State Plaque

Last year, I found a cute idea on Pinterest.  Someone had created this adorable plaque.  Unfortunately, the link attached to the pin didn’t lead to directions.  I decided to make similar plaques for my parents and my boyfriend’s parents for Christmas.  I detailed my improvised process below.  Sorry for the lack of pictures!

Texas Plaque Inspiration

Materials (and where I bought them):

  • A Plaque ( Hobby Lobby)
  • A Box of Small Nails (Home Depot)
  • A Small Finishing Hammer (Home Depot)
  • Ball of Cotton Crochet Thread (Hobby Lobby)
  • Masking Tape
  • Scissors
  • Access to a Computer/Printer


  1. Purchase your plaque so you are certain of the size.
  2. Print out a state map and a small heart using your computer and printer.  Make sure the sizes are appropriate for your plaque.  I copied my state map into PowerPoint so that I could scale it to fit my plaque well. Also in PowerPoint, I superimposed the heart on the map over the cities where my parents and my then boyfriend’s (now fiance’s!) parents live.
  3. Cut out the map and the heart using scissors.
  4. Create small rolls of masking tape and put the tape on the back of the map.
  5. Place the map on the plaque in the orientation desired.
  6. Line the paper map and heart with nails.  I would suggest using a spacer so the nails are evenly spaced.  I used a crochet hook.  A pen would be an appropriate size.
  7. After the paper map and heart are completely lined with nails, carefully remove the map.
  8. Tie the end of the thread to one of the heart nails.  Maintaining tension in the thread, wrap the thread around the nails alternating between heart nails and map nails.  Wrap thread around each map nail once and each heart nail several times.  When all of the nails are wrapped, tie the string to the final nail and cut the string close to the nail.

My Plaques

I was very pleased with the final product and both of our parents loved their gifts!

Difficulty:  Easy

Time Requited:  2 Movies

Overall Experience:  Excellent

About a month ago, I got an email from Uncommon Goods.  They are selling almost the exact same plaques for $85!  I wish that I had thought to paint the tips of the nails red for the heart.  That was a really cute idea!

Uncommon Goods Plaque

Cross-Stitch Portrait

I’m a big fan of the site Uncommon Goods.  As the name suggests, the company carries fun unique products.  A few months ago, I was pleased to see a cross-stitch item advertised.  I rarely see cross-stitching anywhere and greatly enjoyed it as a child.  The site offers custom cross-stitched portraits for the staggering fee of $175-$225.  I was shocked at the price.  The designs, while adorable, were extremely simple.

Cross-Stitch Portraits

Two of my friends, Nathan and Lara, were going to be married so I decided to make them a cross-stitch portrait to add to their wedding shower gift drawing inspiration from the Uncommon Goods portraits.   The pattern I developed is shown below.  (Click on the pattern to make it larger.)  The bold lines represent backstitching and the triangles are French knots.  The other symbols represent cross-stitching in different colors.  If you choose to follow the pattern, any color may be used.  I chose colors that matched Nathan and Lara’s wedding colors (pink and navy).


Portrait Cross-Stitch Pattern


Difficulty:  Easy

The project is about as easy as cross-stitching gets.

Time Requited:  2 Movies

Overall Experience:  Excellent

The project was fast and simple.  Nathan, Lara, and everyone at the shower loved it.