This year, we had our anniversary in a new country. And, after getting rid of all our possessions, I didn't really want to start collecting things again unless they were things of need or importance. So naturally, I decided that an experience or memory gift would be in order.
While doing my research on Finland, I came across this concept of love locks. I'm sure you've heard of them before, but if you haven't, the basic idea behind them is this. Couples purchase a lock on which they can engrave something personal (usually their initials and the year). They then lock the lock onto a bridge (there are a lot of acceptable bridges in many different countries and cities) and throw the key into the water symbolizing that their bond is forever and unbreakable.
I immediately thought this would be the perfect gift. What better way to commemorate both our anniversary and our move to Finland? Especially since there's a bridge in Helsinki that already has locks on it. (When we decided to put the lock on one of the bridges close to our new apartment instead, we were pleasantly surprised to find it already had a few love locks on it, so it was almost like fate!)
Since I had to carry out this craft in a country where I had no idea what stores were for what things, I had to do this kind of ghetto. So I'm giving you palsy pictures from my iphone (I couldn't charge my proper camera at the beginning because I was worried about voltage issues) and I had no supplies or knowledge of where to get anything at the time (since I actually made and gifted my lock back in December, about 2 1/2 weeks after we first landed in Helsinki).
Had we been in Canada, I would have done one thing differently. I would have spent the time and money to get the lock professionally engraved (like that super sweet pink lock above). This requires only a simple trip to a jewelry store. As it was, I did the best I could scratching in the initials myself with a screw I found in our first apartment (I told you it was ghetto!). The scratching will definitely be there long after the ink rubs off, but it's just not as nice as I would have liked it to be (although what's on the lock and how it looks is completely minor in comparison to the sentiment involved, so it really doesn't matter in the long run). But if there's one thing I would suggest you do differently from me, it would be that one step.
The rest is pretty easy and mostly for presentation.
What you need:
nail polish (optional)
ribbon, string, or pretty washi tape (optional)
What you need to do:
Engrave or scratch you and your loved one's initials into the lock along with anything else that's significant. First date, wedding date, anniversary date, etc. Pretty much whatever floats your heart boat.
I wanted to dress the key up, so I painted it red with a little nail polish. I didn't have a single stashed craft supply save for my sharpies and my washi tape (there's no way I was going to leave those behind!), so I wrote over my scratchings with a sharpie so they'd be easier to see (for presentation) and I pushed a piece of washi tape through the key's hole as a cute fob and I put another little flag on the lock shank. This is all completely optional. Remember, you're going to be locking the padlock on a public bridge and throwing the key into the water so it's really not necessary that you dress it up. I just thought it added a little bit of romance and colour to the present rather than giving my ghetto scratched padlock on its own.
Next is completely up to you and your loved one. Pick the bridge that's significant to you and go lock it on there (don't forget to throw away the key). Tears galore!