DIY Valentine’s Day: Make a ‘Shared Places’ Print

Valentine's Day Gift - Framed Print“Love should be celebrated every day”, “It’s commerical”, “It’s a Hallmark Holiday”, yada, yada, yada – I’ve heard it all, but I still adore Valentine’s Day. It’s heart warming to see the parades of blooms and the smiling faces accompanying them. Chocolate is always a good idea. To be honest, I even like the cheesy cards.

But I often struggle with what to buy or make my husband.  Let’s face it, once you have spent several Valentines Day’s together, it’s hard to think up new gifts. Particularly when you don’t want to spend a great deal of money. So I tend to DIY Valentine’s Day and make something meaningful.

This map print charts the places that are most special to your and your man. You might choose your wedding spot, the place you met, your first home together…. or the places you have travelled together. It’s entirely up to you. It’s a sweet, handmade present, unique to you and your love that doesn’t cost the earth. You don’t even have to be crafty — all it takes is a little bit of know how, access to a colour printer and a frame.

You will need

  • A frame that hold sat least four photos (or as many special places as you want to represent). Target and Kmart will have inexpensive versions.
  • Four (or more) places that are special to you and your partner. It might be where you met, where you got engaged or married, where your children were born, special holiday places, where you first lived, the places you have lived, the location of your first kiss, the list goes on!
  • A computer with an internet connection and access to a colour printer.

Instructions

  • Go to Google Maps and search for the map of your special place.
  • Take a screen shot (on Mac, this is Command + Shift + 4 to control exactly what is screen, on a PC use Print Screen).
  • If on a PC, paste into paint and save your image. If you on a Mac, the image should automatically be saved to your desktop.
  • Repeat for each place.
  • Open Canva (sign up if you don’t have an account)
  • Create a custom dimension image of 1200 x 1800 pixels (note the youtube video below suggests100mm x 1500mm but using the pixel dimensions should give you a better resolution).
  • Upload your created pictures.
  • Drag the first map into the new image. Add another image and continue.
  • Filter the first image until you are happy with the look. Copy the filter code and apply to all images.
  • Write on the maps using the text tools, add hearts or other images – even photos! Be creative.
  • Download as an image.
  • In your downloads folder, there will be a subfolder holding the 4 images separately.
  • Print and frame. If you don’t have a colour printer, Officeworks is a good bet.

Step-by-Step Video Tutorial

Other Ideas

  • Rather than a single frame, use a bunch of single photograph fames and arrange artfully on the wall.
  • Use heart-shaped push pins within a shadow box frame to mark your special places.
  • Collage your special places into one picture and use push pins in your landmarks to create a basic heart outline. Then use red string to wind around them, so the the heart is obvious. A sort of romantic CSI.
  • If you have lots of special places, you could cut heart shapes out of the maps, arrange them in rows and frame them.
  • If you are going all out for Valentine’s Day, you could use this idea as a “map” of your plans – the place where you will have breakfast, see a movie, go to lunch, watch the world go by and so on.
  • If your places are local, and you have access to old road maps (try op-shops or the back seat of your mother’s car), you will get a unique, aged look.

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? You might get a laugh out of this:Valentine’s Day Back Then Versus Now As a Mum