Sunday, August 15, 2010

Make: Drink Charms

Well, the last couple of weeks have just been nuts! We had some pick-up scenes to shoot for the movie, then my actual birthday, which John & I spent quietly together. Then a madcap week of prepping for my first birthday party in absolutely ages. In the middle there, somewhere, I redid the Chartarum website (you should check it out; I'm very proud).

Finally, last night, it all came together. Of course, I didn't get everything finished, but those are now ideas to be used for future parties - no reason to be upset. The guests who came either loved the idea of a Halloween part in August, or understood my excitement and played along. There were even some Halloween-themed gifts!

I'm back to blogging, but with keeping two other sites going, I may not be able to post quite as often as I did previously. But I will still try to get a couple of posts in a week. There will be a flurry of party-related posts, and then I'll back of to a minimum of two posts a week. Now that Halloween stuff is starting to hit the stores - online and brick & mortar - I'm sure I'll have plenty to share once I run out of Show & Tells from around the house.

Now, on to today's topic; Drink Charms. I don't think I've ever been to a party - even a small family gathering - where a beverage glass or bottle was held aloft and the word's "is this mine?" were uttered. John & I did a bit of driving and spent a little more than usual laying in a nice variety of cane sugar sodas (no HFCs). I didn't want any of it to go to waste; so, at almost literally the last minute (about an hour before guests started to arrive), I gathered up some materials and made a big pile of these drink charms.
While I was at a store earlier in the day, I thought I'd look around for some wine glass charms or something. No luck. Then I spotted some pony-tail holders in the dollar bin. They wouldn't quite work, because there were two smallish loops, each with a giant bead. But it gave me an idea, which didn't click in place until the eleventh hour.

I have a TON of beads and buttons. I make stitch markers for knitting and have done other beading besides. I also recently purchased some elastic beading cord and DING! A light bulb went on. Sadly,  the majority of my beads were far too small for this concept to work, and I didn't have a large enough variety.

Then I remembered this large bag of plastic beads and charms I had tossed into a bin of things I set aside for swaps or small surprises for children I know. Aha!!! That was it.

I cut lengths of .8 - 1mm elastic beading cord (available at any craft store, I would think) and started stringing a bead or charm on each and knotting them securely.

The key is variety. I wanted each one to be easy to remember, but didn't figure people would remember nuances of shades, so I only used one of the 6 different shades of purple.

An assortment of plastic charms is even better. It's much easier to remember "sea horse" or "the bat-phone" than faceted-orange-bead. I had a few left from a purchase I made years ago (while I may lose craft supplies, I never throw them away), but mostly had to go with brightly colored round and shaped beads. I recommend a quick stop on Etsy and search (under supplies) for plastic charms or gumball charms (may be your best option).

The drinks table (right). In the cauldron were vintage flavored sodas (Frosties, Bubble Up, Dad's Rootbeer, etc.), available at World Market (their logo was on the box)

The green tub was filled with several varieties of Jones Soda. We had a hard time finding it locally so ended up buying a couple of mixed cases at World Market as well. The flavors were limited, but people did NOT seem to mind. The little black tub in the back held bottles of water.

You can see the dish of drink charms on the table with the totally unnecessary bottle opener (all the bottles had screw-off lids, although the vintage ones did not look it). I wasn't quite as prepared as I thought; I forgot all about diet pop! Some kind friends stopped an picked up some on the way. Which reminds me: Mel, if you're reading this, please tell me how much I owe you for the ice & the other pop! The only person that lost track of their drink was me, but it was just a bottle of water and I sorted it out eventually.

If you made it this far, congratulations! The next post is going to contain a bit of a contest, and a handful of the leftover charms (I made too many) will be part of the prize.

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