Halloween is upon us!* If you need a quick host/ess gift for a party you’re attending, might I suggest a bottle of wine that will double as Halloween decor? It’s super easy to do, and super quick. And how much better to drink wine that is actually the blood of an ancient undead than just plain old merlot? I mean really.
*That means Desert Bus is also upon us, only slightly less imminently, which is why I’ve been behind on blog posts the last couple weeks. I simply have so much other writing to do for our prize listings for the event, that I haven’t been able to keep up with my blog writing. I am sorry sorry sorry! If I can, I’ll have some extra posts soon to make up for it…
What you’ll need
- 1-2 tea bags (black tea is best)
- cheesecloth (You can get packages of this stuff at most grocery stores for just a few dollars. It’s often with the baking stuff.)
- googly eyes OR coloured paper to cut your own eye shapes out of
- bottle of wine*
*Obviously you could do a bottle of beer as well, either a big one or a bunch of small ones for little mummies. Similarly, you could do this with cider bottles, pop bottles, etc.
- medium sized bowl
- glue (white glue or super glue – something liquid, not a glue stick)
Putting it all together
The first couple steps with the tea are optional, but I think it creates a nice though subtle effect – cheesecloth is pretty pure white, so giving it a tea bath makes it a little more ancient looking with the off-white, tea colour.
1) Cut a piece of cheesecloth that is narrow-ish and quite long. Mine came in a long long piece, probably a 2 1/2 to 3 feet long, so I just cut it in half down its length and used that. There is no precision necessary here – what’s most important is that you have a long piece that will wrap all around your wine bottle several times to cover it completely, so you can always try doing just that to see if it’s long enough.
And ragged edges are actually a desirable thing in this instance. This is an ancient, long-buried mummy we’re making, after all.
2) Put one or two tea bags in a medium sized bowl, and boil some water in your kettle. Pour the boiling water over the tea bags and let them steep a couple minutes, then put your cheescloth in. Swish it around with the tongs a bit, make sure it’s entirely submerged. Let it sit for a while.
I let my cheesecloth sit for about 30 minutes while I made dinner. You could leave it for longer if you wanted, or a little less time. It isn’t likely to make a huge amount of difference.
3) Pull your cheesecloth out of the tea – use the tongs as the water will still be very hot! Hold it (with the tongs) under some cold running water for a minute – then you can use your hands to rinse it out thoroughly and squeeze out all the excess liquid.
4) Hang the cheesecloth up to dry. I just threw mine over the shower rod overnight and made sure I mentioned to my husband that it was there for a reason and not to throw it away. :)
5) Once the cheesecloth is dry, grab your bottle of wine and the cheesecloth. Start at the bottom of your wine bottle and wrap the cheesecloth around it, allowing the cheesecloth to scrunch up rather than spreading it out in one smooth layer (which would allow you to see the wine bottle right through it anyway).
You can add a dab of glue to attach the end of the cloth to the wine bottle if you wish, but I didn’t find this necessary. I just wrapped the cheesecloth nice and tightly over itself, and after a little sliding that held it in place just fine.
6) Continue wrapping all the way around and up the bottle. Go right up the the neck of the bottle, leaving an uncovered area below it. Wrap up the neck and then go back down with your cheesecloth to wrap the rest of the bottle.
7) When you come to the end of your cheesecloth, tuck the end in under one of the other layers around the bottle. Adjust all the scrunches and bunches until they look like you want them to all over the bottle.
8) Grab your googly (or paper eyes if you want to design and cut out your own) eyes and place them between folds of cheesecloth, figuring out just where you want them to go, with a little cheescloth coming over the tops and bottoms of the eyes. Then glue them in place.
9) Use as decoration or give as a gift to your Halloween party host!
So it was accompanied by a little bat thank you tag and a paper pumpkin full of treats: