Year 6: Iron and Candy

Here we are again, fellow readers. My wedding anniversary is just around the corner. This time, Dan and I will be celebrating 6 years of marriage!

As I’ve done each year since I’ve been blogging (see my second, third, fourth, and fifth year posts to catch up), I’ve put together a compilation of easy to find, but unique gift ideas for couples who are celebrating their sixth anniversary, like us, and want to give each other a traditional sixth anniversary gift of iron, or, in modern day, candy. Though I first thought this would be the most difficult anniversary to find gifts for, I now think this batch of items is my favorite anniversary gift collection yet! Here they are, clockwise from top left:

Year 6

How fun is this cotton candy maker from Bed, Bath, and Beyond? I love the nostalgic vibe it gives off – like you’re stepping right into a summer carnival! This item is a must if you and your spouse plan to throw backyard parties all summer long.

A gumball machine! This is the one item that is both candy and iron. Put it in your entryway as a fun conversation starter, and to send guests home with a gumball or two for the road when they head out from your next party.

This isn’t candy you can eat, but this gummy bear pool float from Wal-Mart fits the candy theme and would be fun to use this summer. Pair this gift with a weekend away, a trip to the local beach, or even just a run to the town pool.

I’m thinking a grill-lover would really enjoy this monogrammed forged steak brand from Williams-Sonoma. The brand is a fun way to personalize your steaks every time you grill – either for a big BBQ or for just the two of you. Throw in some well cut steaks and you’ve figured out your anniversary dinner too.

I’ve seen these at weddings and showers, but I’ve never made personalized M&Ms myself. Choose a pet name you call one another or even put an image of your honey on each M&M.

I recently received a Le Creuset dutch oven as a gift, and I love it! We don’t use it as often as I’d like, but for your anniversary, you can give your spouse a more everyday type of cookware with this Le Creuset cast iron skillet from Amazon.

I’m a summer child, through and through, so I’d love this firepit for our backyard. The design is way better than you would typically find in this price point, with the great modern square-shaped base. I could see myself having a big bonfire party and sitting next to this firepit on those summer nights.

No, clothes aren’t made of iron or candy, but pretend this Iron Man shirt from Target is just like Tony Stark’s iron suit. If your husband is a big superhero fan, then this is the gift for him. Heck, I’m Team Tony too and would wear the shirt myself!

Nothing here quite right for your spouse? Check out my 6th Anniversary pinterest page for even more ideas!

Wood Burned Modern Family Crest Anniversary Gift

As promised, today I’m sharing what I made for Dan as part of his 5th anniversary gift – a modern family crest.

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I’m actually really happy with the way it turned out. I was really nervous when I started, and didn’t think to buy an extra wooden plaque in case I messed up!

So how did I make it? I’ll start at the beginning.

The wooden plaque is from Michael’s. It was in their wooden section, with all the other wood pieces like letters and birdhouses. I thought the shape was really cool – it certainly wasn’t your standard square or rectangle. The only thing was, the cut made the wood super splintery, so it took quite a bit of time to sand it down as much as I could.

Next, cue the woodburning pen. I imagine you could pick one up at any craft store, but I actually had one from an old Woodburning Kit that I got as a kid.

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I  thought the pen would be super difficult to use. I didn’t remember having much success with it in childhood. But actually, it wasn’t too bad. I’m sure you could freehand your design, but since I have zero spatial sense and terrible penmanship, I went ahead and used some printed graphics as a guide.

For the T, I just played around with different fonts in Word until I found a font I liked (Corbel, in size 400). I wanted to make the plaque look like a modern style family crest, and when I saw these prints with wreath-like leaves, I knew it would look great.

I wish I took a picture of it (too into the project I guess), but I just cut out the T and the wreath separately and placed them on the plaque until the spacing looked right to me. After using this technique of scribbling pencil on one side of the paper, I used some tape to secure each piece of paper in place to trace out the letter and shapes. Once I had the pencil lines in place, all I had to do was trace with the woodburning pen.

When I finished, I knew the plaque still needed something. That’s when I realized the top was looking pretty bare, I realized I would have to freehand something. Gulp.

I decided to add in the year we got married. So, I took a pencil and, in my best cursive, wrote “est.” I wanted the 2010 to look a little different than the “est.” so I thought I’d put it in block lettering, like the T.  It still wasn’t quite right, so I added in another branch with leaves.

Then, I started tracing over the pencil with the woodburning pen. I didn’t always follow the pencil line exactly, so when I finished burning the wood, I used an eraser to try to hide all my mistakes. Well, as many mistakes as I could. If you look closely, you can see a few places where my woodburning pen got away from me a little bit. I think it just adds charm to the piece. Right?

