When you are newlyweds there is a year of firsts to enjoy. For me, well I was really looking forward to our first Christmas together. We live in London and our families live in the states and this Christmas we decided to forego the travel home and spend our first Christmas together in London.
Knowing that we wouldn’t be spending Christmas with our families it was important for me to come up with a fun and unique way for us to make this Christmas special, starting with the decorations. I ordered us matching stockings with a cute vintage feel and spent hours perusing shops for the right holiday napkins and seasonal decor.
Of course the biggest Christmas decoration was our tree. We picked up a cute little fir tree and my husband lugged it the mile home. I went back and forth on how to decorate it. Did I want to order a collection of matching baubles or vintage ornaments? Was I going to pick a color scheme?
My family Christmas tree has always been so meaningful to me as we would decorate as a family sifting through years and years of ornaments and memories. I wanted to recreate that somehow for our new little family and start a tradition we could continue each year.
DIY Map Ornaments
So I took to Pinterest, as I often do, to find my inspiration. I found a pin which showed maps that had been cut and glued onto wooden heart cutouts and placed in a shadow box. I thought they would be cute ornaments for a tree.
One afternoon we sat down and wrote all the special places we have traveled to and explored in our time together. We had quite a list after five years! From Oklahoma City to London, Croatia to Istanbul, and Boston to Oxford; we ended up with 18 locations.
I searched through Google images of maps to these places and we picked our favourites, printed them and with some simple tracing and pasting, voila!
It was a fun and crafty afternoon spent together and we were able to reminisce about the time we had spent at each place.
The results were perfect and we love sipping cocoa by our Christmas tree trimmed with our adventures and memories!
Just a few tips if you decide to get crafty!
1. Cut a little bit inside of your tracing. It’ll keep you from having paper over your wooden edges (as shown below).
2. Use a shellac or Mod-Podge to preserve the ornaments and make sure they last.
3. Create new ornaments from the places you traveled each year. You can even pick a new wooden shape to represent different years.
4. Paste maps on both sides of the ornament, it’s a great way to showcase several places you visited.
Originally published December 24, 2015