We love a party with a personal touch. You know, THAT thing that gives you Hostess + Mostess Status and those little elements that everyone Instagrams so all of their friends are like, “Whaaat, I want to be at that party!” Want that for your next book club/swap? We partnered with Italian winery Ecco Domani (our Better Than Ever Book Club Party Planning Committee co-chair) to start you off with some tips, an invitation printable and an iPad Mini giveaway. WHAT?! You didn’t enter yet? There’s still time — head over to their Facebook page to enter, we’ll wait.
Back from contest-entering? Okay, good! Now let’s talk about ways to get your home ready before guests arrive AND some DIYs you guys can all do together. Best. Book club. Ever. We know…
Instant Pre-Party Home Makeover
1. Coffee Can Wine Rack: Hey, girl! You have guests coming over so it’s time to upgrade your home decor. We swoon for a good upcycle (sorry we’re not sorry) and this simple project will have your guests saying, “You made that! Out of what?!” We can hear it now. It also offers up a solution for wine storage while guests are here and after they leave. Especially great if they bring you a bottle. What nice friends you have! Get the wine stash started with a couple extra bottles of Ecco Domani’s Pinot Grigio and Merlot. We’re going for Hostess + Mostess status here, remember?
2. Repurposed Bottle Centerpiece: You can use the bottles as centerpieces or scattered around your party space with fresh flowers to add pops of color to the room. We originally used beer bottles for this, but think it would look just as fab with empty wine bottles too. Or a mix of both! Follow your heart. Or whatever you have clangin’ around in your recycling.
3. Gold Animal Wine Stoppers: Take old corks and make something really freakin’ cute and useful with them. You can stash these near your wine rack or use them as decor with your centerpiece until you actually need them.
Turn Your Party Into a Par-DIY
Okay, here are some ideas for a little fun you can have with your guests while you’re sitting around talking books. And celebrity gossip.
4. Wine Cork Stamps: This is a super simple project you can do that everyone can rock at. Plus, the finished stamps are something you can use at the party and your guests can take home. Sweet!
Materials + Tools:
– old wine corks (champagne and Prosecco corks work too!)
– thin tip Sharpies (or other markers or pens that won’t smudge)
– X-Acto knives
1. Use a fine tip marker or pen and draw out your stamp shape.
2. Using your X-Acto knife, plunge into the stamp about a quarter inch, following the line you drew. Go around a couple times until you made it all the way.
3. Turn your cork on its side and cut a circle with your knife all the way around being careful not to slice all the way through. (You don’t want to chop the stamp part off of the cork. You worked hard on that!)
4. Separate the top of the cork so that the stamp stands free. Congrats, you have a stamp!
Because the cork material produces organic, natural shapes when stamped, mistakes don’t exist in this project. Yay! If you’re feeling like a Michelangelo Mama, go big with your stamp shape. We went with a wine glass (thanks to friends Ecco Domani for the inspiration :) but even simple shapes like squares will make cool, geometric patterns.
If the top part of the cork doesn’t peel off easily, no worries. Just go back and carefully poke your knife in the spot that’s not separating. You can go through to cut off any stray pieces after the top comes off too. Told ya this was mistake proof!
Any corks will do for this project, even ones where the corkscrew went all the way through (like with our triangle — how cool did that one turn out?!) you’ll just have to work around the holes.
And, seeeee, we told you those simple shapes would turn into impressive patterns. You could use the corks at the party to make bookmarks, note cards, even to stamp your initials in the book so no one forgets whose is whose. Just (pro tip alert!) make sure you do the letters backwards so they stamp the right way ;)
5. Photo Wine Charms: Take the “Is this my Ecco Domani Merlot?” guess work out of it and create personalized markers together. You could ask your bookworms to bring photos of themselves, but we think it would be fun to have shots at the ready when they arrive. You can print out everyone’s best selfies or go deep on Facebook and have lovingly embarrassing pix (hey, we’re all friends here!) from each other’s glory days. Even hack up a magazine for photos to make a more “Monopoly piece”-style set of little Jennifer Lawrence heads and Louboutin shoes.
6. Vintage Book Clutch: This Kate Spade-inspired DIY gives beautiful vintage reads a second, super fashionable life. And your guests can use them to bring home their new books!
The RSVPs have rolled in, your home is ready to wow, you have Pinot Grigio chillin’ and Merlot at the ready, Ecco Domani Winetails mixed and cheese and fruit plated. Party on, and share your book swap stories with us below!
This blog post was sponsored by Ecco Domani.