This year for Christmas I am giving my husband this tin filled with 12 envelopes.  Each envelope contains a unique date for us to do without the children.  Most of them are fully or partially paid for which makes this a really special gift.

First I will take you through how to decorate a tin to hold all the dates (really, a decorated tin can be used for an infinite number of uses).  Then if you are interested, I will give you some of my date ideas.


1. Grad a tin box and get crafty.  Mine in the photos is plain but because we are covering it with paper, you could use old outdated Christmas tins, cookie tins, or even search the clearance racks.  It doesn’t matter what the printed design is.  Measure the length and width of the box lid surface. Cut your patterned paper to fit and round the corners if necessary.

2. Measure the height of the box sides.  Measure the perimeter of the box as well.  Cut your patterned paper.  Most likely your perimeter will be longer than 12″, the width of most scrapbook patterned paper, so cut several 12″ strips to fit the height of the box.  Combining the strips will cover all the sides.


3. Apply Therm O Web Super Tape to the back of the cut patterned paper.  Get as close to the edges as you can.  If it is a large rectangle, you may want to add Super Tape to the middle as well.


4. Peel off the Super Tape red backing and adhere the paper to the tin.  When adding paper to the perimeter, overlap the strips of paper at the joints just slightly.

5. Embellish!  I added a 1/4″ ribbon around the perimeter of the lid using Super Tape as well.


You could alter these directions by using Therm O Web PeelnStick Adhesive sheets instead of Super Tape.  With PeelnStick Adhesive you would have the option to seal your patterned paper with gel medium or Mod Podge without the paper wrinkling.

Ok, so onto the dates.  Like I mentioned, I came up with 12 date ideas, one for each month of 2012.  I decided to do this for my husband because we have young kids and it is hard to get out and do something by ourselves.  With this we will be forced to make time for one another.  Most of the dates are just gift certificates at this point because it is hard to schedule an exact day and time so far in advance.  We will have to look at our calendar month by month to make the final arrangements.

Just for fun, here are my date ideas along with the teasers I put on the outside of the envelope.  A search through will give you further ideas for this “A Year of Dates” concept.

  • January – a gift certificate for a favorite sushi restaurant, “arigato for being my man” (arigato = thank you in Japanese)
  • February – a gift certificate for our traditional Valentine’s dinner, “you get the calamari with the legs”
  • March – a gift certificate for a cooking class at a local cooking school, “it’s getting hot in the kitchen”
  • April – Cubs baseball tickets, “one, two, three strikes you’re out”
  • May – a gift certificate for a wine room so we can take a tasting class, “wine makes me flirty”
  • June – a gift certificate for a local restaurant with an excellent outdoor patio, “dining under the moonlight”
  • July – gift certificates for a massage and then breakfast, “is my hair too oily to go out in public”
  • August – a promise for Lollapalooza tickets, “dig out the CamelBak and sunscreen”
  • September – gift certificate for a very fancy restaurant, “an anniversary dinner that is over the top”
  • October – Cubs game again (my only repeat), “yes, again…  that’s what we get for living so close”
  • November – gift certificates for a movie theater and the restaurant across the street, “barbecue and a flick”
  • December – ice skating and a gift certificate for a nearby pizza, “chill out on the ice, warm up by the oven”