By which I mean those times when you need a present for a chap. Maybe you don’t know them that well so their favourite wine/spirit is a safe choice, or perhaps they have so much ‘stuff’ they really don’t want any more, or just because they enjoy a tipple and it would be the gift they appreciate most. Better than socks. Unless you have lovingly hand knitted them of course, which elevates their present ranking to stratospheric. For most of us then, you buy them booze. But now you have to wrap it. Options are sometimes limited. Bottle bags, readily available, but often a bit too girlie. Then you have to store them, find them when you need them, do the ‘will it take the weight’ test…. Or you can make a sturdy box if you are that way inclined. Sometimes I am. But the cardstock required can be pricey, and it takes a bit of time to make. I don’t always have that time, and I have this thing that whilst wrapping should always be totally marvellous, you don’t want to hype the gift up so much with the bells and whistles that the actual present is a let-down. You don’t want the thrill of Baby Spice on the outside to only turn into the disappointment of Old Spice on the inside, if you see what I mean? You don’t want the box to look like it might have, say, 20 year old malt whisky when you have actually bought beaujolais nouveau. Or supermarket plonk.
Anyhoo, I thought I would make some bottle tags, in advance, ready to adorn any gift bottle required. These are the first two, made with Hunkydory Gentleman’s Journey. I don’t buy kits much any more. Nothing against them, I just don’t feel I do them justice. Others produce such stunning projects and my fingers won’t do the same. But with Gentleman’s Journey I loved the kit so much as soon as I saw it, I knew I would succumb, so I waited and bought it on sale. I haven’t made much with it so far – just a couple of cards – but I thought it would lend itself to bottle tags really well.
This is the first one I did. I’m not entirely happy with it, but then I tell myself it will just be round the neck of a bottle of wine or something and, well, get a grip basically! It is a strip of the Hunkydory printed /foiled card from the kit, cut to 6.5cm wide. This is a good width for a standard wine bottle. The length of the strip is up to you. This one was 21cm (size of the card) but I trimmed a bit from the bottom to re-use. Score the long edges at 6.5cm and fold. Cut your circle to go over the neck of the bottle in the 6.5cm square you have just made. I used a Spellbinders 4cm die.
I then took a page of the horse racing image from the ‘Little Book of’ that came with the kit, trimmed it down and adhered it level with the right hand side of my tag but leaving a border top, bottom and left hand side. I then added the strip I had trimmed from the bottom earlier to cover the top cut edge. Add a topper and sentiment, overlapping the sides by quite a way. Actually I think I went too far with the oval topper and that is what is not quite right with it for me. Then I used some Card Candi.
I like the second one more. It is shorter than the first – mainly because the cat chewed on the kraft card that was my starting point so I had to cut that bit off! I used one of the inserts to cover the tag, with the square pattern at the top. And yes I know this means a bit of the wording is upside down, and I fretted about this for a few minutes and then acknowledged that it didn’t matter. One. Tiny. Bit. I covered the bottom third with a part of a page taken from the Little Book again and added a small topper on 3d foam. I cut the flag from the same sheet from the Little Book and stuck it onto some card to make it sturdier. Because it is that bit shorter, you could use it for a beer bottle as I did in the photo (mainly because I don’t actually have two wine bottles to hand!). Or swanky olive oil for a keen cook, maybe?
The beauty of these is that, if you don’t write on them, the recipient (well, their wife or girlfriend) can reuse them, like we all do with bottle bags. So it is sort of two gifts in one! And because the kit is so huge, you could rustle up a themed card to go with it.
I’m going to make a few more modern ones, and some for us womenfolk too.