To Give as Gifts
A very nice gift to give to someone who hosts many get-togethers were wine is served, is a set of homemade wine charms. Wine charms wrap around the stem of the wine glass and each guest knows, at a glance, which wine glass is theirs because each charm is slightly unique.
Making wine charms is very easy to do. You will need the following items:
- Craft wire
- Craft wire cutters and pliers
- Various beads
All of these things are found at your local craft store. The perfect wire gauge for this project is 20 gauge, but you can go a little heavier than that up to 18. Just make sure the beads will fit onto the wire. You will find that craft wire comes in all kinds of colors from the regular metallic shades like silver and gold, to red, black, white, blue, green and all other colors. Pick one you know the recipient will like or get a variety of colors. Each charm has to be different, so using a different color wire for each charm will make each one unique. If you don’t want to spend money for several different colors of wire, just get one color and several different color packages of seed beads.
Cut a piece of wire about 3 to 3.5 inches long. Use your needle nose pliers to bend one end into a loop. If you can get jewelry pliers that have a curve in the tips, they work very well to make a loop. Form the entire length of wire into a horseshoe shape using anything that is round as a template or guide. The handle of a rolling pin or a wood spoon makes for a great form. You will notice that a heavier gauge wire will be easier to shape than a lighter gauge. The object of this horseshoe shape is that eventually one end of the wire will hook into the other to make a circle. The little loop at one end will stop the beads from falling off when you start to put them on.
Once the wire is in a horseshoe shape and the loop is made at the end, you can start to put some beads on the straight end of the wire. Seed beads are very inexpensive and make for beautiful wine charms. You can also get other types of beads like fake pearls or animal shaped beads. You can even find some beads with letters engraved or painted on them. Make each charm unique with different color beads. Make combinations of beads to make for more interest. Do not put beads the whole length of the wire or it will not bend correctly. Five to six beads are usually adequate to make a nice wine charm.
When the beads are in place, you must secure the straight end of the charm to keep them on. To do this, use the pliers and make a crook in the wire. This crook will fit into the loop you made on the other side. Make sure both the loop and the crook are facing the inside of the horseshoe shape so it is easy to get that crook into the little loop. Place the charm around the bottom of the stem near the base of the wine glass and hook it into a circle. Once the guests go home, you just have to unhook the loop from the crook and store the charms away until the next time.
When giving wine charms as gifts you can put them in a box made for jewelry. You can also purchase new wine glasses and attach them around the stem and give a complete gift. The recipient will love this gift and the added benefit is that you took the time and effort to make them yourself.