DI-Wine: Tags and Bags

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Several years ago, a roommate and I were making a Trader Joe’s run when the cashier looked at the conveyer belt (which held many, many bottles of wine and …some food) then asked us, “Where’s the party?” We’re not sure if he was disappointed or impressed when we told him that we were simply buying our standard groceries for the week. That makes it at least twice that a cashier has mistaken my purchases for party supplies. We always did throw a helluva party.

Whether your hosting at home, or are just classy enough to never show up empty handed, here are some DIY tricks for your next bottle of vino: wine tags or charms to help keep everyone’s drink properly identified (something that can be hard to do in large crowds and after a few bottles), and wine bags to dress up a bottle you’re bringing to the host or hostess of the shindig.

Wine tags and charms are pretty easy to scavenge from various items you may have laying around like orphan earrings, or Monopoly pieces, charms, beads lettered beads are a neat choice. Just (very carefully) drill a hole in your charm if it doesn’t already have one, then string it on a loop of jewelry wire or any similar wire and twist closed with pliers. Alternatively, if you don’t have any of the above, decorate some heavy card stock with stamps, wrapping paper, magazine pages or anything else pretty, then punch a hole and string some ribbon through.

Wine bags usually fall into two categories: sewn or simple. If you’re comfortable with some basic stitching, then gather some canvas or linen or burlap scraps, paint with stamps or stencils, sew the sides and you’re set. If you’ve got sewing skill, then consider a more detailed option like the quilted wine tote, or the reversible bags.

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On the other hand, if you can barely thread a needle or are short on time, there are easier ways to go about it. For example, grab a scarf, fold it over (right sides together) and pin. Then sew, staple, glue, or safety pin the sides up about seven or eight inches and turn your “bag” right side out and tie up the top of the scarf in a pretty bow. Similarly, you can re-purpose the sleeve of a sweater or the leg of a pair of pants into a soft fabric bag (again, sew where needed to create a bag shape). If you have felt, you can use stitch witchery (which melts when ironed) to seal up the sides for a cute no-sew option. Or, if you have ribbon and a glue gun, wind some ribbon around your bottle, gluing carefully in place as your wrap and finish with a bow. Now, break open those bottles!


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Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

A freelance writer, blogger and poet based in San Francisco, Amber has written for PC World, InfoWorld, and the 16th & Mission Review. She has performed at City Hall, Litquake, the Brainwash, 16th & Mission, BlueSix, and SFSU among other places. Amber is also consummate fan of swearing, organizational freak, yoga practitioner, music geek, caffeine addict, and tattoo enthusiast who enjoys platform shoes, making out, thumb wrestling and fighting the good fight. She owns a bicycle named Gretel, a motor scooter named Elroy and a cat named Simon. She can be found in various virtual locations all over your interwebs.