Anniversary art

The traditional gift for a first anniversary is paper, and since the circumstance surrounding our relationship, and our relationship itself, is extra super traditional (**cough cough** SARCASM **cough cough**) there was no way I was going to not gift Shannon something paper-y for our one year anniversary. The trick was coming up with a unique gift and adding my own twist. BUT DON’T WORRY. I think it’s safe to say I killed it. (Yes, “killed it” is a good thing…in this case.) Now the trick is to come up with something just as unique and rad for next year. Year two is “cotton”, guys, and I’m totally drawing a blank. DIY brush script anniversary gift // Kelsey, Esp. blog Apologies upfront for the crappy photography; I’m burdened (it’s opposite day) with a wall of windows in my bedroom that just flood the entire upstairs with light (oh, the horror amirite?!) and no matter what time of day I tried photographing for this post I ended up with horrible glare. I’M SORRY, OKAY?! Except that I’m actually not sorry because natural light rocks my socks. And so does Shannon. Which is why I gifted her this extra awesome handmade + heartfelt anniversary gift. I was just trying to return the sock-rocking favor, and I’m preeettty sure it worked because these framed original (see also: DIY) brush script posters (?)/prints (?) rocked her socks right off  if you know what I mean. DIY brush script anniversary gift // Kelsey, Esp. blogDIY brush script anniversary gift // Kelsey, Esp. blogDIY brush script anniversary gift // Kelsey, Esp. blogDIY brush script anniversary gift // Kelsey, Esp. blogDIY brush script anniversary gift // Kelsey, Esp. blogDIY brush script anniversary gift // Kelsey, Esp. blog Originally I had a completely different paper themed idea to gift Shannon for our anniversary but it ended up being more than I could afford (I’m keeping that idea quiet, though, because one day we’ll have another one year anniversary to celebrate our first year of marriage) so I brainstormed up this idea: “custom” original brush script posters of her favorite line from “our” song. I headed to Michaels and grabbed some supplies: two giant sheets of watercolor paper for like, $4 each, an itty bitty tube of black gouache paint (about $10), and the stiffest brush I could find (about $15). In total I spent right around $30 bucks on supplies. The brush isn’t meant for brush script but it worked just fine for me and I still have plenty of gouache left in that tiny tube so all in all, $30 bucks wasn’t bad. But if you’re looking to save a few more pennies, you can get a couple pieces of poster board — which measure the same exact size as the large watercolor sheets — for about $0.60 cents a pop.

Except for the small quote I hurriedly made for Emma’s letter Q show and tell item a couple weeks prior I’d never before attempted brush script. The final result didn’t turn out exactly like I’d pictured but I think they came out pretty awesome for a first-time attempt, yeah? You really just have to make sure you have a good gob of paint on your brush and commit to the word when you set your brush down on the paper. You’ve got to go with the flow and accept that mistakes are going to happen (but they might end up making your art that much better).

I didn’t plan on having specks of paint flung all around my pieces but after an “accident” I decided to detract by doing just that — flinging specks of paint all around. And then totally randomly I decided to throw a tiny bit of translucent-y-ish glitter on top of each poster (?)/print (?) and call it good. Then, as soon as I was finished and set them on the floor to photograph, Madden dropped a piece of pizza facedown on one and then walked across it WHILE IT WAS STILL WET…with paint and pizza sauce. I was going to re-do that one but the frame ended up hiding his little accident(s), so it all worked out perfectly. Kind of.

After letting them dry very thoroughly — like, for a few days — I stuck each one in a giant frame and hung the frames over each nightstand. When Shannon came to pick me up for Anniversary Weekend I was napping on the couch. She needed to grab some extra clothes for the weekend out of her nightstand and when she ran upstairs to get them her framed gift was up there waiting for her. She loved it (them?) then and still does. And so do I. Messy Madden footprints, pizza sauce, and all.

What about you? Have you ever tried your hand at brush script? If not, YOU SHOULD! And then you should email me or tag me on Instagram because I want to seeeeeee!


The frames are from Ikea — VIRSERUM — and measure roughly 28″ x 40″ (they’re extra giant size, I know), which means the part that shows through the matting measures just under 20″ x 28″. They were pretty affordable at $25 bucks a pop and fit the space perfectly, both in terms of size and aesthetic. Total price tag for this DIY gift? Right around $80 bucks. And it took about 20 minutes of my time. Pretty legit, if you ask me.

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  • I LOVE the story behind this gift. So fun to read the details like an exciting adventure!
    And I must say… that quote… I do not know the song but it is just awesome.
    I attempted brushcript a couple of weeks before… and I found it the most relaxing thing I have made in really long time. I can’t wait to repeat! I posted a photo on instagram if you are curious. I wrote a song that I was listening at this moment. It is the far thing from perfect but I liked it.
    I am saving money at the moment, but as soon as I can I want to find more properly supplies to practice deeply!