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By: Jordan

This weekend, we had the chance to celebrate my wonderful boyfriend Adam’s birthday. He turns 28 tomorrow, May 16, and with that kind of age comes a certain air of maturity and gentlemanliness (that one’s a mouthful!). I kept this in mind when trying to find the perfect gift for him and I’m proud to say I think I hit a home run. Adam casually mentioned several months ago that he wanted a stationary set with his initials printed on each piece.

Taking my cue from that comment, I headed to Nourish husband and graphic designer Greg Perkins of The Ram! Project to enlist some professional help. Greg and I took some time to discuss Adam’s style and decided that a classic, masculine theme with some elements of nature would do the trick. Let me tell you, Greg did an incredible job!! Take a look at the finished materials, a 5×7 card printed front and back and a 4×6 fold-over card featuring a custom seal with Adam’s initials and a woodgrain background.

Despite the fact that the stationary Greg designed was perfect, we all know that presentation is a key element to successful gift giving. So, with Greg’s advice, I found a simple wooden box at a local craft store and gave it a stain to enhance its manliness. It was a really simple project that made a huge difference in the overall finesse of the gift. Below is the step-by-step how-to in case you have a gentleman in your life that deserves such a present.

What You’ll Need:

  • Item for staining
  • A screwdriver depending on the hardware of said item
  • Sand paper
  • Clean cloths for wiping
  • Stain in your choice of color
  • Foam brush
  • Newspaper or other disposable material for drop cloth
What to Do:
  1. Remove any hardware you don’t want to get the stain on
  2. Prepare your surface with an absorbent drop cloth
  3. Sand the wood surface of your item with the grain
  4. Wipe of any sanding residue with a clean cloth
  5. Apply an even coat of your stain using the foam brush, following the grain of the wood
  6. Allow the stain to saturate the wooden surface for 10-2o minutes
  7. Using another clean cloth, firmly wipe all excess stain from the item
  8. Depending on the color you want to achieve, you can add another coat after approx. 4 hours of drying time
  9. Replace all hardware
  10. Voila! You have a new, sophisticated piece.