Gift Idea: Canvas Art

It’s official: Ben and I have been together for two years! In two years, a lot has happened. We’ve both moved to Chapel Hill, Ben is currently working to get his MBA at Kenan-Flagler Business School, and I’m working hard at my career as a Marketing Coordinator.

For our anniversary, I wanted to get Ben something special. So I did what any other creative person would do: I took to Pinterest. I immediately started searching for anniversary gift ideas.

There were so many cute ideas, but I really wanted to do something different for Ben. That’s when I saw this post:


It was perfect! But look at that price tag: $90.00! I work hard for my money, so I was definitely not going to spend $90.00 on a single gift when I knew I could do it myself for way cheaper.

I headed right on over to Walmart to pick up a small canvas, some acrylic paint and brushes. I knew exactly what location I wanted to paint: Jason’s Deli.

Ben and I had our first “unofficial” date at Jason’s Deli with our friends, Tori and Jeff. It was our first time hanging out, and it quickly became an accidental double date.

He paid for my food, held open doors, etc. I laughed at all of his jokes (in all seriousness, he is a funny guy), touched his knee or his forearm whenever I had the chance, etc. We finished each other’s sentences and automatically knew what the other was about to say. There was a lot of flirtation happening on both ends that happened that night.

If you want to make a map for your partner for less than $10.00 (and way less than $90.00), here are the steps that I took:

First, look up in Google Maps the location of your first date.  I printed out the map so I’d have a hard copy to look at and wouldn’t risk getting any paint on my laptop.


Then I did a rough sketch of the map on the canvas – making sure to highlight where water was and where land was. I laid out the 3 colors I was going to use for the map itself (white, green, and blue).


Next, fill in the land areas (I mixed a drop or two of green with about five drops of white paint). And then the water areas (again, a drop or two of blue with about five drops of white paint).


I let it dry while catching up on a few episodes of “Once Upon a Time” on Netflix. Next, I did my best painting the roads with the smallest brush I had and white paint.


I then put a red heart on the approximate location of our date. I watched a few more episodes of “Once Upon a Time” while it dried – I had an entire season to catch up with before season 7’s premiere.


Once that was finished, I wrote out the words to make sure they’d look good, and then I painted over them with black paint.

The above photo is the finished work I gave to Ben, and he absolutely loved it!

If you try it out, let me know how it goes in the comment section below.


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