Sunday, 10 February 2013

DIY Valentine's: 80 years in a box

I've never understood people who don't want to live until they're very, very old.  Like with everything in my life, I have high ambitions - and the same goes for my and the Texan's longevity; if I could have us both live to 110 then I'd be a very happy lady.  In fact, my eye is on the double Guinness World Record for oldest couple alive and longest marriage on record (no joke!).  And so, for those of you, like me, hoping to spend the next 80 years with your significant other, here's a really sweet Valentine's DIY that will no doubt come in handy when you do reach 110 and can't remember your left from right!

You will need  |  A box  |  PVA glue  |  Brush  |  Wrapping paper (or old maps, as I used)  |  An old card (I find gym cards work the best!)  |  Scissors  |  Stanley knife  |  Index cards  |  Anything you fancy for the finishing touches; I used some Lexicography playing cards but you can be as creative as you want

Step 1: Find a box, any old box - I used a wooden wine box which I thought might come in handy one day, but a shoe box would do fine.  Cover it in a fairly thin layer of glue - I used bookbinders' adhesive but PVA would be fine.

Step 2: Cover the box in some pretty paper - you could use any wrapping paper but I chose to use some old maps which I found in a charity shop for 50p.  To iron out any air bubbles and to make sure the paper sticks smoothly, sweep a redundant plastic card from your purse across the paper (I used my gym card - which was used for its proper purpose only about three times!).  Trim off any excess edges but don't worry that it's not all neat and tidy at this stage - you need to be patient and leave the box to dry before doing anything else.

Step 3 (the most important step): Take a well-earned nap with your kitty / dog / significant other, while you wait for the box to dry.

Step 4: Once the box is dry, use a stanley knife (be careful!) to trim the edges and give everything a nice smooth edge - this is actually much easier to do than you'd think.

Step 5: Take your index cards and record significant events in the life of your relationship, your memories and hopes for the future... Aww.

Step 6: Depending on the size of your box, you may want to divide it into separate sections.  I used small pieces of wood (but cardboard + superglue would do) to split the box into eight parts, one part for each decade.

Step 7: The finishing touches - I added cards to the front of each section to act as a timeline and Lexicography cards with the Texan's and my initials on the front of the box.  You can be as creative as you want with this, there are no limits!

And voila!  80 years in a box (or at least the first seven, in my and the Texan's case) - we plan to add to our little box every anniversary, with the past year's adventures and memories, and include photographs and little trinkets.  It just shows that you don't have to spend a fortune to celebrate Valentine's Day - by using bits and pieces lying around the house, you can create a really sweet and thoughtful gift which, even when you're 110 years old, will always bring a smile to your face.