I have loved following the Wedding and Summer Food and Drink competitions over the last month and marvel at just how good most of the entries are. The one that caught my eye were the wine charms because I'd never come across them but what a nice idea and bit of fun they are. A couple of my favourites are:
I'm more of a homemade looking type of maker so here is my interpretation of a natural materials inspired wine charm.
Step 1: Materials Required
To make this simple wine charm you will need the following items:
- Branch slices approximately 30 to 40mm in diameter
- Wooden peg
- Magnet (optional)
Step 2: Making Branch Slices
I'm using some old branches from a winter flowering cherry that was removed from the garden a couple of years ago. What you are looking for are branches of the right diameter that are fairly straight and ideally dry but a wet branch would not put me off because these are throw-away charms that will at best got to a new home and sit stuck to the fridge with a note in their mouth.
You could cut the slices with a hand saw and they would be fine, just a little bit more rustic.
My preference is to use the table saw and use the mitre gauge to hold the branch at 90 degrees to the blade. My tip here is to position the fence close to the blade and push the branch up to the fence each time you want the slice the wood. By using the fence as a stop you will have slices of consistent thickness.
Alternatively you can use a bandsaw. Very similar approach to the table saw but make sure you use a push stick to drive the branch into the blade else a visit to A&E might be on the cards.
Because I have a nice new and sharp blade on my table saw, I find that most slices are already smooth enough to use. Those from the bandsaw are not quite as good so require some light sanding.
Once everything is set up, the individual slices are very quick to produce so I always make a huge pile of difference sizes and put them in the craft cupboard ready for when somebody wants some.
Step 3: The Build
We seem to have done a lot of work and but not created any thing yet. So now onto the build . . .
Any of the little wooden things that I make for our house guests, I always try and envision a further use once they have left so these wine charms I am making them so that they are also fridge magnets for holding notes/ Consequently step 1 is to take a wooden peg and glue a small magnet to the back. Just remember the spring of the peg is metal so the magnet has a tendency to jump around before the glue sets if you place it too close.
Now glue the branch slice to the other side of the peg and wait for the glue to set. I have used a thick superglue because it is quick but feel free to use PVA or any other type of glue that will work with wood on wood and wood on non-porous materials.
All you need now is a few guests to arrive and you can write their name on the slice and hand them a glass of wine with their own personalised charm clamped to the glass stem.