Finally, the project I keep swearing I’ll write about. I have great explanations (excuses) for the delay:
- I’m still playing way too much WoW. It’s a problem.
- These darn things were more difficult than I expected (aren’t they always?).
Before I show you the pictures, I’ll give a brief (ha) explanation of our goal. I don’t remember what I was originally looking up on Etsy, but I came across people selling wooden bottle carriers. Think the paper six-pack holders you get your beer in, but made from wood. Most were stained and had a bottle opener on the side. For some unknown reason, as soon as I saw them I determined that I had to have them for my siblings for Christmas.
Until I realized most were in the $50 range. So instead, my husband and I did what we always do in these situations: haphazardly tried to make our own. Below are the results.
The First (and simplest):
Carrier #1 (read: the crappy first one) went to my brother’s girlfriend. We decided against the staining and to make the decorations a little more personal. With the other two, we went with a theme and a quote. When I asked my brother what sort of quotes his girlfriend would like, he suggested Lorde. Though he and my sister didn’t know what we were making, all three of us tried to find a short Lorde lyric. What we learned was that while her lyrics are definitely clever, they don’t work so well in snippets. Instead, she got painted bottle caps on the side. In some ways, I like the simplicity of it.
We also (stupidly) based the measurements for this one off of the only bottles we had at the time. In case you were wondering, Mike’s Hard Lemonade bottles are smaller than pretty much every other bottle ever. Since the GF is underage, it seemed like a good excuse to use this beer carrier that can’t really carry beer, and use Coke bottles instead.
The other easy way out we took on this one was in the side decorations. I bought that “P” and little swirly thing for about 50 cents. Once we slapped on her favorite colors, I think it came out pretty well for the “Crappy One.”
For the Puzzle Lover:
Carrier #2 went to my sister, the puzzle lover of the family. We had better tools by this time (and made the slots hold actual beer), so it was a significant improvement quality-wise. My husband cut the puzzle pieces from wood using a dremmel. This was his first attempt at doing anything like that, and I think he did really well overall.
I tried to keep the puzzle theme going with the quote, but when I tried to find puzzle quotes (again, I recruited others, including one of her friends), the mostly were along the lines of “Life’s a puzzle, put the pieces together,” which I thought was about the most cliche thing I could write on this. Instead, I asked for her favorite movie. When she said she loved “Across the Universe,” it gave my husband a chance to use his Beetles knowledge and come up with a nice line that would fit on the carrier. We stenciled the letters, and I think it came out surprisingly well. The handle is wrapped in ribbon, which held up (also surprisingly well) with hot glue. I put those handles to the test, and that ribbon wanted to stay put. The ribbon might be my favorite part. It’s simple, but it makes them stand out.
The Game of Thrones One:
Carrier #3 is admittedly my favorite. It might be because I’m in a Game of Thrones place (something I never would have expected of myself six months ago), but I think it’s because this one ended up a bit more unique. It was originally going to be more Stark themed (Beer is Coming = Winter is Coming), but when we found that lion head bottle opener, I had to get the Lannisters in there.
For those who are unaware, Stark and Lannsiter are house (family) names in GoT. The Stark colors are gray and white, and the Lannisters crimson and gold. I considered adding more crimson to the carrier, but I thought that would be too much. Instead, I wrote the Lannister words in gold, which I thought was a bit more subtle.
The handle is wrapped in a fake leather. These guys aren’t really the ribbon sort. Not only does it look good, but it feels good to hold. The husband, whose dremmel skills were improving, cut out the wolf. I then painted it white and threw it at my confused sister along with a picture of the Stark Dire Wolf, and asked her to draw it for me (my poor siblings were way more involved than they needed to be). Finally, I bought those bottle labels (Stark Stout) on Etsy, and slapped them on a generic beer I knew he drank. No, it’s clearly not a stout. I figure he can drink the beer this way, and then use the empty bottles for decorations if he wants.
Making gifts is rough.
But it’s great.
My husband and I love building things. We particularly love building things with no plan and seeing what happens. We got luck this time and they came out pretty great. We were relieved when they all liked their gifts as well. I mean, they got beer (and coke), so there wasn’t too much reason to complain.
As far as cost goes, we absolutely spent more than the $150 it would have cost to order them each a carrier. I’m glad we chose to make them though. Not only did we get to personalize their gifts, but a large portion of the money we spent went toward buying new tools, which we’ll continue to use.
But will we DIY Christmas again?
Ask me next year.