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Thursday, July 12, 2012

hearts & crafts: paper anniversary map on canvas.

i realized i never did share what i made paulie for our first anniversary, so excuse the tardiness of this post, but you know what they say, "better late than dead'. back in april, i mentioned how i was leaning towards incorporating maps into a craft i could put together for him, without spending a million dollars. i liked that they are masculine, and would be a good representation of our first year of marriage -- you, know, celebrating the places we've been, and the places we are yet to see. 

i racked my brain for an idea that would be perfect, and it wasn't until i had collected all my materials and spread them out in front of me, that the project came together. i didn't take photos of the process, but i trust you can figure it out fairly easily. if i confuse you at any point, take a shot of tequila, cross your eyes and re-read it. i'm sure it'll all make sense.

how we do: paper anniversary map on canvas
you will need:
a map of the world
canvas (as large as the map)
spray adhesive
clear acrylic sealer
push pins or brads (the cuter the better)

while visiting my girlfriend in toronto, we walked past a gift shop that was displaying the most beautiful wrapping paper sheets by cavallini & co, one of which was this vintagey map of the world. i figured it would be perfect for whatever craft i ended up making for paul, and snagged two sheets -- at $4 each, i decided i should grab two in case i royally effed up the first one. thank sweet baby jesus for this, because that's exactly what happened.

because the print on the paper is so pretty, i couldn't bring myself to start cutting it up, so i decided i was going to use it as a whole sheet. i thought i might want to frame it, so it could be hung in our dining room (maybe a study in our big boy & girl house one day), but that didn't satisfy my crafting craving, and seemed less personal than i was going for. as i wandered through the art supplies at michael's, i noticed that their gallery wrapped canvases were on sale for 40% off, and when i saw they had a size that would display the map dreamily, i picked it up. i also grabbed a small packet of red and pink heart shaped brads, and was on my merry little way.

with everything laid out in front of me, i figured the best way to get the map onto the canvas, was with mod podge. the paper was thick enough to handle it, i had some, and it was matte finish, so i thought i was golden. oh shit was i wrong. long story short, the paper wrinkled up like a set of 95 year old testicles, and then peeled back as it dried. super annoyed, i ripped everything off like a crazy person, swearing like a truck driver/sailor/pirate/my father and scraped the canvas clean. i ditched the mod podge business and after a quick trip to walmart, i had a can of elmer's spray adhesive in my hot little hands and said a small prayer: it worked like a dream. it went on with great coverage, in thin coats, and the paper stuck to it perfectly. i folded the edges of the map around the canvas like i was wrapping a gift, and then smoothed everything out with a credit card. once i was happy with how it looked, i gave the whole thing 3 coats of matte clear acrylic sealerallowing each coat to dry in between.

if i could have found heart shaped push pins, i would have used those, but i could only find heart shaped brads, so i made them work. with a pair of wire cutters, i cut the metal fastener piece off the back, and used a glue gun to adhere the hearts to the map. the pink heart marks where we were married, and the red hearts are the places we have been. as we travel the world and visit new places, we can add another heart, until the map is filled with all the places we have loved. cheesy? i know. and i don't give a rats ass.
he opened the gift and kind of just stared at it. it's exciting to know that as we go through this life together, we will slowly fill the map with more and more little red hearts. in a way, it's like we're going to leave our mark on this world, 
and i can't tell you how excited i am to do it with him.


  1. I love this! I made a map for Dan also, but just of the United States because of the way I did it I couldn't imagine doing the whole world. But I love the way this turned out and the hearts are so cute. It will look great in your house forever! :)

  2. i am happy you followed my blog, because this way i stumbled over yours and i will spend a big part of this evening here - so much to catch up! :) v-e-r-y inspiring space of the internet with such positive vibes, i'm on board as well from now on. yay!

    1. Hi Luka! Thank you for taking a peek! Love your style and space, another place to get lost in. You're so sweet, hope you found something you like :)

  3. I love this idea! MY husband and I like to visit historical places on each anniversary. Philly, DC, Boston so far and we want to hang a world map in our living room with numbered pins on where we went for which year. I can't wait to do it#


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