruset pot that you just HAVE TO HAVE! Instead, I like to do something I little different.

Framing A Love Story - A wedding shower gift by

Framing A Love Story – A wedding shower gift by

For a recent wedding shower I decided to create something for the happy couple to display in their home. I used cutouts of maps to tell their love story, highlighting important moments in their relationship (where they met and fell in love, where they got engaged and the new city they recently moved to together). The personalization options for a gift like this are endless!

Here’s how it all came together:

Framing A Love Story

1. Gather all of your supplies at a workstation. Take apart your frame and used the spray adhesive to attach decorative paper (I chose linen) directly to the inside of the back piece of the frame (creating a base for you to work on).

2. Use the circle punch to cut meaningful locations out of an atlas. You can also print maps on the computer, but I liked the style of the maps in the atlas a bit better than what I could find online.

3. Use a computer to design any other text that you may want incorporated into your design. Print your designs and text on heavy card stock and cut out with decorative scissors if desired.

4. Lay out your design and use the spray adhesive (a nice thin, even coat is all you need) to attach everything. Put the frame back together and give as a gift or hang on the wall.

SWWU Tip 1: Though it’s a little pricy, the spray adhesive I recommended above is well worth the investment. It allows you to use the thinnest coat of glue possible, which is ideal when working with thin paper. It dries very quickly, so make sure you’re putting pieces exactly where you want them when using it.

SWWU Tip 2: I was able to find an inexpensive 2013 atlas in a used book store for just $3. You can find similar deals at stores near your house or on eBay and Amazon.

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The Long Goodbye

Saying goodbye can be a pretty difficult thing to do. Especially when the people you’re sending off are starting a new life on the other side of the country. Good friends of ours recently did just this and I think we’re both still recovering. Sure we were there for several farewell dinners and parties, and we were there to help out the day they left, but there’s noting that feels as final as watching a moving van pull away, carrying your friends, all of their possessions and their adorable dog.

Saying Goodbye by

Saying Goodbye by

I scratched my head for quite some time trying to come up with a gift to help send our friends off. In the end, it wasn’t one gift they received, but several, all individually wrapped.   The gifts were all wrapped in subway maps, a final nod to the life they were leaving behind in New York City. Each had a tag with a number attached to it and we gave our friends instructions as to when they should open each package during their five-day journey. First up: a road atlas (in case they didn’t have a great connection with their GPS service at some point).

The Long Goodbye by

The Long Goodbye by

I won’t share the details of every gift because they probably only make sense to our friends, but I do think adding some silly car games like Mad Libs (who knew those still existed?), yummy snacks, a toy for the dog and some home maintenance books to brush up on was a good bet for this type of journey. When they reached their destination they unwrapped their last gift, a bottle of bubbly (with some cups) so they could toast their arrival in their new home sweet home.

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