40 Years of Memories, and A Beautiful Picture

Updated: Dec 2, 2019

What's left to give as an anniversary present after you've already celebrated 39 times?? This was the problem I recently helped a client solve. She came to me asking about a creating a design and including a photo from their wedding, and the brainstorming began!

We originally discussed adding some calligraphy to the matting around the picture, but when the details were all sorted out and the photo was delivered, the only option was actually to decorate the glass of the frame itself! So how exactly do you create lasting calligraphy on glass? Read on, Friend - I'm happy to share what I've learned.

First, we decided on a design. My client asked for "Happy 40th Wedding Anniversary", and their wedding date to be included, and some sort of heart design/flourishing along the sides. I started by creating a sketch and sending it to her for approval:

We discussed some minor edits (she didn't want the hearts so big, more like accents within the larger flourish), and after she approved the adjustments I began working on the real deal.

First, I made sure the glass was very clean and dry. Then, using my sketch as a guide, I laid out the lettering and flourishes with a paint pen. Once the design was completed and allowed to dry completely, I set about making it more permanent.

First, I taped off the frame and picture like this:

Then, I carefully sprayed the exposed glass with a permanent fixative spray. Multiple coats with this spray helps to make the design waterproof and UV-resistant. It also and had the added effect of creating the appearance of frosted glass where it was applied. So cool! While this method is not 100% protected and permanent, it will last a very long time if treated with care (no chemical cleaners, cleaned only with a clean dry (or slightly damp) cloth, not placed in full direct sunlight).

I had so much fun creating this, and absolutely loved how her design turned out! I heard later that it actually made her husband cry when he opened it, so we succeeded in surprising him with a great gift that he loves!

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