Since moving to our new noticeably-larger-than-a-shoebox apartment last summer, my boyfriend and I have begun doing rather more entertaining. Y’know, since there’s now room to entertain without tripping over everyone else’s feet all night. Entertaining of the kind we enjoy generally involves games, food and always drink.
With a living room full of people imbibing alcohol, mingling, chatting and rolling dice, it’s often handy to have a little assistance keeping track of just which wine glass belongs to who. I mean, there’s cooties and all, but even more importantly, you don’t want someone else polishing off your glass of wine. I’ve made a variety of wine charms in my time, but paper ones always appeal as a quick, easy, colourful and lightweight marking method, easy to store, easy to replace if lost or damaged, and helpful in using up my endless stores of patterned scrap paper.
The most well known and straightforward paper wine tag is simply a circle with a smaller circle cut out of the middle, and a line cut to that circle so you can fit it around the stem of a glass. It’s an easy matter to do this same thing in the shape of flowers, with the hole in the middle, for a nice spring look.
Or you could use last week’s idea of painting paper with chalkboard paint, then cutting out shapes and having everyone write their name on their tag with chalk. Simple, fast, reuseable.
But you know me. I like to make things a little more oddball than that.
I’ve recently begun having my craftsy girlfriends over for crafting nights – a sort of “stitch ‘n bitch” deal where we craft and talk and snack and drink and craft and talk. Last time we began reading some of the Bloggess’ posts out loud, and realized that it’s best not to be holding sharp crafting implements when spasming uncontrollably with laughter. Oh well.
These girls create chunky scarves and gorgeous socks, soft wool bangles and needle felted broaches. They make chainmail ornaments and Cthulhu hats, Sad Panda masks and Russian czarina headgear for ball jointed dolls. They would only ever use the word “precious” ironically. These are the kinds of people who exclaim “I love it!” and “Oh my gosh you have to do that!” when I say I’m thinking of making a plush octopus hairpiece. The kind of people who will appreciate wine glass tokens that stare up at them with wings, horns, tails, spines, spots and silly expressions.
I’ve also had the recent pleasure of becoming acquainted with Amanda, the girl behind the Magic Cards with Googly Eyes Tumblr. Her passion for wibbly wobbly plastic eyeballs has kindled my own. I have found myself determining that a great number of things would be more entertaining with the addition of googly eyes. Including this week’s wine charms.
No doubt many of you have already sorted out how to do this just from looking at the intro pictures, but I’ve got to fill out the actual tutorial portion with something, so bear with me here. I’ll even link you to my monster designs, if you want to use them.
If you’re loving the paper monsters vibe, you can also try out this tutorial for monster bookmarks – they nibble on your book corners! And for sewable monsters, check out these microwavable wheat bag critters.
What you’ll need
- pretty patterned paper (cardstock weight is best)
- googly eyes OR paper to cut eyes from (Or you can draw eyes on with a marker, but I really think you’ll have less fun with those second two options, as will your guests. Have YOU ever stared through the bottom of your third drink to see a pair of beady eyes wobbling up at you? Or watched someone else doing so? Don’t miss out.)
- white glue
- paper monster wine charms template (number 12. under “Paper patterns and templates”) OR a pencil and plain cardstock for making your own patterns
- wine glasses
- WINE! Because otherwise, what’s the point? And I’d get several different bottles – you’ll need to experiment to figure out what wine pairs best with each monster. Obviously.
- paper scissors
- small circle punch
- pencil and a dime (for tracing)
Putting it all together
1) Either download, print and cut out the wine charm monsters template, or draw your own. To draw your own, follow the procedure below (which is the same basic symmetrical pattern-making process I demonstrate here).
Fold a piece of cardstock in half.
Now draw half a monster, with its middle on the fold. When you cut it out, you’ll have a symmetrical shape. To make any part of it asymmetrical (say if you want a tail on one side), just draw it, cut it out on both sides, and then unfold the paper and cut the second tail or other bit off of one side.
2) Trace your monster templates onto the backside of some nice, fancy patterned paper. (Thicker paper such as cardstock is recommended for maximum sturdiness. You can buy gorgeous patterned cardstock-weight papers at pretty much any craft store.)
3) Cut out the shape.
4) Use a small circle punch to make a hole where you want the monster’s mouth to be. Then cut a straight line from the bottom of the monster to the circle.
If you don’t have a circle punch, or if your circle punch cannot reach far enough onto the paper, trace a time or other small round object, then cut a straight line from the bottom of the monster to the circle, and cut out the circle.
5) Add any details you wish. Here’s a handy little technique I use constantly for paper crafts, in order to give shapes a nice border or outline. Take the tip of a marker and place it along the very edge of the paper shape, so that it’s bumping up against the shape, but not sitting on top of it (you’ll need a piece of scrap paper underneath the shape for this). Then pull the marker all along the outside edge of the shape. This gives it a nice, narrow, even and controlled border. I think it provides a pleasing finished look.
6) Now glue on googly eyes, or paper eyes, or draw them on with a marker.
7) Attach to glass stems and invite all your monster-loving friends over.
Other paper wine charm ideas
- a skull and crossbones, with the hole where the mouth should be (great for Halloween, or Talk Like a Pirate Day)
- colourful egg shapes, with circular spots (for Easter, or spring, or they could even be Yoshi eggs for a Mario themed event)
- eyeballs – just plain eyeballs, made from white and coloured papers, with the hole being the iris (also good for Halloween, or just for disconcerting your guests)
- jack-o-lanterns, with the circle where the nose should be
- apples, oranges, kiwi, strawberries, etc. – fruit, either shown whole from the outside, or as sliced open cross-sections
- pool/billiard balls, basketballs, volleyballs, golf balls, ping pong balls, tennis balls, soccer balls, all kinds of balls
- fish & other sea life, animals in general