Friday, March 4, 2011

How to Dress a Naked Wine for Dinner

This week I posted about the fact that I never buy gift wrap.  Ever.  Not for a couple of years.....Most people felt the same way, that wrap is so un-necessary and wasteful. Even though I never buy wrap or ribbons, I always have a good supply because I save all that I receive. BUT, if I have no recycled Bits, then I look for other ways to wrap.  I am going to do a few posts on creative ways to wrap without being wasteful, but since this is the weekend, I am starting with wine.

Let's say you're invited to a dinner and you've bought a nice red to take along.  Bringing a bottle of wine is a way to give your host a little gift in appreciation of the invite.  So what do you do if you "Don't buy Gift wrap" and you want to make your token a little more special than presenting it naked. 

Lately, this is the way I've been taking my bottles out.  With a simple bow and a handmade clay tag that can be re gifted. over and over again. My friends love them and I am sure they get passed on instead of thrown away.  I think this is a simple chic way to present a gift.  No killing trees, no gift bag shipped from China and no paper in the trash.  You don't even need to have a tag handy.  Here are some other little things you can try to dress up your bottle.
  • Use Jute, Twine or scraps of wool, a piece of grapevine
  • Punch a hole in a pretty leaf and tie it on in lieu of a tag
  • Punch a hole discretely in the corner of a photo and attach
  • Hang a couple of cloves of garlic (farmers market garlic has long leaves for tying.)
  • Make a Necktie from a strip of newspaper.
  • Tie on a flower from your garden. 
  • Make a paper snowflake from your scrap paper.
  • Make a pom pom from odd wool bits and hang it from the neck.

There is seriously nothing at all wrong with taking along an unwrapped present.  When I first "Gave up" wrapping, I always seemed to apologise and explain.  Now my friends are interested in what cheap and cheerful way I have come up with for them, and for new folks, I just say, "here's some wine....I didn't wrap it because I don't buy wrapping"....I feel fine with that. Let the eye balls roll........they actually don't.

So if you really feel that your wine is too exposed, wrap it in a new tea towel, tie it with twine and you're done.  To really get in the recycle mode the ideal tea towel would be organic or a vintage one.  Perfect for your host to use in the kitchen. Here's may gift for my hostess tonight bundled like a baby in a cotton towel.

Of course, you can make your own re-usable gift bags, or invite me to dinner and I'll bring you one of these.

These are Discontinued Designer Fabric Samples.  Thousands are thrown away each year.  I rescued these from my upholstery showroom, they were headed for the trash.  I kept about 50 and made gift bags, and the rest I sent to my cousin in Peru (through relatives visiting her and a private jet passage from a Personal plane for McCain's Foods (thank you).  In Peru, young mothers are turning these into purses and crafts to sell to raise money to be self sufficient. I will fill you in on that adventure soon.

Mine ended up as gift bags which can be used as shoe bags for travel or jewellery pouches or whatever you feel.

So really, non-one needs to feel embarrassed by not wrapping.  We do live in a society that appreciates and compliments nice wrapping though.  People always compliment nice wrapping.  But nothing is carved in stone, and we just need to change the way we think and do things.

Have a great weekend.   CHEERS.


  1. Hi Chania!
    I LOVE this series and all your ideas! I don't buy wrapping stuff either and I would love to have more ideas on how to wrap without wrapping. :)
    the tea towel idea is a great one - there's a wonderful craft show that the residents of one of the assisted living homes puts on every year here and they always have the perfect little accessories to use as wrapping...and all the proceeds go to activities for the home. What could be better!
    have a great weekend ~
    sarah xo

  2. Your ideas are all so pretty! Thanks so much.

  3. Awesome. I've made lots of those I know what to do with them. Thanks Chania :)

  4. Chania, I love that you will be doing a series of posts on this topic! I love the clay tag idea. I've long admired the clay tags I've seen in blogland and on Etsy, but I've often wondered if I would actually use them, now I know that I would and should! These make perfect wraps for wine!

    I also love the fabric idea and how great that you are helping others in Peru! I can't wait to hear more about that soon!

    Thanks for these wonderful ideas!

    Kat :)

  5. How do you make the tags? They are so pretty! I love the ones on your sidebar that have the little birdies on them!

  6. Lovin' the new tag designs Chania. So pretty. Great series you are covering here-keep those ideas a comin'


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  8. What a lovely lot of good ideas. Look out wine, here I come.

  9. This post is great Chania. I'm over spending too much money on wrapping that just gets thrown in the bin.

    We (my son and I) just wrapped a child's birthday gift - with unused pages from an old colouring book. It looks funky in the cartoon-like paper. My son will make the birthday card. Easy and thoughtful without costing a fortune. xx

  10. This is inspiring Chania.I have felt for a long time now that wrapping is just ridiculous. You have given me a perfect alternative.I am going to post a link to this article to'spread the word'!Brilliant. Sarah x

  11. Hey Chania, did you get a chance to see my cute little photo YESTERDAY'S for the jewelry challenge???(Seminole beaded necklace??
    I didn't see a comment???
    Lazy on Loblolly

  12. Very pretty! I especially like the one wrapped in the tea towel.

  13. Great ideas. I love the clay tags. Do you make your own? What a fun project that would be - to spend an afternoon making clay tags.

    I'm looking forward to hearing about your project in Peru with the fabric scraps. I love projects like that.

  14. I love all your ideas, Chania. Going to print them out and keep them. Wish we lived nearer - would love you to come to dinner!

  15. i love your blog and your house but i esp love your style.


  16. THANKS SO MUCH for the "recipe"! Im excited to make some!

  17. WONDERFUL post Chania....My Nanna used to recycle wrapping paper....This is where my LOVE of 50's graphics was born....!

    I was out the HR again today & found ANOTHER batch of Christmas wrapping paper....I sat there thinkin', "What....You're not giving presents next year?" & "There's an Op-Shop 2km down the road you lazy bugger."

    Probably a good idea I ONLY THINK these things....hahahahaha....Needless to say I'm stocked up WELL until at least 2015....!!

    Tamarah :o)


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania