Wednesday, November 20, 2013

DIY Christmas in a Bottle Project

I had a very realistic dream last night that I woke up and noticed this soft sort of glow outside our bedroom window, and I knew right away what it meant.  I jumped out of bed and rushed over to push the blinds back and saw a thin layer of crisp white snow over everything.  It had just started to fall, only just covering the grass and laying so sparkly on all the trees... *Cue a nostalgic sigh.*

When my dreams become entirely about snow, I know that I'm in full blown Winter Mode.  I love winter.  I love snow and ice and being stuck inside.  I guess that's the introvert in me.  Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday.  Being in warm, cozy, soft sweaters is my Happy Place.  Especially if there is cuddling-with-my-husband, a good book, and/or a fire involved.  I love going to stores during winter and looking through all the new Christmas decor.  I'm as pale as a vampire and practically burst into flame when I go outside in the summer... I just wasn't built for it.  But during winter, I get a glow, and it has nothing to do with the sun.  And I'm excited that now the time has come again, and I finally get to start my Christmas/winter decorating for the season.  

I have yet to go all out and really decorate like I would love to because it would take quite a large budget to buy all the decor I've had my eyes on over the years.  This will be Chad & my 3rd Christmas together as husband and wife, and we've been slowly accumulating things each year!  I've also been trying to do some DIY projects for decorating to make this year the most decorative ever!  Which brings me to the reason for this post!  I wanted to share a cute little project that only took maybe an hour to make and I think turned out super cute!

The inspiration behind this project is snow globes, which I'm not so much into anymore, but I loved as a kid.  I still love those winter village scene collections, though, where you can buy all the individual houses and people and add to your scene each year! My mom used to do that with my sister and me each Christmas... Maybe one day I'll start a collection of my own.  I've seen similar things to this on Pinterest, especially with mason jars, but I couldn't find much of anything at all with wine bottles.

This was so easy to make and there aren't a ton of supplies involved.  Here's what you need:
-Clear glass wine bottle (emptied, "delabeled", and cleaned)
-The cork from the wine bottle
-White thread & needle
-Small pushpin
-Small bottle brush trees assortment of your choice
-Epsom salt
-Thin cardboard or card stock of your choice
-Some kind of long thin stick that you can use to stick down into the wine bottle for maneuvering the trees

I pull the labels off my wine bottles and clean them out usually as soon we're done with them, so this one was all ready for me to use.  Fill the bottle with as much Epsom salt as you'd like.  One suggestion I have with this is to go ahead and use a funnel or be sure to pour in the salt as carefully as possible.  If the salt touches the edges a lot, it can leave salt dust on the walls of the bottle that make it look cloudy and are next impossible to get off without emptying the bottle and cleaning it out with water again.

Next I selected my trees.  I recently got a big pack of these bottle brush trees from Lowes and I used 2 of the smallest size and 1 of the next size up (which was still pretty small).  Remember it has to fit through the mouth of your bottle.  The bigger one that I used was a tight fit.  The first thing that I had to do to make these trees work, was take them out of their bases.  This was a piece of cake because mine are just threaded in there like a screw and secured only with a small amount of glue.  It was easy to unscrew them and pull them out with just a small amount of force.  And I think once I'm done with these, I could always screw them back into the base again and they'd work just fine!

I inserted the large one first.  I sort of scrunched up the fat part of the tree to make it a little narrower and then I just pushed it down into the bottle.  It doesn't matter that much how it lands, as it's not too difficult, with some patience and maneuvering, to get the tree into the position you want it to stay.  After all the trees you want to use are inserted, take a stick, or something long and thin, and use it to push the trees into place.  I just used a stick I picked up outside and also a wooden BBQ skewer. Again, it actually wasn't as hard for me to place the trees as I thought it was going to be, but it did take some patience and some time.  Once your trees are how you want them, the hardest part is over.  Really, you could just leave it like this if you wanted.

I wanted to add a star, though.  For this, I simply cut a star out of a thin piece of scrap cardboard I had laying around.  You could also use cardstock if you prefer.  To hang it, I threaded a needle with some white thread and pulled it through the tip of the star.  I tied one end off so it would stay attached to the star.  Meanwhile, I pushed a short pushpin up into the bottom of the cork.  Then I simply hung the star to the length I wanted it to be hanging down into the bottle and tied the other end of the thread around the pushpin in the cork.  All that's left then is to insert the cork back into the bottle, and there you go.  A gorgeous Christmas scene!

This could be a really fun project to do with older kids (it may be a little to difficult for younger ones).  Or you could be like me, and just make it to enjoy a pretty scene on your kitchen counter!  I think this could be a super fun decoration to have at a Christmas party.  It would be especially cute sitting with the other wines you might be serving!

I'm sure there will be many more Christmas projects for me in the next few weeks to come! :)

See how I dressed up the other wine bottles in this picture above HERE.

Happy Winter!! :)


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