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November 20, 2015

DIY Wire Napkin Rings and Glass Charms

Yup!  Lots of wire today - no jewelry.  And it's been oh-so-fun!

Because I also threw in some shrink plastic (shrinky-dinks to folks of my generation) - and who doesn't love watching that plastic curl and shrivel!

This will be one of those times I hope all of my friends don't subscribe to my blog because I will definitely be giving a few of these as gifts.

First up are these napkin rings.

These are for me - since they really do take a bit of time to make. There is a free step by step tutorial to make the wire napkin rings on the beadwork site.  The tutorial shows how to make the top version with the contrasting wire wrap - but the other version is super easy too.

Once I was making napkin rings, I decided to see what other household items I could make from wire.  I always need hostess gifts for parties and items for my friends who don't wear jewelry (what is wrong with them?!)

I decided to go with glass markers.  These are useful to mark wine glasses or regular glasses.  Obviously, they hook onto the stem of wine or champagne glasses - but what about the regular drinking glasses?

Ta-Da.  These little babies also hook on the edge of glasses.  Now isn't that clever?

No, I didn't think of this wine charm / glass marker design on my own.  Someone gave me some plastic ones and they work just fine but gosh darn are they ugly.  So, I decided to make something better.

I made some wire shapes - all of which are large enough to go around a wine stem, but also somewhat compact so they can hook on the glass edge without dipping in your drink.  Most of these use 2-4 inches of 18g brass wire and the largest barrel of my multi-step pliers.

To use the glass markers, you open the wire slightly to slide them on the stem and then push it back closed.  The same directions apply for adding them to the edge of a glass - you just want to keep the wire a little tighter so it doesn't slide all over while you are drinking.

Originally, I thought the different wire shapes would be enough to mark the glass, but then I thought who besides me would remember if they had a swirl or some other shape.  Never happen!

Then I was going to use different colored beads - but it really is the same problem.  Not everyone will remember what color flower they were given.

So, the next iteration uses words, because that not only lets people choose something that suits them - but it can also be a little ice-breaker conversation starter.

It's much more interesting to ask someone their selection of why or what than it is to ask why did you choose the purple flower - right?

And I still kept the colors and the different shape wire hooks just so people really have some things to jar their memory.

Here's the link to the step by step glass charm tutorial including how to make a couple of the basic wire clip shapes.  As for the shrink plastic, I was hoping to post the template, but I haven't found a good way to do it.  For now, the important information is that they shrink to 30% of their original size, so if you want a charm that is 20mm x 12mm, start with one that is 60mm x 36mm. This is the approximate size of mine.

Can anyone guess the significance or recognize where the words I used come from?  If so, leave it in the comments. I'll update my blog with the answer soon.

This is them in logical order (if there is such a thing!).  And the last one is sometimes I don't give a darn or I don't give a damn, if that helps at all.

I'm not sure if it will make it too easy if I give a hint - but I will.  It has something to do with baseball.

Does this help?  It's the names of the players from Abbot and Costello's famous Who's On First skit.  This card has them in their proper positions.

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