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I toyed with the idea of painting the sides of the plaque, considering using black or aqua, but neither seemed right to me. The natural blonde wood with the darker woodburning were great contrasts to each other, and bringing in some non-natural color just wouldn’t look right. In the end, I gave it to Dan as it appears above, without paint.

Dan really liked it. I asked him if he wanted me to pain the edges, but he agreed that it just looked best in its natural state. We’re not sure where we’ll hang it yet – maybe in our gallery wall, or maybe upstairs in the hallway – but I’m just so pleased with how it turned out. I really liked woodburning (once I got the hang of it), and I’m looking forward to trying my hand at it again soon.

Fifth Anniversary Gift Ideas

Five years? Dan and I have been married for five years? This was 5 years ago. Wow. Those years have completely flown by. It seems like just yesterday that I became a Mrs., but I guess I’m an old married lady now.

In keeping with past years (see gift options for the second anniversary, third, and fourth), I thought I would share some great gift ideas that I came up with while brainstorming what to get Dan for this, our 5th anniversary, which officially is tomorrow. You know, help those who got married just a little bit behind me come up with an awesome gift idea for your spouse.

The traditional fifth anniversary gift is wood, and in modern days, the gift is silverware. We didn’t really need any silverware, so I stuck to the wood idea. As you might remember, our gifts are typically smaller, and we sometimes even make a part of the gifts we give.

These ideas got my creative juices flowing:

Year 5

1. Is your man (or woman) a smoker? Not a smoker of cigarettes, but a smoker of meets? If so, he/she might love some smoking chips for the smoker. I found  these hickory chips at World Market, but hop online and I’m sure you can find some other great options. Round out the gift with some quality meats and you have yourself a great anniversary gift (and possibly dinner!).

2. Does your other love outdoor lawn games? Maybe it’s just me. But if they do, I think this croquet set from Target would be a huge hit! Once summer arrives, I live outside as much as I can. In fact, for my birthday last year, Dan gave me lawn jenga. If your spouse loves the outdoors too, or just likes unusual games, this gift is a great way to go.

3. Would your significant other happen to be a baker? If so, then they may love this embossing rolling pin on etsy. I think this would be such a cool baking tool to have in my kitchen. Sugar cookies would no longer be boring! And you can get the rolling pin customized to say whatever you want on your cookies. I think it would be really fun to have a Christmas message on the baking pin, since I bake cookies every holiday season.

4. Maybe your guy/gal is into wine or spirits. Don’t forget, wines and whiskeys are aged in barrels! That totally counts as staying with the wooden theme. Buy a bottle of your spouse’s favorite drink, and include these neighborhood coasters from Uncommon Goods, which are made of wood. They have twelve different cities you can choose from. It doesn’t have to be the city where you live now, but maybe where you enjoyed a great trip together, where you got married, where you met, etc.

5. Can your spouse keep plants alive? Do they enjoy doing it? Personally, my answers to those questions are no and no, but I wish I could respond in the affirmative. If yours would, these pocket geometric wooden planters are just too cute! They’re handmade and look absolutely darling with an air plant in them. Bring them to the office or display them at home for a great gift.

6. Is your husband/wife into creating art? They may love this watercolor pencils set from Blick. Pair the pencils with watercolor paper, a paintbrush, their favorite music to paint to, and tickets to your local art museum for a gift that includes a true art experience.

7. Are your wedding photos still just sitting on the CD you got from your photographer? If so, stun your spouse by having some of those photos printed onto wood to hang on your walls. This four piece art gallery set from Shutterfly would look great anywhere in your home, and you would get to relive your wedding day every time you looked at the photos.

8. Would your partner enjoy a nice bath at the end of a long day? If they really like to linger in the tub, this bathtub caddy from Anthropologie would be a great way to keep their magazines, books, candles, and wine out of the water while they soak. Pair the caddy with some fancy bath salts and a bottle of vino for a fun gift.

9. And finally, is your person a tea drinker? If they are a tea shop regular, or they work in a lab, then they would certainly enjoy this tea tube from CB2. Sure it’s mostly glass, but the top part is beechwood. Give the tea tube with some loose leaf tea and a new book you think they will enjoy and you have a cozy gift that anyone will love.

If none of those gifts sound quite right, check out my Pinterest page for even more ideas (including some DIY gifts!).

So what did I get Dan? Well, I can’t tell you just yet. We’ll give each other our gifts tonight, and since I know he’s an avid reader of my blog, I can’t divulge that information just yet or it will ruin the surprise. I promise to share that with you next week. In the meantime, I’ll be off celebrating 5 years of wedded bliss.