Giving the One Year Anniversary Gift of Paper

Giving the One Year Anniversary Gift of Paper

Editor’s Note: This post is sponsored. The artwork by Katy Garry and the frame from featured in this post were both sent to me complimentary in exchange for me writing about them. All editorial and opinions are my own.

Paper is the standard one year anniversary gift – isn’t it nice that tradition gives us a rough guide in choosing something special for our loves? It sets boundaries but also allows space for creativity to run wild. And when one of my favorite artists, Katy Garry, proposed the idea of partnering up to share how fun creating a personalized paper gift could be, I was beyond jazzed. I’m a huge fan of Katy’s preppy, modern art (it’s front and center in CBB’s office!) and couldn’t wait to conceptualize a custom commission with her and share all the amazing fun with you! And when all was said and done, I found the most perfectly fitting gold bamboo frame for Katy’s gorgeous painting from, I’m so excited to share the full process with you:

After a client of Katy’s shared that they bought one of her patriotically preppy flags as a first anniversary gift, Katy knew there was a story to be told and I’m still so tickled she reached out to me to help share! Custom commissioned paintings on paper may just be the absolute best first anniversary gifts because they have the ability to be so deeply personal. How sweet would it be for a husband to gift his wife with a custom painting based on a detail as small as the (chinoiserie!) wallpaper that adorned the couples’ hotel room from their honeymoon? Are you digging that idea? Well, we decided to run with it and that’s exactly what we did here so you can get an idea of the fun process of working with Katy on a custom commission.

Ordering a Custom Commission

Step One | Once we had the chinoiserie concept nailed down, I e-mailed Katy a few examples of wallpapers along with the colors I wanted (mostly soft blues and ivories) in the painting and the dimensions that would work for me.

Step Two | Katy got to work and because I follow her on Instagram @katygarryfineart, I was delighted to see she shared an Insta story in her art studio while she was working on “Monkey Time!” It was awesome to get a sneak peek at the pretty painting!

Step Three | Once Katy finished, she e-mailed me a photo of the painting and asked if I wanted anything tweaked. It was better than I had even imagined but I thought I would want a little something more added in the upper-right corner. After expressing that to Katy, she added the most perfectly placed monkey and I felt like the painting just came to life even more! I was in love.

Step Four | At this point, Katy will offer to have your piece custom framed or she can ship the painting unframed directly to you. I chose the latter because I felt I had the perfect antique frame waiting for it at home … however, when it arrived and I saw them together in person, I knew it wasn’t a match made in heaven so I started frame shopping!

Luckily, it didn’t take me long to find the gold bamboo frame of my dreams! I partnered with and chose the 3/4″ wide gold bamboo frame. It was a little tougher for me to choose a mat color so I asked for both the Bainbridge #819 Alpine Blue and the Bainbridge #81 Ivory because I knew I’d be better able to decide once I saw them both in person with the artwork and frame. is great because the cost of framing with them is significantly lower than standard frame shops. Now you do have to do a bit of assembling when the pieces are shipped to you but as I found out, it’s incredibly simple and doesn’t take long at all.

When all of my framing supplies arrived, I unwrapped everything and laid the artwork out with both mats (I had these pre-cut but typically customers will cut their own mats) so I could choose which one I thought looked best. Which one do you like? I actually really liked both but I thought the ivory would work best in the room I planned to hang it. Once I had that decided, it was time to start framing!

I made sure to watch this video which was extremely helpful and I got right to work. I dabbed some wood glue on the corners of the frame ends and then placed the t-nails in each corner. After waiting a minimum of 30 minutes for it to dry, I unwrapped the acrylic and assembled the frame, mat and foam backing. Last, I screwed in the offset clips to hold everything in place and added strap hangers to make hanging easy. The whole process (after the glue was dried) probably took less than 20 minutes and it was really easy.

And voila! Framed and ready to hang – what a beauty!

If you’re thinking about giving diy framing a shot, I’d definitely recommend and they also offer 50 frames for online custom framing (in which they cut and assemble for the customer). However, they offer 350 frames for customers who choose to assemble themselves.  As for mats, they offer single white, gray, ivory or blacks mats for online custom framing but more than 100 colors of matboard in sheets for customers to cut themselves.

I’m so happy with this beautifully framed gorgeous artwork and I hope sharing this experience will make you strongly consider the idea of gifting a commissioned painting for your first anniversary. Katy is up for the challenge! Tell her Classic Bride sent you.

Photography and Styling by Sarah Darcy of Classic Bride blog.