Simple DIY Twine-Wrapped Bottles

My wedding is about nine months away, but I’m trying to get a head start on some of the “basic but fundamental” decor pieces. And I’ve found that it makes the wedding feel more real to start working on some of the DIY decor. It’s much easier to see the design come to live when you’re engaged in hands-on projects. Of course, I’ve been hounding Pinterest and a slew of wedding photographers for inspiration on how to achieve these seemingly contradictory pairs: simple and elegant, rustic and polished, stylish and unique, inexpensive and memorable, easy and fun. Shall I continue?

There’s a lot of pressure on everybody these days! The bride and groom and/or their families need to host a spectacular event to celebrate such a special day “that only happens once,” wedding vendors often fear bridezillas (side thought: can we make “frankengroom” a thing?) and unbearable expectations, and wedding guests are bombarded with fears of wearing the wrong thing, buying the wrong gift, and spilling wine on the bride’s dress. That last fear is still very much legitimate.

In a nutshell, wedding planning is stressful. I’m also very stubborn and am working with a tight budget, since CK and I want to pay for the wedding ourselves. We pretty much have to DIY some portion of the wedding, but I worry how things will turn out. I don’t think of myself as a very crafty person, but I’m learning and improving! Enter the simple DIY twine-wrapped bottles. Ours will serve as part of the centerpieces at our guests’ tables.

I’m sure anyone reading this blog has seen these bottles all over Pinterest, Facebook, etc. I certainly read a lot of the instructions and scoured for example photos. My twist on the twine-wrapped bottle trend is below.

Simple DIY Twine-Wrapped Bottles

141117 image1

Supplies:

  • Bottle
  • Mod Podge or similar adhesive
  • Foam brush
  • Hemp twine, yarn, or other type of twine
  • Newspaper (optional)

141117 image5

Time to complete each bottle: ~ 1 hour

Steps:

  1. Pick a bottle, any bottle. I lucked out with free liquor bottles from a local distillery. Wine bottles are also very popular, but I wanted something a bit different.
  2. Gather your supplies. Put newspaper down if you’re like me and tend to get glue, paint, etc. EVERYWHERE when getting crafty.
  3. Brush on a thin layer of Mod Podge to the top of the bottle. If you’re not familiar with Mod Podge, it dries clear so don’t freak out. Tie a simple knot at the top of the bottle. Hold the knot in place while it dries to ensure your twine is sitting flush with the top of the bottle. Alternatively you could skip the knot; admittedly, it doesn’t look as nice, but I like the added security of the knot, since my bottles have to lie dormant for many months and still look great when the wedding rolls around.
  4. Proceed to wrap the twine down the bottle row by row. If you choose to do the knot, you’ll have a little extra twine to wrap over at the beginning – not a big deal. Go slowly! Make sure you’re wrapping tightly. Brush the Mod Podge on about an inch or two at a time as you make your way down the bottle.
  5. When you get to the end of your bottle or to the point where the bottle curves back in (and then becomes impossible to continue wrapping tightly), brush on a healthy helping of Mod Podge to secure the end.

141117 image8141117 image4141117 image2

Love the fun shape of these bottles! It really does take an hour though to finish wrapping one of these bad boys. I’ve made three so far and haven’t gotten significantly faster. But my wrap job has gotten tighter and straighter each time.

When you get to the end of the bottle, don’t be afraid to glop on the glue. It dries clearly and isn’t that noticeable.

Here is how the bottle first looked coated in Mod Podge:

141117 image3

About 15 minutes later:

141117 image7

And there you have it! Your own cool twine bottles. I’ve seen a lot of yarn-wrapped bottles around, but it’s not really my style. I love the look of the thin twine, and I dig the natural hemp color. Just realize that it takes more time to wrap each bottle if you use a thinner twine or yarn. As an added bonus, the hemp twine I picked up smells very grass-y. My immediate reaction was to shout, “OMG THIS SMELLS JUST LIKE COW MANURE,” as soon as I took a whiff. Upon further investigation, it just has a very pungent earthy grass smell. I actually like it a lot. I have a “freshly cut grass” scented candle, and I love farm smells. Just a heads up though.

Transition from a Solo Budget to a Shared Budget

It’s crazy how quickly time flies by, but it’s been nearly three years since the last time I was able to live with CK (and Sydney!). Between both of us attending grad school and then getting jobs in different cities, we’ve scraped by with weekend visits. But now we’re finally going to be reunited and living under the same roof! Since the very beginning, we’ve been slowly sharing more and more details on our respective financial situations. In the past year, we created a shared Google Doc spreadsheet that includes all of our regular monthly expenses (rent, car insurance, health insurance, etc.), student loan payments, credit card payments, retirement fund contributions, savings contributions, and the slew of variable costs (e.g. gas, groceries, entertainment, etc.).

140221_budget-doc

This is a screenshot of our shared Google Doc budget, just to give you a rough idea. My budget is the first 4 columns, and CK’s starts at the 5th column.

It was extremely helpful to better understand what financial obligations the other person had on their plate. CK has some hefty student loans and a car payment, but I own a horse and also have student loans to pay off. It seems basic, but it really helps to just see all of the numbers on one screen and know where all the money “magically” goes each month. So after the shared Google Doc budget, what was the next step? A shared savings account.

A few months ago, we realized we were less than two years out from the wedding and needed an organized way to make sure we could squirrel away some dollars to avoid wedding horrors like a cash bar. Enter the shared savings account. We both have set up automatic withdrawals from our personal checking accounts into the shared wedding savings account for each paycheck. Now if someone sees the perfect set of table linens or recycled decorations from another wedding on Craigslist, we can scoop them up with our personal debit/credit card and reimburse ourselves from the wedding savings account. And the next step? A shared checking account.

For rent, utilities, and other household items (like groceries), we’re going to set up a shared checking account. We’ll still have our individual checking accounts, but this will allow us to cut a single rent check and better track household spending. An added bonus is that it will be adorable to see our names printed together on the checks. This is what I get excited about these days – checkbooks and joint accounts!