Golden 50th anniversary craft ideas

A great craft gift that you can make for a fiftieth anniversary is a personalized mirror that showcases the traditional anniversary gifts for the first through fiftieth years of marriage.

A decorated mirror is a symbolic gift for a golden fiftieth anniversary because mirrors literally reflect, and anniversaries are occasions to (figuratively) reflect on the many years of marriage that have passed. To make your anniversary mirror, you will need a large rectangular mirror with a wide frame. The frame can be any color or material because you are going to be covering it up. However, make sure that the frame is smooth and level, not ridged or textured, because you want to be able to securely glue items to the frame without it looking bumpy and sloppy. You will also need several other items that you should be able to find at a crafts store or online crafts retailer.

You should get items that represent the traditional anniversary gifts (according to gift-giving etiquette). You are going to be creating a border that is covered with items from the first anniversary to the fiftieth anniversary. Here is the breakdown for anniversary gifts (keep in mind that there is one assigned for each year for the first fifteen years of marriage, and after the fifteen year mark, the gifts go according to five-year increments):

1st year - Paper

2nd year - Cotton

3rd year - Leather

4th year - Flowers

5th year - Wood

6th year - Candy

7th year - Wool

8th year - Bronze

9th year - Pottery

10th year - Aluminum

11th year - Steel

12th year - Silk

13th year - Lace

14th year - Ivory

15th year - Crystal

20th year - China

25th year - Silver

30th year - Pearl

35th year - Coral

40th year - Ruby

45th year - Sapphire

50th year - Gold

Clearly, it wouldn't be practical to try to find a "real" version of many of these items. Your goal should simply be to find items that are representative of these traditional gifts. For example, to represent cotton (2nd year), you could use just a couple of cotton balls. To represent flowers (4th year), you could just use a few artificial flower tops. For crystal (15th year), simply use a piece of glass. For aluminum (10th year), just use a balled-up piece of aluminum foil. For a ruby (40th year), simply find a ruby-colored rhinestone. Keep the size of your frame in mind so that you get items that are small enough to fit within the confines of the frame.

Before you begin gluing the items to your frame, paint the frame black, gray, or white, depending on your preference. In order to avoid getting paint on the mirror itself, cover the outer edges of the mirror with tape prior to painting it. Allow the paint to dry completely before you continue.

Lay your mirror on a flat work surface. Before gluing down any of your anniversary items, lay them out on the frame, starting with the 1st year's "˜paper' gift at the top left corner, and working your way chronologically around in a clockwise direction so that the items are evenly spaced-out around the entire border of the mirror. Once you are satisfied with the arrangement of your items, carefully glue them down with durable glue (if the frame is made of wood, make sure to use wood glue).

Once the items have dried into place, finish off your anniversary mirror by stenciling "Golden"¦" on the top of the mirror, and stenciling "Reflections" on the bottom of the mirror. Use a metallic-looking gold paint since the fiftieth is the "golden" anniversary. To apply the paint, dip a sponge in it, blot a few times on a scrap piece of paper, and slowly press the gold paint over the stenciled words. You can make the stencils yourself by cutting out the words from a sheet of paper or thin plastic sheet.

If you want to vary this anniversary craft idea, you could surround the border with pictures of the couple throughout their fifty years of marriage. Also, you could opt to use a picture frame rather than a mirror. Let your creative juices run wild to add your own personal touches to this sentimental gift!

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