Thursday, April 18, 2013

Neat Sentimental Gift for Grandparent - "Reasons We Love You"

My grandma has always been a very special and important person to me and my cousins.  For her 84th birthday we decided to give her a meaningful, heartfelt gift to remind her how much we love her.  We heard about a really cool idea...write down 84 (or the age of your loved one) reasons why you love your grandma (or anyone else that you choose).  Put those reasons in a jar and have your loved one pull one message out each day until they are gone.  In our case my grandma had 84 days of little messages from me and my cousins. 

Continue reading for details on how to make this special gift for your loved one!

The Messages

First of all you need to determine how many people will be writing messages.  I asked five of my cousins to participate in this project for our grandma.  My grandma was turning 84 years old, so I asked each of my cousins to write and email me 14 messages about why they love our grandma.  I also typed up 14 messages.  We wrote about memories of times spent with her, about her character, about family trips and holidays, and much more.  We (the cousins) allowed our spouses and children to add their own messages too.
I created a table on Microsoft word and inserted each of the 84 messages.  I formatted the text so that the fonts and sizes were all the same.  Choose a font size that is relatively small (because you might have a lot of messages to fit in the frame) but that is also large enough for people to read when the frame is hanging.  I also added each cousin's name after the message so that my grandma would know who wrote it.  Check out this sample...

You will then need to print the messages on some sort of cardstock.  I used an ivory color because it looked nice with the background scrapbook paper I used on the frame.  I cut each message out using the guidelines from the table.  I then mounted each message on a colored piece of cardstock.  I used a different color for each cousin.  After the messages are all prepared, lay them out to determine the size of frame that you will need to purchase.

The Frame

Purchase a picture frame that will be large enough to hold all of the messages that you printed above.  Prepare the frame by removing the glass.  Cut a thin piece of cardboard to fit inside of the picture frame.  (Make sure that the cardboard is not too large to fit the glass back in the frame with it.)  Cover the cardboard with scrapbook paper.  It does not matter if there are seams because the messages will eventually cover them. 

Add a title at the top of the frame.  I created the title for my grandma's frame by using decorative adhesive letters.  I placed the letters on a piece of cardstock that matched what I used to print the messages.  I then mounted the title on two pieces of colored cardstock that matched the ones used behind the messages.  It looked like this...

 Creating the Gift

Buy a small cookie jar (glass allows the messages to be seen through it).  Place all of the messages in the jar.  Tie a ribbon around the neck of the jar and attach a tag.  Our tag said,
"84 Reasons We Love You!  Happy Birthday Gram!  Love, Nick, Dusty, Maggie, Katie, Alana, and Shawna.  August 8, 2011."   
We then wrapped the jar and the frame and gave it to my grandma for her birthday.  She was very touched by our thoughtful gift!  We had her pull her first message and read it for everyone.  Be sure to have some double stick tape on hand so that the message can be placed on the frame.  Use only a small piece of tape in case the message needs to be moved later. 

Finished Frame with Messages

After 84 days of opening messages from each of her grandchildren, my grandma's frame is complete. With her frame hanging on a wall in her home she can continue to cherish the messages from each of us!

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