Note: This post was written by a sweet friend of mine who had been a regular contributor to MomsMorningCoffee years ago. Kelly D’Ambrosio is currently the anchor of CBS2 “Live at Five” and FOX28 “News at Nine” in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

This past Christmas I gave the women in my family and my girlfriends one of my favorite gifts ever! I’m so psyched about this idea that I just had to share it here with you because I know many other women would love this gift! Plus it really gets your mind working as to other creative ideas and gifts you could do that are similar.

The idea came after I went to a craft fair and saw these charms that were made of little maps. So adorable – but way overpriced! They were about $50.00 for just a small charm…a chain wasn’t even included! I not only wanted one for myself, but I knew this craft would make super personal Christmas gifts. Then I remembered Hobby Lobby. I knew I had seen necklace making things there and thought I’d look and see if I could make these myself!

Guess what? I found everything I needed for around twelve dollars (not including the maps). I was elated!

For the maps, I went online to each states visitor’s page and ordered a physical map to be mailed to my home (they were free!) Then I had to wait and wait and wait and wait for them to come in the mail and I started to get worried I wouldn’t receive them before Christmas. So I ended up getting a U.S. road maps book at Walmart for around seven dollars and my Florida map ended up arriving in time (way to go Sunshine State!). I’m actually still waiting to receive Virginia and Tennessee. (What’s the hold up here?)

The idea for this memory necklace came after I went to a craft fair and saw these charms that were made of little maps. So adorable - but way overpriced! I took the glass piece and laid it on the map in the area I wanted to showcase, outlined it with a pencil, cut it out, stuck it in the glass and voila! The charm was made! I actually picked two places for each necklace because the necklace is two-sided, so I stuck the maps back to back before I enclosed them.

The chain, on the other hand, was a bit of a booger. Luckily I have a very sweet husband who sat with me, cut the chains and helped me connect them with little metal rings. It was a pain and I got one connected correctly…one! I’m such a wimp! My husband connected the other 5. (He’s a keeper.)

I am so proud of the end product and I love how personal each necklace is. Each person I gave them to has a special place in their heart for the locations featured on their necklaces. It’s just so unique! I kind of want to make one for everyone I know!

Other approaches to a memory necklace

I’ve also thought of other ways to spice this up! If you have an old or tattered Bible that just sits on your shelf, you could cut out your favorite Bible verse and put that in there! If you do that though, it won’t be a whole verse, it will be pieces of different verses. So, if you want a whole coherent verse you could type it on your computer and print it out.

Or grab a line or two from your favorite book. It’s ok that you won’t have enough room for a complete sentence in the charm because the necklace is a lot about texture too. Printing out something on computer paper won’t look as cool as cutting a page from an actual book, especially an old book that is worn and discolored.

There are so many ways you could play with this and make it your own or personalize it for gift giving. Share your ideas in the comments below!

WonderMaps by Bright Ideas Press

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