This year I gave some of my friends handmade gifts. I personally love homemade gifts. There is an opportunity to add little personalized touches that would not be available otherwise. It is also a great way to be creative and not load up your whole house with your creations. Once I give them away, I am not so concerned with where it’s displayed or if they keep it long term. I just made it, and thought of someone I loved while I did. What else could an artist and crafter hope for?
I made this bottle for the White Elephant gift at school’s Christmas party. I was pretty excited to finally craft something after a whole semester of just studying and working.
I started off with an empty bottle of wine. I covered it with Golden Acrylic Gesso – 8 oz Jar and then again with Folk Art 427 2-Ounce Acrylic Paint, Ivory White. I did a few of these because people liked the first one. I got the best results when I waited for each coat of paint to air dry. I also dry brushed a few streaks of Glimmer Mist 2 Ounce-Jack Frost all over the bottle, to tie it all together. The image is from the Spring greeting cards from the dollar bin at Michaels. I had been hoarding them, and it was time I used them in a project.
I started off with May Arts 2-Inch Wide Ribbon, White Satin, because I wanted everything to match the same blue. I used the same shade of Glimmer Mist to color the petals.
What’s a bottle without a message? So, I wrote a letter to the person that would get the bottle, saying:
“Dear Person-that-received-my-Bottle: I was going to get you a bottle of wine for White Elephant, since I am sure you are stressed out in Nursing school. However, two things occurred to me while waiting for the day of the Christmas Party:
- I should probably not bring alcohol to school.
- (Most importantly), I was stressed out because of Nursing School and there was a bottle of wine in the refrigerator.
Since the bottle was real glass, I thought it’d be fun to also include a message inside the bottle, to be read in case the bottle broke, since it would be difficult to bring out otherwise:
“Dear Person-that-broke-my-bottle: Don’t be sad. Most importantly, do not get hurt trying to dispose of the pieces. This was a White Elephant gift for Heartland Nursing Class Christmas Party of 2014. I hope that the person that received it did like it, at least a little bit. Merry Christmas.”
Lisa wanted her daughter’s bottle to be similar to the one for school, since her daughter’s favorite color is blue. I also wanted to add a few personal touches. Lisa used to sing You are my Sunshine to her daughter when she was a baby, and I just thought that would be perfect. I added a title to the bottle. I found in my stash a small metal keychain in the form of a small book, with the Eiffel Tower on it and I had to add it as well. Lisa and her family had lived in France for a while when her daughter was a baby. Inside the book I added a strip with the lyrics to “You are my Sunshine”.
Jill’s bottle was a little different. She is a big sports fan, and Lisa and I wanted her to have a bottle that represented her favorite team: the White Sox. I was a little out of my comfort zone, but I felt pretty good about how it turned out. I even added a recycled bottle cap and the team logo.
Everybody seemed to like the bottles and it was so much fun creating them.
I hope this inspires all of you to create something from the heart and not to be afraid of giving it away to those around you. If they love it they will keep it forever. If nothing else, they’ll know you thought of them while you were doing something you love.
Wishing you a wonderful year, filled with creativity,