DIY Wine bottle wrap

Last week I went to my dear childhood friend’s engagement party, and after seeing these bottles of wine from Swanson Vineyards, knew they were the perfect gift.  However, wrapping wine bottles is no easy feat!  Unless of course, you just HAPPEN to have a darling fabric wrap from Chewing the Cud that is the PERFECT size for wrapping 2 bottles!  It honestly couldn’t be easier…

Start the bottles with the fabric on a diagonal near the bottom, and keep the bottles approximately 2-3″ apart.

Start rolling those bottles like a burrito!  Keep the fabric tight so they dont slide around.

When you’re all rolled up, bring the tops of the bottles together (slide them apart a little if they dont sit flat)…

Tie a double knot at the top and you’re all done!

For more directions, check out Chewing the Cud’s blog where she gives lots of ways to wrap gifts with fabric, or check out Martha Stewart where she shows how to make your own fabric wrap.

[images by me]

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Tablescape challenge: Museum inspired

The inspiration for the tablescape came from a Museum of Modern Art book that Alix got at a used book sale a little over a year ago. The cover of the book is embossed and painted metal making the piece was just too hard to resist. The couple decided to use the cover as their inspiration and pulled elements of color, style, and finish to complete the modern tablescape.

DIY Project: Modern Centerpiece

-3 small succulents
-pea-sized gravel
-white spray paint
-mirrored box/mirror
-black rocks
-newspaper, plastic bags

Buy or gather pea-sized gravel, rinse in a colander, and allow to dry.

Find a box that suits the size of your table and cut to your desired height (mine was about 6 inches tall) or buy a box that’s the shape you prefer. I spray painted my box so that it was all evenly white. Line the box with plastic bags. Place your mirrored box inside (I covered mine in plastic to prevent it from getting dirty) and fill the larger box with soil. Plant your succulents–I used three and left the fourth space free for a tea light candle and some contrasting black rocks. Spray paint your gravel white and let dry. Take the (now) white gravel and cover all of the dirt surrounding your succulents and mirror/mirrored box. Nestle your candle down in the rocks and surround with black rocks. Viola!

Yellow bread plate, silverware, napkins; Crate & Barrel
Tiffany blue and slate colored plates; Z Gallerie
Glasses, Mirrored box; West Elm
All DIY materials, placemats; Home Depot

Design Team: Alix Gates & Jake Levy
Photographers: Alix Gates & Jake Levy

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Hens & Chicks: Potato stamping DIY

Hi.  We are Hens & Chick Collective.  It’s nice to meet you!  We are a group of three artists based out of Seattle, Washington, specializing in styling and creating installations for events and interiors.  Curious?  Check us out at Hens & Chicks Collective or on our Facebook page.   We will be teaming with Brooklyn Bride every month to share DIY wedding tips with readers, showing you how to add a little of your own flare to basic wedding staples without spending a lot of money.

Our first lesson is the start of a three-part series we will be sharing on printing.  Invitations, napkins, envelopes, goodie bags, signs- they can all add so much to your wedding but can also add up!  The easiest way to customize your special day is to add an image or monogram to little bits and pieces of your wedding décor.

For this project you will need:

–       Potatoes (red, yellow, or white all work)

–       Acrylic paint (any craft store will sell paints for about $1.30 per color)

–       Exacto knife (can be found at any craft store)

–       Cookie cutters, if desired (found at any kitchen store or craft store)

–       Anything you’d like to print stamp! (envelopes, cocktail napkins, or even cloth all work well with acrylic paint)

Ok, let’s get started.

There are two ways to carve your stamps.  Both work well, but cookie cutters are definitely the easiest.  We’ll start there.

–       To carve your stamp from a cookie cutter, you first must determine the shape you would like.  While it is important to find a design that fits well with your wedding décor, be sure you are also choosing a shape that is self-explanatory, as the point of potato stamping is to save you from the tedium of hand-printing detail.  If your are doing letters, keep in mind that the letter must be carved into the stamp backwards in order to stamp forwards (we had a few mishaps learning this lesson), so be sure you are selecting a cutter that can be used from both sides (simple metal ones work best for this).

