A Diy Wedding Gift

Last week I had mentioned a super secret wedding gift project.  Now that the wedding has passed I think it’s safe to share.  Remember when we travelled to Effingham here for the wedding?

The bride and groom that I crafted this gift for are from two different cities (and countries).  I thought a DIY project using maps would be a sentimental gift that they would enjoy displaying in the home they share together.  The bride is from Effingham, IL, and the groom is from Prey Veng, Cambodia – they currently live together in Phnom Penh (capital of Cambodia).

Here is the finished product:

I had the idea set in my mind for this project before I could find the resources.  Which is always dangerous because I become very picky and won’t settle.  The most difficult part of this project is finding two maps that have the same color scheme, scale and geography.  If using two cities in the US it would be fairly simple to find maps, at the AAA office for example (which are free for members).  However, I was looking for a map of Illinois, and a map of Cambodia in the same scale and color.  I looked at the library, Barnes and Noble, Internet and AAA.  Locating two maps from two different countries is a huge challenge.
I ended up using Google Maps and took a screenshot of each city at the proper scale on my computer.  The one advantage to doing this is that you can crop the screen print (in Paint, or as a .Jpeg in Microsoft Word) to a heart of the size you need.  Which will save you time when cutting the image out.
The bride and groom requested that wedding gifts be monetary or small enough to fit in a shoe box since they will be travelling back to Cambodia after the wedding and have weight/size restrictions on luggage.  I found the frame and mat at Target for $9.95 that looked perfect for my project and was still small enough to fit in a shoebox.  I initially planned on including Phnom Penh to show where they live together, however, the frame that accommodated 3 hearts was too large.
The maps printed out with a slight pink hue, and they seemed to be lost when set against a white background.  Instead I used a piece of card stock I found at Michael’s (on sale for $0.25 a page) as a background and taped it to the back of the mat so it wouldn’t slide around.  After cutting out the map hearts, I used my 3M Spray Adhesive to adhere them to the gray background.
That’s it!  Putting it together took only minutes – it was the research and locating maps that took hours…
 I considered adding a quote or dates to the matting.  Here are a few ideas I was tossing around…
– ‘Her Home,’ ‘His Home’ – and at the top ‘Our Home’
– ‘Love finds a way’
– ’10-28-2012′ below Effingham map, and ’12-22-2012′ below Prey Veng map (they are getting married in each of their home towns).
I finally settled on leaving it blank.  Each person has their own style, and maybe the cities mean something different to the bride and groom.  I didn’t want to make that decision for them.  I think I would be pretty stoked to get a custom gift like this – I hope they were too!
So, what do you think? 
Note: I wasn’t very happy with having to use Google Maps as the images.  Justin and I were at Barnes and Noble until 10:30pm the night before we had to board a plane at 7am – only to be disappointed again.  I like the way it looks, but it fell short of my expectations.

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