A Labour of Love: for my Beloved.


So now that Valentine’s Day has come and gone , and we are now settled back into being black-wearing, tired-looking, overworked, underpaid drones of a corporate jail (yes, I know that was the teeniest bit dramatic), I can now share with you my Valentine’s gift for my beloved.

This is an idea that I stumbled across on Pinterest, but it originally comes from http://www.justcraftyenough.com and when I saw it, I knew that this was something I needed to do. And so I did.

It is a paper cut-out map of our favourite city (Duh, Amsterdam). It took a lot of thinking to try to grasp the reversed-map-outline-to-be-cut-out-concept but when I finally got it, I printed the map out and started cutting. This is how I started:


So the basic principle is to cut out, along the lines, and you will be left with a “skeleton” of your city.


And so started the gruelling task of cutting out every little square. All the lines and curves have you seeing things in time. Here are two tips that I did not find on justcraftyenough.com : Firstly: Make sure your blade is SUPER sharp. If not, you end up with semi-torn edges, and snagged corners. Secondly: Use a metal ruler. My plastic one is no longer straight, since I cut into it accidentally (many times) as I was trying to cut out my lines.

I also found that my map was much more stable and workable when I stuck it to large surface. This project started on Friday morning, and I worked throughout the weekend while I was at my work, so it was quite frustrating having to stop to help customers and then continue.

By Monday afternoon, I was finished with the cut-out, and the mounting had to begin.

The instructions that I got, said to use spray glue, but when I went to look for it, I found it was too expensive for a once-off use. I decided on a standard craft glue, which is much more affordable, and I knew how to work with it. Since it dries clear as well, I was confident that at this stage, I really could not ruin it.

I decided at the beginning of this project that my background colour would be gray. I bought a white wooden frame, and the map is also white. This colour palette was specifically chosen for our bedroom. Our bedding is gray with white Damask patterns on, and I have a black and white framed photograph that I took when we were in Amsterdam. So I glued down my map, waited for it to dry, and put it in the frame. I was done!

Last night, we got home, and as he unwrapped his gift, I was nervous that he wouldn’t recognise what it was… But he did, and he loved it. It was wonderful. He is wonderful. He bought me an orchid (which is something I have wanted for a very long time).


So we popped the cork on a bottle of bubbly, and celebrated our love, our little family unit of two, our appreciation for each other and our gratitude for our blessings.


Here is the link to the instructions, if you would like to try this as well:



Much Love