First Anniversary Gift – Map Hearts Display Tutorial (and Other Paper Gift Ideas)

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When it came time to think about first wedding anniversary gifts for Mr. BFT, I knew I wanted to find a clever spin on the traditional first anniversary gift of paper.  I thought long and hard about what I could make based on budget, timeline (last minute shopper, here), and skill level.  I ended up making a framed Map Hearts Display based on some inspiration I had seen on Pinterest a while back.  I didn’t follow any specific tutorials; I just came up with it based on memory and the materials I had available to me.

First Anniversary Gift - Map Hearts Display Tutorial (and Other Paper Gift Ideas)

Supplies: 

First Anniversary Gift - Map Hearts Display Tutorial (and Other Paper Gift Ideas)

Picture frame (mine was 10×14)
Paper for the backing
Maps
Paper for behind the maps and labels (optional)
Ruler
Glue stick
Scissors
Pencil
Pen or marker (or Calligraphy set if you’re fancy like me)

Step One:

Step one for me was printing out some maps.  I decided on three locations: Where we met, where we married, and where we honeymooned.  I looked at a lot of online maps and choose ones from Bing, because they were the prettiest.  I took a screenshot of the desired area, saved it as an image, and printed the image on my color computer.  I did this for all three locations.

Step Two:

Cut out your map hearts.  First I made a heart template by folding a plain piece of paper in half and cutting a heart shape.  I did this several times until I found the perfect size and shape.  Then I put the heart template over the map and traced with a circle.  Then I cut out the heart just inside the pencil line.

First Anniversary Gift - Map Hearts Display Tutorial (and Other Paper Gift Ideas)

I did this for all three maps.

First Anniversary Gift - Map Hearts Display Tutorial (and Other Paper Gift Ideas)

Step Three:

Since my paper backing was white, I wanted to add some framing to my map hearts to make them stand out against the white background.  I had some left over cardstock from when we made our invitations which proved to work perfectly!  (And I loved that I could tie in something leftover from our wedding into the design).  I placed the heart map onto the cardstock and then carefully cut the cardstock around the heart, about a half centimeter.  This step wasn’t precise, at all.  I just did it by hand.  Then when I had one cardstock heart, I used that as a template for the other two hearts.

First Anniversary Gift - Map Hearts Display Tutorial (and Other Paper Gift Ideas)

First Anniversary Gift - Map Hearts Display Tutorial (and Other Paper Gift Ideas)

Step Four: 

Glue the map hearts to the cardstock hearts, then the cardstock hearts to your paper backing.  Again, this step was not very precise.  Careful measuring with a ruler may have resulted in a more even design but I felt confident enough to eyeball it, and everything came out pretty good.

First Anniversary Gift - Map Hearts Display Tutorial (and Other Paper Gift Ideas)

First Anniversary Gift - Map Hearts Display Tutorial (and Other Paper Gift Ideas)

Step Five:

Make your labels.  I decided to again use leftover invitation paper scraps, and I put my new Calligraphy skills to use.  I wrote the words on the paper, then used a ruler to measure out a 2 inch wide by 1 inch high rectangle, which I cut out.  I then snipped the corners off to give the labels some softness.   Then I glued the labels underneath the corresponding heart.

First Anniversary Gift - Map Hearts Display Tutorial (and Other Paper Gift Ideas)

Then I put it back in the frame and that’s it!  I’m thinking I might paint the frame black before I hang it, as it doesn’t stand out very well against our white walls.   Other than that, I’m very happy with how this project came out!

(Oh, and Mr. BFT seemed to like it very much!  Although I think the “paper” part of the gift was lost on him.)

When I was stuck with what to get/make for a first anniversary gift, my friends were kind enough to offer some suggestions.  Here’s some of the things they came up with, as well as some additional First “Paper” Anniversary gift ideas I thought of:

– Tickets to a concert or sporting event
 
– Paper gift certificates for a restaurant or movie tickets
 
– Love letters to open at specific times in the future (anniversaries, if you buy a house, if you have children, if you get into a really bad fight, etc)
 
– Personalized coupon book (coupon good for one date night, one back massage, etc)
 
– Monogrammed or “From the desk of ….” stationery
 
– Moleskin notebook
 
– A photo album of wedding/anniversary pictures (we love Blurb books!)
 
– A puzzle of a place that’s important to you, or a customized wedding image puzzle
 
– A custom art piece
 
– Stock (online sites will send you a framed stock certificate)
 
– A scrapbook
 
– First edition books from your partner’s favorite author, or a book signed by a favorite author
 
– Family crest

Do you have any Paper Anniversary ideas to add to the list?