Friday, August 30, 2013

My new go-to gift: DIY wine charms

I won't pretend I'm the crafty type of person who gives people home-made gifts all the time, but one of my new favorite gifts to make for friends and family are home-made wine charms.

Why are wine charms so awesome?

Well... a) because wine is near and dear to my heart and most people I know drink it (note to self: shut up about wine already!), b) because they are super cute and super easy to make, and c) because as if I'm going to let someone mistake my wine glass for theirs. Hands off!

I recently made the ones pictured above for my sister, but I've also made some for Crystal, who wrote about them on her old blog here.

(Graphic by Crystal)

If you don't already have the proper supplies, this little DIY could add up a bit money-wise, but once you have the wire, pliers and cutters, the charms themselves cost anywhere from $1 to $6 a piece.

I bought all of my supplies from Hobby Lobby and Michael's, though either store on their own would have everything you need.

All of these supplies can be found in the jewelry-making section of both stores. You'll find Martha Stewart has the cutest (and most expensive!) charms, because of course she does. 

I first saw the idea for these on Lauren Conrad's blog--though I know plenty of other sites have written about DIY wine charms--and immediately wanted to try my own hand at it.

While there are plenty of ways to go about it (like this blogger, who makes it super, super easy), I kind of prefer shaping the wire myself for a more home-made look, which is code for it looks much cruder than what you'd buy in stores. Kidding! They're charmingly rustic.

So how do you make them? Well it's probably pretty self-explanatory, but who doesn't like visuals?

1. Using your wire cutters, cut about 2.5 to 3 inches of wire off at a time. No, I don't measure exactly (which is why I could never be a baker). Just eyeball it.

2. Shape your wire into a general circle, about the size of a nickel.

3. Using your jewelery pliers (I'm using needle-nose pliers), twist back the ends of your wire to form the hooks. It can be easier for closing purposes if you bend the hooks into opposite directions. Does that even make sense? As in one hook is pointed toward the right and the other toward the left. Um, yeah, just bend them.

4. Ta-da! Both are now bent.

5. Use your wire cutters to make the hooks an even length.

6. Now that your hooks are made, you can secure them, and then, using pressure from your fingers, perfect the shape of the charms.

7. How it should look once you are done with #6. And now you just need to add the charm!

8. Take your jewelry connectors (just small links that can be easily opened with pliers and then squeezed shut again) and attach one to your charm. While lots of charms already have a hole you can loop the wire through, I like to use these connectors because they help the charms lay nice and flat on the wine glass. If you don't use them, the charms tend to hang at an awkwardly crooked angle.

9. Yeah-yeah! Now you just have to loop your charm with it's little connector onto the wire and you are done. How cute is my little hedgehog?

So if we become besties, I'll probably be making these for you at some point, unless you're like my mom and she already has lots (which, btw, thanks mom for making me have to think of another gift).

And you know what, Lauren Conrad had the great idea of stringing them on a ribbon wrapped around a bottle of wine or champagne and giving them as a gift that way. So, hey if you have some fancy soiree this weekend and you want to gift the hostess with something, then here you go.

And if you're a beer drinker, well why not just clasp them around the neck of your beer? No one would laugh at you, I promise. (Just kidding, I'm laughing at you right now).

Happy Friday, everyone!


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