Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Anniversary Gift: Mapping Your Love Story

Our two year anniversary was last month, so you could say this post is a bit late, but I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to share the Pinterest-inspired anniversary gift I made for my husband.  In our first two years of marriage, we moved around a few times so there are several places that played an important part in our "love story".

Long before our anniversary, I started noticing and pinning some very sweet DIY map wall art on Pinterest.  When our anniversary came along, we were both unemployed and had just moved back in with my parents.  A DIY map art project seemed to be the perfect gift to commemorate the important places that defined our first two years of marriage.  Not only that, it would be easy on the pocket book and would help up to decorate our room in my parents house so that we could make it into our new home.

I took several examples from Pinterest as inspiration, but I ultimately came up with a design all my own, in large part dictated by which supplies I could easily find.


maps for each significant place in your "love story"
square picture frames (or one short, long frame to place all maps within)
cardstock in colors that complement your decor and map colors
heart stencil, ruler or other straight edge, pencil, & scissors
repositionable glue

In all, I would say this project cost less than $20.  My mom is a AAA member, so she was able to get me the maps for free.  I only used a small portion of each map, so I folded them back up to save them for future craft projects (I'm thinking of making some coasters by using Mod Podge to stick maps to cheap tiles from the hardware store).  The picture frames were the main cost - I think each of these came out to around $5 on sale.  I used cardstock I already had, but it's fairly cheap anyway.  I bought a heart stencil for about a dollar.  The repositionable glue was a few dollars.  I hate including the full price of craft projects like the glue stencils or pack of cardstock since only a small portion is used for this particular project and these are items that I know will get used up eventually.

Even if you have other craft glue at home, I still recommend that you get repositionable glue.  It takes the pressure out of lining everything up perfectly the first time and potentially having to spend more money (and time) if you have to buy new supplies ans start over. 

While I initially loved the idea of putting all three places within one short, wide frame, I opted for three separate frames so we can add more as we add more children to our family or move away for more adventures together.

I also assumed we would put hang these on the wall (and we might eventually) but for now, I'm loving how they look lined up on the top of the desk hutch in our room.


Basic instructions:

1. Trace the heart stencil around significant places to you and your spouse (or the couple your are gifting this to). Cut the hearts out.

2. Cut out squares from two different colors of card stock to serve as the mat.  One should be the size of the glass in the frame.  One should be the same proportions as the frame, but smaller as to leave a border of the other color.

3. Using repositionable glue, glue the two pieces of cardstock in the middle and the heart in the middle of that.

4. Place in the frame and wrap for your honey or for a lucky couple celebrating their wedding or anniversary.

5. Receive an outpouring of gratitude and amazement for your sweet gift.

My favorite part about this gift is that it is very sweet and sentimental, but perfectly suitable for a man.  (Men may refuse to use maps, but they do think it's pretty studly decor.)  It's also a great conversation starter, when people visit your home, it's inevitable that they will ask the significance of the places on your wall.

The three places I chose to frame are "where we married", "our first home", and "where our daughter was born".  You can include little titles within your frame like these, if you like.  I had intended to, but due to the size of the frame and the heart stencil, there just wasn't enough room.


Some places to commemorate:

where you met
where you got engaged ("where she said yes!")
where you married ("where we said I do")
your first home
where each of your children were born
where you went on your honeymoon
each city/state/country you've lived in
where you married & each of your parents married

Another fun idea (one that I'm toying with as well): hang another picture below each of these of the two of you together in that place.  Or you can actually connect the two together by hanging them both on a ribbon and then hanging that on the wall.

Which places are part of your "love story"?  

Have you completed any DIY projects lately?  I'd love if you would leave the link in the comments so I can check out what you've been up to!


  1. What a cute idea!

  2. Catholic Cookie JarAugust 28, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    These are absolutely adorable! I like them better than the one I saw on Pinterest!

  3. Thanks, Caitlin! I was so pleased with how it came out (and that David loved it!). It was the first "craft" I made from Pinterest and I didn't even follow exact instructions! I'm starting to get a little confident with my craftiness!

  4. Thanks! I can't take credit for the idea, but I can take credit for actually following through with making it myself (that's a huge step for me!)

  5. Amy_YouShallGoOutWithJoyAugust 28, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    I love this! We have lived in many different places together, as well, so this would be perfect for us. The hardest part would be picking only a few cities to commemorate!

  6. I love this! We need something to hang over our bed and I had been looking for vintage hankies for NY (where he was born) LA (where I was born) and CO (where we live now, of course). This might fill in for that instead! I'm not keen on hearts, but a change in the shape and these would be great! Thanks for the awesome idea!

  7. If you want to do a different shape, you might be able to even find a mat to put the map behind. You can do so many takes on this.

  8. Amy, doing it for our 2nd anniversary meant that I didn't have too many places to choose from, but there were a few that I had to decide between (like our honeymoon location and where he proposed).

  9. Oh these are so cute! I might just have to make some for my husband too! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Looks great, Mandi! I've seen these on Pinterest a lot too, but usually as just the "where we met, where we married, where we live" and our meeting and engagement took place on the same piece of earth and we were married down the road, so it seemed boring! I like your idea of using the birthplace of your children--a wall with where we're lived could get crowded really fast!

  11. Actually, when I saw your pics, I thought you had cut a heart out of the cardstock and had the map laying behind it. (I might try it that way!) This is a fantastic project!

  12. For some people, a wall of where children were born would be very crowded too! So glad you liked it!

  13. Glad you like it! If you do make a set, you'll have to put up pictures!

  14. I didn't have a razor to be able to cut a shape out of the cardstock or I might have done it that way as well. There was no way I was going to attempt this with just scissors though!

  15. And that is completely true as well! Think of the Duggars! Though, I would hope if one had 19 children at least some of them were born in the same place :-) My great-grandparents' 19 were all born in the same house :-)

  16. We are hoping for a large family and I would hope that at least some of my children will be born in the same place!


I'd love to hear what you have to say! You can also contact me directly by emailing me at messywifeblessedlife@gmail.com.