A DIY Anniversary Present

I was inspired to make Mike a little gift for our Anniversary by this sweet something I found on Pinterest

These custom canvases are made by GeeZees.  You can buy one at their Etsy shop.

I loved the idea of making a piece of “art” out of our special dates.  I thought it would be something sweet to hang in our bedroom.  So I started brainstorming exactly how I wanted to do it…

If you’ve been following my blog you know I’m not much of a planner when it comes to crafting.  I get a general idea of what I want to do and then (for better or for worse) I’m off and running…

After a bit of brainstorming, I decided I wanted to try to make a piece that had a poster-like feel.  My plan was to frame the finished piece rather than painting it on a canvas.  So off I went to Michaels for supplies.  There I bought a frame (16″ x 20″) and paper in three different colors that went with the palate of our bedroom.

The rest of the supplies I ended up using (stencils, brown and red paint, double sided tape and brushes) I already had at home.  The red paint is not in this picture because I (shockingly) didn’t plan to use it when I took this photo.

With my supplies gathered, I came up with a game plan.  Cut the different colored paper into uniform squares.  Arrange the squares in a free form pattern, covering the entire background.  Using brown paint, stencil the numbers of the dates on the squares.  Simple enough, right?  Here’s the little sketch I made of my well-thought-out-super-detailed-plan…

Using a paper cutter, I cut the paper into uniform squares.  Then I arranged the squares darkest to lightest.  (I used the paper insert the frame came with as my backdrop.)  After stenciling, I planned to tape them down touching, with no white showing in between.

Then I started stenciling numbers.  To stencil, I held the stencil in place with one hand and gently tapped the sponging brush on the paper.

I wanted the numbers to look a bit distressed (like they do on the GeeZees custom canvas) so I didn’t fill them in completely.

I decided not to put dots or dashes in between the numbers because I liked the idea that, to most people, it would just look like a random stream of numbers, but to us it would be a picture of the most important dates in our lives together.  This is what it looked like once all the numbers had been stenciled.

I liked it, but it looked a bit, well…BORING.  So I decided to give it a little pop of color by making the “0” in our wedding date a heart.  So, I used one of the squares to make a heart stencil.  I drew the heart, cut out the inside (whoa, that sounded a little violent for stenciling) and then stenciled the heart onto a square.

I thought that looked much better.

But I still wanted to “jazz” it up a little more.  So when I started taping down the squares, I mixed up the pattern a little bit, moving the different colored squares around.  I used double-sided removable tape, so I could move things around easily if I changed my mind.  Which was good because while I was taping I realized that to make the dates centered, I needed to add a “0” to the front of each date.  Which I’m sure I would have figured out A LOT earlier if I had measured before I jumped in but…figuring it out as I go…that’s me.

Once all of the squares were taped down, I trimmed any squares that went over the edge of the background…

And then I framed it. (You’ll notice I left an extra row at the bottom, just in case we have another special date to enter down the road…)

I love that it looks like a random poster of numbers and that it won’t mean anything to anyone but us.  I was excited to give it to Mike but a bit nervous, as I am giving anyone anything that I make.  I second-guess it until the last moment…

He loved it.  When he first opened it, he thought it was a riddle.  Quickly, he realized what all the numbers meant.  We already picked out the perfect place for it in our bedroom.  I’ll post a picture for you guys once we hang it.

P.S. If you liked this post, you might also like Sharpie Art Personalized Plates.

P.P.S. If you missed the other two love-themed posts from this week, you can check them out HERE and HERE.

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  1. I love this! I loved all of your love-themed crafts this week!

  2. This is so nice and thoughtful and now I am going to admit what a terrible wife I am. I don’t remember the date of my proposal or the day I met. I can do a rough estimate. Oh dear. And my anniversary is this weekend and I still can’t think of what to make him.

    • September is a good month to get married! Oh, and you’re not a terrible wife…I’m just a nut, so I write everything down. Including the dates my friends get engaged so I can send them “Happy Engagement Day” text messages…which, let’s be honest, is totally insane. Have a great anniversary!!

  3. This looks fantastic! I love it!

  4. I think you did a great job!! Happy anniversary

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