How to make shrink film wine charms

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When my sister got married I was looking for an inexpensive but classy way to mark guest’s wine glasses. I came up with the following design using printable shrink film paper.
First, I scanned in the part of their wedding invitation that I wanted to include on the tags. Then I created a PowerPoint file with some test tags with different fonts and image sizes to see what I liked best. The dimensions I ended up using were: tag size 2″ x 4″, image size 1.5″ x 1.5″, font: 40 point Edwardian Script.
Once I had selected the right parameters for the tag I created a template with 10 tags per sheet and then used the template to make the final tags. I entered each guest’s name on a tag and printed them out, then used scissors to cut out each tag, and cut the corners off the tops of the tag. I used a hole punch to punch a hole in the top of the tag, then baked them for a few minutes, and Voila! Wine charms!
I used two pairs of needlenose pliers to attach a jump ring thru the hole and then put a wine charm ring through the jump ring to attach the tag to the glass.
These were relatively easy to make and were a hit at the wedding. They were a fun little keepsake for guests and they made it easy for people to keep track of their glass.

PM me for extra tips!

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Rifle Paper Co., decorating a dollhouse, and homemade soap

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Love this gift wrap so much…the soft pink bow goes so well with the blues.  Photo from the Rifle website.

Right now I am loving the Rifle Paper Co.  I just bought these thank you cards for baby gifts, and am seriously in love with this Toile Gift Wrap, which I plan to buy as gift wrap and as wallpaper for the new dollhouse I just bought for my little girl (who is not born yet– we don’t have diapers, we don’t have bottles, but we do have a lovely dollhouse).  I also love their LeSportsac collection.

Speaking of the dollhouse, we just picked up this very cool dollhouse from Ikea, which I was unable to find online.  It was $30 and it’s pine, and I plan to paint it white and add “wallpaper” (i.e., Mod Podged wrapping paper) and some wood floors (cut from wood veneer strips).  There are some really great ideas online for dollhouses and I plan on making mine so that it’s appropriate for a very young child- i.e., no little pieces that can come off, and I imagine we will graduate to a fancier dollhouse when she is older.  I think it will probably be a home for the Calico Critters Hopscotch Rabbit family, or something similar, so I’ll choose my colors and patterns accordingly.  I can’t wait to start this project.

I also just recently bought supplies to make homemade soap, so I will be posting on this project in the next week or so.  I look forward to giving homemade soap as gifts, and as someone with very sensitive skin I look forward to having soap that I can tailor to my skin’s needs.

A year ago today: Etsy buys- stamps and napkins

 

 

Organized Birthday Greetings

In the past, I always seemed to be running around at the last minute trying to get birthday cards out.  This year, my husband and I developed a system that made everything much easier.  We buy, address, and stamp all of the birthday cards for the year at once.  When the birthday is coming up we just take the card out, write a little note to the recipient, and put it in the mail.

Here’s how we did it.  First, we created an Excel spreadsheet with two sheets.  The first sheet is for addresses and it has four columns.  The first column is simply the last name, which we use to alphabetize the list.  The second column includes the names of everyone in the family.  The third column is the address, written exactly as it should appear on an envelope.  And the fourth column is for notes, such as the name of a boyfriend or girlfriend.  This sheet is our master list of addresses, which we also use for Christmas cards.

The second sheet is for birthdays and has three columns.  The first column shows the month and date of the birthday, which are listed in chronological order.  The second column shows the birth year, and the third column is the name.   We highlighted the names of all of the people we wanted to send cards to.

We also keep a perpetual birthday calendar hanging in the kitchen.  It has a line for each day of the month, and we filled in the birthdays for family and friends so we can see at a glance when birthdays are coming up.

My husband and I took a printed copy of our birthday list to a card store to buy birthday cards for the upcoming year.  We did this the week after Christmas when we both had time off of work, but it really could be done any time.  We had about 15 cards to buy and together it took us about an hour to pick them all out.  When we got home, we stamped and addressed all of the envelopes, and sorted them chronologically.  Since my husband is German, some of our cards go to Europe, so we keep stamps on hand for both Europe and the US.  You can buy forever stamps online from the USPS for both Europe and the US, and I highly recommend keeping an inventory of the stamps you use regularly at home.

I can’t tell you how wonderful this system has been.  Now, when I see that someone’s birthday is coming up, I just go to the drawer where I have all of the birthday cards and find the card for that person, write a little note, seal the card, and put it in the mail.  No rushing to the store to find a card, no searching for an address, no stopping by the post office for stamps.  And, if I get unexpected cards for my birthday, I can make sure to reciprocate by adding that person to my birthday list.

The Pink Paper- signature gift wrap of a different generation

I recently hosted a baby shower for my dear cousin Ann.  Ann and I are second cousins, and our grandmothers were sisters.

At the shower, another cousin gave Ann a gift and announced, “it’s wrapped in the Pink Paper.”  Apparently, this wasn’t just any pink paper, this was THE Pink Paper- the paper that their grandmother Ellen used to wrap anything and everything.  Ellen passed away a few years ago, but the Pink Paper lives on.

The Pink Paper is a lovely light, opaque, matte pink, and it came in a gigantic roll.  I don’t know where it originally came from, but I can guess.  Our grandmothers grew up very poor and were impressionable young girls during the depression, so resources and opportunities were not wasted.  I imagine this roll may have come from a store that was closing, possibly one that a friend or relative had worked in, and that Ellen saw in this roll the opportunity to never buy wrapping paper again.  And so one woman’s thrifty ways brought about a cherished family tradition of getting gifts from Grandma wrapped in the Pink Paper.  I love this idea of seeing a gift and knowing who it’s from just by how it is wrapped.

After hearing this story I was eager to create my own version of the Pink Paper.  I decided to buy a giant roll of wrapping paper that I would use to wrap anything and everything.  I eventually settled on a light blue glossy paper from Paper Mart (papermart.com).  It was under $20 for a 100 foot roll, which should last me a good long time.  I plan to use it for everything I need to wrap, along with this cream-colored ribbon.

Do you have a signature wrapping paper?  If so, I would love to know what you chose.

 

 

Budget Wedding Idea: Books as Centerpieces and Favors

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The only flowers that I had at my wedding were my bouquet, my matron of honor’s bouquet, corsages and boutonnieres for both sets of parents, and a small bouquet for the hall table.  Even this small amount of flowers was almost $500!  Ah, weddings.

So instead of having flowers for centerpieces at the tables, we decided to have books, which also doubled as the favors.  We chose a theme for each table based on our interests and tried to match them with the guests.  Our themes were wine, Disney, cooking, Hawaii, Pacific Northwest Travel, running, and Paris.

Our guests LOVED this.  They still talk about how much they “loved the books”.  We just put together what we thought was an interesting selection of books on a particular topic, having one extra book for each table, and tied a wide ivory ribbon (I learned how to tie a bow here, and this was the ribbon we used) around the stack.  We tried to keep our spending to an average of about $10 per book.  People enjoyed going thru the books and picking one out, and it gave everyone something to talk about.

We were able to assemble the stacks of books the weekend before, so on our wedding day our vendors just had to put one stack of books on each table.

Of course, in keeping with the theme, our place cards were old-school library cards.  We put a pocket for the card inside each book, so that people could put their place card in their book and keep it as a reminder of the day.

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