–       Cut your potato in half, so you have a flat surface to work with.

–       Press your cutter into your potato half about ¼ inch and, using an exacto knife, carve into the side of the potato up to the stamp, carving out all potato around the edge.

The second way to carve your stamp is to cut the potato with an Exacto knife, without any cutter template.  This is trickier but allows for more creative freedom.  It helps to draw your design beforehand, to ensure that you are carving correctly.

[images from Hens & Chicks Collective]

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You + Me* DIY: Furoshiki wrapping

Everyone we know loves vintage scarves, and they can often be had at thrift stores for between $.50 and $2. Consider adding some color to your table by wrapping your favors Japanese-style (the proper word is furoshiki) in vintage scarves. Look for scarves that are square (or have a tailor or seamstress sew the rectangular ones you find into squares). To wrap them, just place your favor in the middle of the square. Fold one corner over the box and tuck it under. Fold the opposite corner over the box and tuck it under. You’ll have a long rectangle of scarf at this point with your favor in the center. The ultimate goal is to tie the two ends together, but to make it look neat, you’ll need to do a little bit of prep work. Right next to the edge of your box, pinch the fabric in just a touch so that the extra fabric will be tucked inside your package. Do the same on the other side, and then tie the ends together. Pat yourself on the back for making something look way harder than it is, and bask in the oohs and aahs. – Miya & Elisabeth

[images from Angela Gaspar]

Angela Gaspar and You + Me* Lifestylists are sponsors of Brooklyn Bride

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You + Me*: DIY Valentines

For this DIY project, we wanted to share an easy way to make pretty valentines (or seating cards or even invitations–the possibilities are endless) using watercolors. Watercolors are a great medium because they produce gorgeous variations in shade and tone (perfect for all of the reds, raspberries, peaches, and pinks that go with Valentine’s day!). We’ll be walking you through two projects; both have the potential to look sweet and romantic or clean and modern. Have fun & experiment! – Miya & Elisabeth

You will need:
Watercolors in colors that suit your fancy
A brush or 2
A glass of water
A white crayon
Paper doilies
Spray adhesive (you can experiment with other adhesives, but the spray adhesive worked best for us)
Cutting instruments (scissors or an X-acto knife)
Cardstock or watercolor paper, cut to the desired size of your card (this should be the size of a folded card, meaning twice the length as the size you want the front of your card to be)

For the doily valentine:
Start by creating a wash over your card with color. Be sure to use enough water that the color goes on smoothly without any gaps. Also experiment with mixing colors and/or using more or less water to create gradations in color on your card. When you’re happy, let it dry.
Move a paper doily (or 2 or 3) over your finished card to see what pattern you like on top. Don’t be afraid to cut apart the doilies! When you’re happy, spray the doily with adhesive, following the directions, and adhere to your card. Cut away the excess doily.
Fill the inside of the card with loving sentiments, sappy memories, and/or hopes for the future.

For the crayon valentine:
Start by using your white crayon to make a pattern or write a sentiment on your card. You’re writing where you don’t want the paint to take to the paper, so keep that in mind if you’re drawing something.
When you’re happy with your design, paint over it with your watercolors. We found that we really liked a single swash of color, but we also tried painting the whole card, and that was nice, too.
Declare your undying love for the recipient, and sit back and relax, reveling in your job well done.

And are you loving those envelopes? The DIY is here! We used tracing paper, and even though the doilies in the tutorial are square, we used round ones that were slightly smaller than my finished size, and we loved the way they looked.

Have fun, everyone! We’d love to see your cards if you do this project, so please do email us at hello{at}youplusmestyling{dot}com to show off what you’ve made!

[image from Sean Dagen]

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