The Perfect Anniversary Gift: Vows Sign
You’re not getting bored of our garden DIY projects yet, are you? I hope not, because we have some more coming up soon! 😀 But just to give it a little break, we wanted to share some other projects that we were working on in the very little time we had between our garden projects.
You probably saw Greg’s latest project where he had an unforgettable experience with Mod Podge. LOL. If you haven’t read it yet, I indeed urge you to read it…I promise you are going to love it! Poor him, what a trouble he went through. But I have to say his tenacity is 5 star and that always inspires me!
Talking about tenacity and inspiration, while Greg was trying not to drown in the wild waters of Mod Podge, I was busy making a sign as an anniversary gift for him – or should I say as an anniversary gift for each other. You see, our 6th anniversary is today, and I was panicking for almost a month now that I couldn’t come up with an idea for a meaningful present. But fortunately one of our readers from Canada, Giselle, gave me a great idea with her comment on Greg’s DIY Cedar Cube Landscape Lights post.
After reading Giselle’s comment (by the way, what great timing on that comment isn’t it?), I straight away rushed downstairs to look if we had any 1/4 inch plywood. Yes, we did!…and not only did we have the plywood, but we had a perfectly cut 20×20 inch piece put in a corner. Of course it never occurred to me that Greg cut it specially to use on one of his projects. Anyway… I grabbed it and ran upstairs to quickly start my project.
First, I wanted to darken the color of the plywood. But I didn’t want to deal with staining it, so I mixed very little Java color chalk paint with some water and made a darkwash. I didn’t measure the amounts, but you can see how little paint I used from the picture below, and I added water to fill the half of that little bowl.
Although I really like Greg’s vinegar and steel wool blackwash, this one is really quick to make, and it dries faster than anything else. And the best part is it gives a very similar finish to Greg’s blackwash.
I darkwashed the board…
…and let it dry for 10-15 minutes.
In the meanwhile, I asked Greg if he could prepare a nice frame for a 20×20 board. He asked what was it for and I said…
H: It is a surprise for you!
G: How is it a surprise if I’m the one making it?
H: Well, that part is your surprise for me 😀
H: Don’t worry…it is Giselle’s idea and it is going to look great!
G: (still trying to understand what I am talking about) Oh she wrote to you?
H: No, she wrote to you.
G: To me? When?
H: (as I am in a hurry I dodge his question) Don’t worry… just make a nice frame, it is urgent…and I love you!
G: (totally confused) O-kay!?!? I love you too !?
He went to basement to make the frame with some leftover tongue-and-grove boards from Home Depot.
His plan was to cut the tongue-and-groove boards in half and use the half with the groove to build the frame.
He cut the boards in half…
…and made four 24 3/8 inch strips from the grooved halves. I didn’t take any pictures of his work, but he simply cut the corners of the strips at a 45 degree angle, and with glue and brad nails built three sides of the frame. When he brought the frame to me:
G: So when did she write to me?
H: I don’t know. She commented on your last post. The one about the wow renewal.
G: (trying not to laugh) What renewal?
H: Wow renewal.
G: (he is laughing now and barely can speak) W..ha..t ??
H: WOW renewal!
He lost it at this point…he was laughing so hard he couldn’t even breath. Of course his entire state made me laugh as well, but I didn’t know what we were laughing at. Only a little later it dawned on me. LOL.
[Greg here – My babes has a hard time differentiating the “v” and “w” sounds. Bahahahahahah! Wows…LOL!]
I took the frame and gave it a dark wash…
…and let it dry. Once it dried, I gave the frame 2 coats of flat matte varnish as the protective coat.
In the meanwhile, I quickly designed the stencil for our sign. 6 years ago when we were married, we exchanged vows that we each had written. Unknown to each other, we both happened to each use an identical phrase in our vows: I will never give up on you. And no, that wasn’t a planned thing, just a lucky coincidence, as we both forgot to write our vows until the last minute. On the morning of our wedding day (07/10/10), Margo (Greg’s sister) asked if our vows were ready. I remember how panicked we both were, and right there we both scribbled whatever we could on a small piece of paper as our vows. LOL. We are such a mess when it comes to planning…well I guess you know that already. 😉 Anyway… as I couldn’t fit both of our vows, I decided to use just that phrase on this sign.
I cut the stencil design with my Cricut and placed it on the board with help of the transfer paper.
Once the stencil was placed, I gave the board 3 thin coats of paint with my homemade chalk paint custom matched to Old White color, giving enough time for each coat to dry properly.
After the paint dried, I started peeling the stencils off. As I didn’t want to mess up in the last minute, I went nice and slow with peeling the stencils.
Once I took all the stencils off, I sanded the board very lightly with 320 grit sandpaper. That was just to smooth the surface. Then using my waxing brush I waxed the whole board with Annie Sloan’s clear wax and buffed it to give it a very subtle shine.
After waxing the front face, I finished the back part of the board with two coats of flat matte varnish to protect it from humidity and warping.
Now that the sign was finished, I slid it in its frame…
…and glued the last piece of the frame on top. Then to secure it, I brad-nailed it in place.
To finish off the project, I attached a sawtooth picture hanger to the back of the frame.
And ta-da!! How do you like our
wows vows sign? 😉
There couldn’t be a better anniversary present for both of us!
I love the frame Greg made for it!
Here are some close-ups on the frame.
As Greg said, “six years in the can and sixty more before we finish this film!” Happy anniversary to us 🙂
Here are our vows. Short and sweet and scribbled minutes before the wedding!
Greg – I promise with all of my heart to love you, and I will never give up on you for all of our lives. I will try to make up for all of our lost time together, as I found you so late in life. I promise with all of my heart to give you the long, happy and peaceful life that you deserve.
Handan – You have shown me the meaning of true happiness and contentment. When I’m with you, life is what it should be. I promise to love you and care for you until time itself is a whispered memory. I will never give up on you.
Oh wow! I am so glad I commented on your garden! You seem like such a great couple, I love the way you work together! I am loving your whole story that Greg is writing. Happy Anniversary and your present is perfect! ❤️
Thank you so much, Giselle! We do make a great team, and we’ve been through so much together already! While Afghanistan was the most dramatic place we lived, Greg will soon be writing about our travels in Vietnam and India. Thank you for the anniversary wishes. Have a great week! xx
Happy anniversary! 🙂
Thank you so much, Val! xx
i just love y’all and your sense of humor gives me tears and rib pain from laughing …. happy happy joy joy xx
Oh, Chris, thank you so much! We are so happy that you are enjoying our posts, and we always look forward to your comments!! xx
Thank you, Chris! 🙂
Handan, what a wise woman to enlist Greg’s help in making such a special gift by having him make the frame. It’s appropriate that you both contributed to the keepsake of your shared wedding vow (no, I won’t tease you about “wow” 🙂 ) Happy anniversary.
Thank you so much, Susan! Greg and I make a great team. I’m always asking his help with little bits and bobs with my projects as he is very handy and a great help! 🙂
Everything about this post is so adorable! So cute that you made your anniversary gift together. Happy Anniversary guys!
Thank you so much, Marie! 🙂
That looks great, I love the frame he did for you. I think its a great idea you did for your Anniversary and happy Anniversary to you both!! You guys will laugh about the wow, for years to come!!
Thank you so much, Sandra! 🙂
I, somehow, missed this post in 2016. I’m all sniffy with sentiment now! So very happy that you found each other! Happy upcoming 9th! Bob and I will be 39 years soon and I can say, it just gets better. Hugs!
Thank you so much, Derry! 🙂