Wednesday, September 26, 2012

DIY: Paper Anniversary

The pressure is on. In exactly one week from today it will be our second anniversary as a married couple. While I'm excited to celebrate 730 days of blissful marriage, I'm terrified of giving Pete a gift. Pete treats gift-giving like a sport. He spends months training for the planning, presentation, and execution of the gift. For at least two weeks in advance, I am reminded on a daily basis that "this is going to be the best gift ever." He has that excited close-mouthed grin on his face like he's trying really hard not to spill out any clues to what the gift might be.

And me, on the other hand. I suck at gift-giving! There's no nicer way to put it. When we think back to our first anniversary, neither one of us can even remember what I got him. I don't want that to happen again so I've been spending the past month thinking, and thinking, and thinking of what in the world I will get Pete for our second anniversary.

I still don't have any good ideas.

But I don't want this post to be about how bad of a person I am. I want to share with you one of the awesome gifts Pete got me for our first anniversary. For those of you who don't know, there is a list of traditional gifts that you are supposed to give each other each year. The first year is paper. Pete decided to make me a book that outlined our life together from the first day we met to our first wedding anniversary.


Pete bound the book by himself and wrapped it with vintage Florida fabric. He used a method of book binding called post binding.


Post binding is a non-adhesive method of book binding that involves using two-piece binding screws/posts. In this book, Pete used foam core as the book cover, but you can also use cardstock or recycled items. I've seen books made out of water bottles, potato chip bags, bath mats, and more. I definitely want to try something like that someday!

The first couple years of our relationship were long-distance. We met in person when he was on leave, but we kept in touch through messages and phone conversations. We kept all of our messages and the picture above includes the first message I ever sent him. He was living in Montana and I was in Florida.

Some of my favorite things about this book are the vintage photographs he randomly and not-so-randomly included. Here's one of my favorite randoms:


A diagram of cats and ducks. Perfect!

And a not-so-random vintage postcard of Davis Islands, FL (where we got married).



And finally, illustrations of our first year together:


I think he did a great job for our "paper" anniversary. The second anniversary is "cotton." I can't wait to see what he has up his sleeve this year, and hopefully I'll think of something spectacular soon!