In organizing a party, plan to give your guests something special. Browse local flea markets, garage sales and dollar stores for glass mugs, coffee cups or unusual shaped drinking glasses. Here are some gifts you can make from your finds. Give them any time of year for any occasion.
Wrap them individually or use them as place settings for your guests. They don’t have to match.
You will need:
• Plain three- inch white bathroom tiles
• Glass paint and tile paint
• Paint brushes of various sizes
• Small toy wheels from craft suppliers- ½”, ¾” and 1 inch
• Glasses, coffee cups and mugs
• Craft glue
• Glass plates and saucers
• Glass frosting kit
• Faux metal leaf kit
Paint the glass
Last year, I bought plain glass mugs from the dollar store, paired them with beautiful cut glass plates from the same store and gave them as a chip-and-dip set. The mug could also double as a soup bowl, with the crackers on the plate. Everyone loved it.
This year, I planned a little something different.
Using glass paint, I painted flowers on the mugs and used stencils to place the recipient’s initials on each mug. I painted four ½” toy wheels and glued them to the underside of a tile. Each tile was painted in similar colors, initials and patterns.
The place settings were set on the table and filled with each recipient’s favorite candy.
Everyone took home something elegant that cost very little to put together.
Decorating drinking glasses is so much fun. Don’t be afraid to buy glass with raised patterns on it- just paint the patterns- roses, flowers, etc. with glass paint. Each glass looks as if it were hand made, giving the table a touch of elegance. Paint the glass itself, or just the stem and base.
Create unique sets by pairing these with the mugs, cups and glasses. They don’t have to match exactly. Just paint them with the glass paints in similar colors, or paint one and leave the other plain.
Create unique sets
I’m currently creating my own sets of glassware by simply buying glasses with matching stems. So far, I’m not paying more than $1.50 per glass. Most of the glasses- wine, water, ice tea, margarita, parfait, etc., are from the dollar store. The “more expensive” glasses are from the grocery store at a whopping $1.50 each.
There are six or seven different pattern names from as many companies, but all the glasses look like they’re from an expensive set because the plain glass has matching stems.
Of course, the stems don’t have to match exactly to make a set unique.
Decoupage pretty dried leaves, flowers or a picture of someone dear onto a glass plate, mug or glass. A custom teacup, saucer and unusual pretty spoon make a wonderful personalized gift. Fill the cup with bags of favorite teas, wrapped tea cookies and perhaps the recipe.
Get the kids together and create “stained glass” by using tissue paper and dark lightweight construction paper behind plain glass plates and bowls. Use strips of the dark paper to simulate the glass tracks found in stained glass.
Frost the Glass
Frosting a glass, mug or plate is simple. Frost the entire glass, or using spray on tacky spray (a temporary craft glue), attach a figure such as a leaf or dried flower onto the glass. Following the directions for the frosting kit, frost over the figure, and when dry, remove it. The untouched glass stands out in a field of frost. Or do the reverse by using a stencil and frost just inside the stencil lines.
I found a set of pristine tumblers at a flea market for ten-cents each. I frosted monograms onto them and gave them as a gift. The recipient loved it. I found ready-made monogrammed tumblers a month later at a swanky department store- nearly ten dollars each. Ouch.
Create a set of monogrammed glassware this way, it’s beautiful.
Create for Less.com has a full line of paint on etching kits.
RustOleum, the paint company has a glass etching spray. Use this in a well-ventilated area or outside.
Faux metal leaf
For plain, embossed or cut glass, applying faux metal leaf turns ordinary into extraordinary. Apply velvet to flowers, surround them with faux metal leaf, and create an heirloom. Glassware such as this isn’t available in stores very often, and when it is, it’s expensive. Metallic leaf pens are also available for drawing fine lines.
You have complete control over the design of the glass. Turn a ten- cent flea market find into a cherished possession.
Fill the glass with the recipients favorite candy, cookie mix, hot chocolate mix, set of flavored coffee packets or even wine jelly.
Give your custom- made creations any time of year for any occasion. They’ll always be appreciated.
Source: Carol Field Dahlstrom, (2000), “Simply Handmade 365 Easy Projects for Every Occasion,” Des Moines, IA, Meredith Publishing Company