Wednesday, July 11, 2012

First Anniversary “Paper” gift: Framed Travel (he)Art!

So I totally got this idea from Pinterest, and given how much we love to travel, it was the perfect idea.  Plus, the traditional anniversary gift is “paper”, and maps most certainly fit in that category!
Each of these hearts represents a place we traveled to together.  I could have actually made more hearts, but I stuck with the “top” 16 sites. 

I did this whole project in one day, after work, at my desk, so that should speak volumes as to how easy it was!

Step One: Find your map source.  For all our domestic travel sites, I used an out-of-date road atlas my insurance company gave me (aka Free).  For the overseas maps, I just did Google Image searches  for each place (example: “Munich road map”) and picked the map that looked best/highest resolution, etc.

Step Two: Find a heart template.  This can also be found online, or if you’re reallllly good at third grade art projects, you can make your own heart shaped template.  Print out of a piece of medium weight paper, cut out, bam.  I sized mine to be about two inches wide & tall at the longest points.

Step Three: Make some hearts!  Position your heart over the part of the map you want to use, then trace around it.  Then cut the heart out, making sure to trim off the line you drew for a nice clean look.  Repeat about 15 times.

Note: if you have an area where you’d like to show two places that are really close together, you can position your heart so that both fall within the heart but neither is centered.  I had to do this with a few—for example, we live about 20 minutes from where we went to college together, and another 20 minutes from the site of our wedding, so I positioned the heart so that all three would fall inside.  Also—we grew up about an hour from each other, but worked together in high school in a place that was about equidistant from both our hometowns---so I included all three of those in the same heart.
 IMG_20120615_174941 (I keep my hearts in a sleeve…an envelope-shaped sleeve… *ba-bum ching*!)

Step Four: Plan your layout.  I went with (mostly) chronological, with the upper-left most heart being the one that had our home towns & where we worked together in high school.  But you can make this completely random…it’s totally up to you.

Step Five: Prepping your frame & background.  The original picture I saw on Pinterest used a white background, but I wanted something that looked a little antique-ish.  I bought a 12” by 12” frame at Hobby Lobby (typically used for framing records…then I wandered over to the scrap book section…because there’s 12” x 12” sheets of background paper stock for about 59 cents.
Using a sheet of paper also allows you to more easily position your hearts evenly.  If you’re using the same 4 by 4 set up that I’m showing here and a 12” x 12” frame, then math tells us that each heart needs to fit inside a 3” by 3” square.  You can flip your sheet of paper over and draw these squares in, AND if you’re really fixated on being perfectly center, you can cross-hatch these to find the exact center of each square.  Then take a small pin, and poke a hole through the paper at the center, and then from the pretty, clean front side, you see the dot where you need to center your heart.

Step Six: Make your Hearts Float!  I wanted my hearts to “hover” off the page away from the background.  So, I used the cardboard corner protectors that came with my frame:

And trimmed off 16 squares that would be completely hidden under the hearts.  Then I attached these to the backside of my hearts:

Then I started placing my hearts on the background, using my ruler as a guide.
IMG_20120615_182322 (SanFran: where we stayed with my aunts for a few days, took a bay tour, went to the LucasArts Studio to see the Yoda fountain… :D)

Step Seven: Finish up!  Once your hearts look nice & even, place the sheet w/the hearts inside the frame & close up shop.   Admire your handiwork.

We exchanged gifts last night after a yummy dinner of cajun shrimp boil (w/corn & home-grown potatoes).  My paper gifts: ticket to Tent Theater (and a pre-show picnic) and a star “named” in my honor.  It has been a heckuva year, we’ve been through a lot together, but I thank heaven for him every day.  I’m a truly blessed woman!  :D


  1. I love this idea!!! Might just have to steal it!!!

    1. @Kate: Please do! It was a fun trip down Memory Lane as I pondered over all the trips we'd taken & picked out maps to use!

  2. Love, love, love it!! BTW - I have a star too:)

  3. REALLY cute idea! What did you use to fasten the cardboard to the back of the hearts and to the background. Glue? Thanks!

    1. Hi Hannah! I used double sided tape. Super easy!

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