A couple of weeks after our 5-year anniversary, I finally gave Travis his anniversary gift. The first part was a map project I had seen on chicrunner’s blog, which was a version of this one on Kayla Danelle, which was a version of this one on minimoz.
I took all of their ideas and put my own spin on it. The map lives on…
First, where to get the maps. There had been a map store near our house but it closed. I thought about buying an atlas from Walmart but ended up using Rand McNally’s website to make jpgs of each map I wanted to include. I put those jpgs on a flash drive and went to Walmart.
They have a fancy new machine that lets you print your pictures instantly. Instead of having to wait an hour, I got them in 5 minutes. Sweet!
I also bought a frame, scrapbook paper and small rubber stamp letters (for $0.99!) while I was there.
When I got home, I started by making a heart cutout that I could use to turn each map into the shape of a heart.
Then I set to work stamping out the words for each map caption. I had planned on using sticker letters but couldn’t find any at Walmart that were the size/style/color I wanted so this worked out great. I also got to use one of stamp pads I’ve had since, like, 5th grade.
The maps and captions are:
- fell in love (University of Minnesota campus)
- got engaged (Chicago waterfront)
- said I do (Mounds View, MN)
- made a home (Wheat Ridge, CO)
Finally, I was ready to put the maps into the frame. I’m pretty sure I bought a 13 x 15 frame, with no mat or anything.
At first, I had planned to just use the blank side of the picture the frame came with as the background but the maps were just a little cream-colored so it didn’t look right. I decided to put a border around each map and toyed with laying it out like this:
But I ran out of time and had to pick Travis up from the airport so I hid everything away to finish the next day.
When I got it back out, I decided that I wasn’t a huge fan of the diamond layout and that it might work better to lay the maps out vertically instead of horizontally. I put the scrapbook paper down first in a block pattern and taped the back with looped Scotch tape.
Then I laid out the pictures and captions.
Once I was satisfied, I carefully lifted up a corner at a time to tape them down exactly as they were.
It still needed something. I took the map/paper insert back out and added silver hearts leftover from our wedding invitations to “mark the spot” of each relevant location.
I also added a note for Travis on the back.
Done! I really like how this project turned out and it didn’t take very long – maybe 2-3 hours?
But since this wasn’t really a “guy” thing, I also bought Travis a tarp.
It’s a practical thing but also a running joke between Travis and me. Several years ago, when we were trying to decide what to buy some friends for their wedding, Travis wanted to get them a tarp. I retorted, “You don’t buy someone a tarp for their wedding!” But he insisted – “It’s on their registry!” So we bought them a tarp, along with something else more traditional like bath towels. Now whenever we’re shopping for a wedding or shower gift, he suggests a tarp. Sorry Trav, once is enough. Unless the gift is for you, I guess.