Project 5: 7th Anniversary Present

Here’s the problem with any gift-giving occasion: I have no idea what to get Josh because he doesn’t need or want anything. Neither of us believes in spending money on gifts just to get someone something.

That said, seven years into a marriage feels like an accomplishment. It needed acknowledged. I searched Pinterest and Etsy for ideas and products (respectively) and came up with nothing that was “us.” Oh — also, year seven is copper and we follow those traditional gift guidelines.

A little deep searching turned up a Disney pressed penny for sale. I’ve collected pressed pennies most of my life, and as I’ve worked harder and harder to own less stuff since my early 20s, pressed pennies have been my go-to souvenir purchase. If I see a machine, I get a penny. I decided to make a picture for Josh using those in the shape of a heart, using 2007 (our wedding year) pennies to outline the heart shape.

Except, finding that many 2007 pennies was impossible. So I picked three important dates to me: 1979 (Josh’s birth year), 2007 and 2013 (Thomas’ birth year).

I painted a canvas:

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All I did was use acrylic paint, squeezed it down the canvas in lines and used my fingers to spread/blend it.

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I picked the pressed pennies of places we’d been together out of my collection and arranged them on the floor. Some of these are really special because I got them in LA when I came to visit while dating or on vacations together, etc.

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Then, I hot glued them to the canvas after the paint dried. The great part about the hot glue was that the penny could be peeled off easily with no damage if the placement was wrong. The bad part was that I had to work nearly instanteously because otherwise the pennies wouldn’t stick.

And then I framed it:

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The matte is burlap. I got the frame at Joanne’s on sale.

And then, as part of the present, I hung it on the wall so that Josh never had to worry about doing anything like that. (I love him, but if you have to wait for him to hang something up, it’ll be years. And who needs an anniversary present that’s also about nagging?)

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