It’s hard to believe that we just celebrated our first wedding anniversary! What an incredible year it’s been – from our honeymoon in Europe to the birth of our daughter, Piper Rose – it’s been fully packed of memories that we’ll never forget. When thinking about what to get Austin for our 1st anniversary I was pretty stumped, even more so when I discovered you are supposed to give paper gifts for year 1. Paper? Well, I love paper, I happen to hoard wrapping paper and notecards and collect pretty handmade pieces whenever I see them. But a gift for Austin that incorporates it seemed pretty tricky.
Then I remembered how much he wanted to create a wall of maps of the places we’ve been together — we’ve been talking about it for years, so it only seemed fitting that I finally create this for him! Today I’ve partnered with the Paper And Packaging Board to bring this gift idea to life. Austin was so surprised when he opened it and I can’t wait to look at these maps and reflect back on the memories each hold.
From now until Oct. 31, the Paper Anniversary contest invites couples celebrating one year of marriage in 2015 (January through December) to share a photo of their paper- and packaging-based moments. One couple will be chosen to receive the grand prize of a second honeymoon to the locale of their choosing: New York City, Napa Valley, Puerto Rico or Maui. You can enter here.
I started by ordering a bunch of gallery wall frames online — I was able to find some pretty affordable options on Amazon and Walmart and ordered a few sets in a light wood color that would be easy to paint — this one worked great. Then I started collecting maps! I’d saved several from our trips but turned to the internet to print most of them. I did a lot of Google searching and saved the images to my desktop. I wanted all of the maps to be cohesive so I used PicMonkey to make them all grayscale or black & white.
Next I printed the images to fit the different size frames — this part took a bit of trial and error since I’m not so great with Photoshop but I was able to get my maps to fit great. Instead of having all of my maps on white mats I decided to cover some of them with different colored paper (a thick creamy gray and a light tan linen) and paint some of the frames with a copper spray paint. This West Elm frame was my inspiration.
I used double-stick tape to adhere the maps in the correct position and then started figuring out how I’d hang the gallery wall! I tweaked a few things after I had all of the maps in their frames –by switching out the mats until I achieved the look I was going for.
I love how my gallery wall turned out — by using and preserving paper maps from our travels that we’ll now have for our lifetime and continue to add to. Get more ideas for how to use paper in your life to preserve memories here!
Images by Anna Reynal
*Thanks to the Paper And Packaging Board for sponsoring this post.