Cheap 4th Anniversary Present Idea: Watercolor Slideshow Video!

Well, today marks four wonderful years with my hubby and partner in crime. We’ll be taking a trip to the UK & Ireland next month to properly celebrate, but I didn’t want to let the day go by without at least marking the occasion in some small (and hopefully, inexpensive) way.

Last year, presented with the same issue of travel not falling on our anniversary proper, I presented the hubby with a DIY infographic of our marriage up until that point. Nerdy, yes, but also cute and totally FREE to put together.

This year, I wanted to do something similar, and originally came up with the idea of putting together a video slideshow. I’ve previously worked with the online tool Animoto, and found it a super-easy way to construct a nearly pro-quality video. You upload your photo or video clips, pick a style or build your own, pick their licensed music or upload an mp3, and boom, you’re ready to publish.

Animoto offers a free trial, and you can make and publish videos in trial mode, so long as you’re ok with a watermark on your videos. Or, for $16 for a one-month “personal” membership, you can go ahead and remove the watermark altogether. (If you go this route, as I did, just remember to also “un-check” the box for auto-renewal of your plan!)

However, after playing around with Animoto for a bit, the slideshow I was building didn’t seem special enough somehow…the hubby had already seen all the photos I had to upload (as I put nearly ever photo I take up on Facebook to begin with…#overexposed). So I started the hunt for something that would help to kick the video up a notch.

And that’s when I learned about the app Waterlogue. The app, available for iPhone, transforms any photo you have into a watercolor painting. But, unlike a lot of other apps or filters that claims to do this…this one actually looks realistic!

Here are some of my favorite results that I got through the Waterlogue app:




Then, once I had “watercolored” all my photos, I went back to Animoto and put them into Slideshow mode. Here’s the final result:

However, a video slideshow is really only one idea. You could print and frame a watercolor-ized photo that you really like. You could compile them into a photo book (you can nearly always find a good online coupon code for Shutterfly, for example.) You could even get it screen printed onto a throw or coffee mug or anything you like on a site like CafePress. The sky’s the limit!

For us, though, this was an inexpensive and fun way to mark the day, and the hubby was happily surprised to see the video tagged on his Facebook wall when he woke up.

What free or cheap gift ideas do you have for anniversary presents? Tell us in the comments.


Author: Mrs. Millennial

I'm Whitney, writer of Mrs. Millennial. While I've got an advanced degree and a job in the tech industry, I'm usually happiest in my kitchen, garden, and home, or else on a crazy travel adventure. I hope you enjoy my recipes, home improvement tips, travel stories, musings, and more. You can also see what I'm up to in my professional life at Need to reach me? Shoot an email to whitney (dot) magnuson (at) gmail (dot) com.

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