When my wife and I started discussing what we would do for our 7 year anniversary, the topic of gifts always comes up. This year it was decided that there would be no gifts. My wife knows that I never keep my promises when it comes to gift giving. I am not sure which will be the bigger gift, this project, or the fact that I am doing a tutorial on it and pinning it to Pinterest.
In the past years, I have tried to be creative but have not really came through with anything really nice that would be worthy of hanging onto for any length of time. This year, I wanted it do be different. A quick Google search let me know that the 7 year anniversary gift was copper. Further research led me to a project that involved listing important dates with pennies. I really liked that idea so I left for our local Michael’s and picked up the items I would need to create my own project.
I already had a few tools, so my list of items needed was not that long. It was a rather inexpensive project to pull off. The hardest part was finding pennies for the correct years.
My wife crafts. She has a room that is full of crafting tools, paper and other materials. Being a man, I wanted to do this on my own and I didn’t want to leave a trace, so I opted to create my project at my office. I had an X-ACTO knife in my Slot Car Box. Slot Cars are a longtime hobby I have had since I was a child which involves building cars and painting the body that goes on the car. It’s kind of like building model cars, but you get to drive them on a track.
Having decided what I was going to make for her for our 7 year anniversary copper gift, I got started.
Here is a list of items I needed to pull off this project:
- Picture frame – 8×10″
- White card stock – 8.5×11″
- 7 Pennies with specific years
- Double Sided Tape
- X-ACTO knife
- Computer Printer
It took me a few minutes to come up with 7 milestones that have happened since we met each other. We have yet to purchase a house and neither one of us has graduated from med school so all I had was the day we met, the day we married, and the birth dates of our three children. I felt that I needed to have at least 7 dates on the list. If I could have came up with more, I might have gone for 10. To make 7, I added my wife’s birthdate and my own to the list.
I have Adobe Photoshop on my computer so I used that to create the page layout but I could have easily used Microsoft Word or something like that. The only part I was concerned about was making sure that the text and the pennies would be spaced evenly on the page. I wanted it to look good once it was in the frame.
After the text design was done, I printed the page on my Canon Pro-100 printer that I use occasionally for printing photos. I wanted the text to be crisp. The only other printer I had was a black and white laser printer. A test print with that laser printer did not look that good. The text did not turn out as sharp on the page. I bought a 50 pack of card stock knowing that I would probably go through a few pages trying to get it right.
The most tedious part of this project was sorting through pennies to try and find the correct year for each of the milestones. I needed a 1980, 1986, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, and a 2013 penny. I keep just about all of the change that is given back to me at the conclusion of a purchase so I had a lot to work with. The center console of my truck had about 3″ of change it in and in my office I had a red solo cup full of change. I poured all of that change into a bucket and my employees and I started sorting. I also occasionally save one dollar bills. All that stuff ads up!
It took us about 10 minutes but by the time we had sorted through all of the pennies we had found at least 2 for each year. I wanted the cleanest pennies so it would be easy to see the year.
Here is the project laid out before attaching the pennies. Looking good so far.
Since the card stock was 8.5×11 inches, I needed to trim it to fit the 8×10 frame. This frame did not have a matte so I could not simply hide the excess behind the matte, it had to be cut to fit.
Attaching the pennies to the card stock could have been done a couple of different ways but I wanted them to be as close to the paper as possible and I did not want to use a liquid which could have made the paper soggy. I happened to have sound high end double sided tape that I had bought when I changed out the glass cover on a Mac Laptop. Small roles of this stuff is kind of expensive but since I had it, and it’s thin, I used it. I could have just as easily used double sided scotch tape, but I did not have any. Don’t buy the 3M VHB Tape that I used, it’s really expensive. Just use double sided scotch tape.
The pressure on the pennies between the picture frame glass and the backing would hold them in place pretty well so I was not concerned with how tough the bond was between the pennies and the card stock. I used the glass from the picture frame as a straight edge so the pennies would stay aligned down the page.
The pennies are attached and it’s ready to see how it looks in the frame.
I was pleasantly surprised by the finished product. My employees were impressed with the idea and that I was able to remember exact dates. I have always tried my best to remember these dates because they are extremely important to me. Not everybody can remember the exact date they met their spouse. I even remember the day we started dating, which was Feb 19th, 2006. My wife is not so good with dates which makes it even more fun that I do remember these things.
Reaching the 7 year mark in marriage is a milestone itself. I have heard it said by many professionals on relationships that it takes about 7 years before you can truly be selfless in regards to your spouse. I was 28 years old when my wife and I married. I had been in relationships in the past where both of us in the relationship was selfish, so I have tried my best not to be since my wife and I married.
I am looking forward to the next 7 years and the next 7 after that. My wife and I have never been happier in our lives. Though having 3 children close in age is a lot of work, we believe it is the best work we could possibly be doing. We both agree that if we could go back and do it over again, we would not change a thing.
Happy Anniversary to my beautiful bride, who is just as beautiful as the day we first met.
I love you Mallory!