Friday, March 29, 2013

Button Wine Charms

I had a grown-up party this past weekend. Had food, wine and games, even. Well, since most of my guests are wine drinkers, I knew I needed a way for them to easily ascertain whose glass was whose.

Enter wine charms.

I knew I didn't want to spend a fortune on these little baubles, but I wanted them to be fun and somewhat whimsical.

From Pinterest I'd seen some ideas using hoop earrings as "templates" – so I decided to buy some of those (Michaels) and then use something I had already at the house...I had leftover buttons from my homemade burlap wreath project, so I just used those.

They were quick and simple to make, and I had no idea how big of a deal it would be for my guests to choose WHICH button wine charm they wanted for their glasses...who knew it'd be a little game in and of itself?

Fun, cheap and easy wine charms – I guess I need to have people over again just so we can break them out for another go-round :)

Rustic DIY Flower Vases

After completing my DIY burlap wreath I had a lot of leftover burlap, twine and white pillow case fabric. What to do with it all?

On Pinterest I'd seen some really cute centerpiece ideas – most notably, those using soup cans for vases. I'd already cleaned up and been using three such cans on my table for flowers, but they seemed a bit plain (I'd done nothing with the soup cans).

I'd originally thought to tie raffia around them, but then they still seemed a touch boring.

Well, since I had this leftover burlap and pillow case fabric, why not add that to my little soup can vases? So I did – and I'm quite pleased with the results!

For the first soup can, I covered it entirely with the burlap, but for the remaining two I trimmed the burlap to fit in the center of two of the soup cans. I like both methods but I think I like the vases where I can still see the soup can.

After attaching the burlap with the glue gun I cut some of the pillow case fabric to apply in the middle for some contrast. Then it was time to tie on some twine to complete the look.

And there you have it – cute little DIY rustic flower vases for a fun centerpiece.

DIY Burlap Wreath

I've never been a "wreath" person. That is to say, if it's not the Christmas season, I don't have any wreaths hanging in my house. Until now.

On one of my favorite dog-walk routes, I pass by the cutest little brick house. I can tell someone new moved in recently, because the décor has improved and there's always a wreath hanging on the front door. It recently changed from a Christmas-y reddish wreath to a gold-ish, spring-looking wreath.

The idea occurred to me: just because it's not Christmas didn't mean I couldn't hang a wreath on OUR front door...but what kind? So I started looking up ideas online – and figured I'd make my own wreath. For some reason or other I've decided I'm in love with burlap, so I went to Michaels and bought all the requisite materials for my first-ever DIY burlap wreath:

  • grapevine wreath
  • burlap
  • super glue
  • buttons
  • twine
  • wooden letter

I knew I wanted to make my own flowers to put on the wreath, and that if I only used burlap the color scheme would be a tad bland. So I headed over to the neighbors' house to ask if Jane had any leftover white fabric...lo and behold, she did – she'd just finished up her own project and had two leftover white pillow cases, which she gave to me.

Upon learning that I didn't have a glue gun of my own, she loaned me hers...which proved invaluable in the making of my burlap wreath. While I had started out using super glue to make my burlap flowers, the glue gun was easier*.

The pillow case fabric went perfectly with the burlap – a tad rustic, a tad rough and white to break up the brown color palette. I didn't end up using all the flowers I made, but settled on one flower pattern for the wreath: the oh-so-easy-to-make rosette. Most of the flowers are plain, but for a few I added button centers to shake it up a bit.

After I spent a couple nights making all the flowers, it was time to start figuring out just how I wanted the burlap "covering" to look on my grapevine wreath. I played around with wrapping the burlap for about two minutes before settling on how it should lay. I didn't even glue it in place; just wrapped it around and then tucked the ends into the grapevine wreath. 

Then it was time to arrange all the burlap and fabric flowers. I laid them all out, positioned them, re-positioned them a few times and then glued them down to the burlap with the hot glue gun.

At this point, all that was left was to add the curlicue letter "D" (for Danks :) with some twine. Voilà! A homemade burlap wreath for any season.

The only thing I didn't consider when making this wreath was the tendency of the grapevine wreath to hang a certain you can see, I didn't work with shape of the wreath; the way I positioned the burlap and flowers the wreath has a tendency to want to hang along the pre-existing "oval."

I originally wanted the flowers to lie along the left-hand side of the wreath, but the way it wants to hang they have to lie along the underside for weight distribution.
Oh well, next time. Consider that my "humility bead" aspect of my first DIY burlap wreath!

It was a fun project that led to more...after finishing my homemade wreath I had the "bug" and wanted to make more burlap stuff. With the leftover burlap and pillow case fabric I ended up making some cute, rustic DIY flower vases. And covering a cheap, store-bought candle. And wondering how hard it would be to make burlap curtains...

But that's for another day :)

*Note: I'd never used a glue gun before. I had read a lot of other DIY'er accounts of how you burn your fingers while using this tool...after a few minutes of using it I thought, "what's the big deal?" And then 45 minutes later, when that sucker was SUPER-hot, I got it. I think the most painful was when I got a big ol' dab of molten lava-hot glue on my fingernail. YOUCH.