Monday, March 7, 2011


We are still in the midst of fixing up the dining room. There's been lots of painting and sanding and patching and staining and drilling and repurposing going on. One of the many projects in progress is creating an area designated for cocktail preparation and liquor storage. We've never been one of those houses that has a fully stocked bar but I do love the idea of being able to offer guests a legitimate cocktail. Particularly old-timey ones like Sidecars and Manhattans. So we bought the ingredients necessary to make a few such drinks...and while Justin is brushing up on his bar tending skills I am busy making him a place to put his wares.

First step: whip up some labels for these cute old decanters I picked up at a yard sale last sumer.

thin sheet of plywood and/or precut plywood shapes
craft knife
chalkboard paint
sponge brush
white charcoal pencil
small link chain
hot glue gun

I'm sure you can imagine exactly what I did with these materials...but just in case:

I sketched the basic shapes I wanted for my labels onto the plywood and cut them out using scissors where possible and a craft knife for any small curves. Then I sanded down the edges. (You can also skip these steps and use precut plywood shapes. Nobody will judge you. Promise.)

I applied two coats of chalkboard paint to the front, back, and sides with a small sponge brush, letting the pieces dry thoroughly between coats.

When the chalkboard paint was completely dry I used a well sharpened white charcoal pencil to write the names on each tag.

Then I decided how long I wanted the chain to be for each bottle, cut it, and attached it to the back of each chalkboard piece with two small drops of hot glue. VoilĂ !


  1. OOH lovelove this idea!!! so creative and cute.
    i don't know specifically for each different kind of booze, but i've been sadly eyeing my empty decanters since i got 'em because i thought i read somewhere that whiskey for example (my poison) needs to get used up within one week of decanting. as much as i love it i'm not ready to glug a whole bottle in 1 week (lol).
    (heh, maybe you used apple juice and water for this how-to post, in which case disregard my blathering)
    love your blog!

  2. So cute! You should get a trolley or (even better) a globe to store them in! Then you can wheel it around to your guests and show them the world. ZING!
    I did a similar thing recently with all my spice jars, only it was more "construction paper and double-sided tape" than "tiny blackboards and chain"

  3. This is, of course, lovely. I really like how the pencil looks, rather than chalk.

    Chalkboard paint is such a wonderful thing, isn't it?

  4. can you just sell these from your etsy site? clearly history has proven that crafts are just better when made by you. awesome. thanks.

    1. Agreed. I love this.. but would love to buy them rather than make them.

  5. do you sell these? i;m not crafty but looking for writeable decanter tags. your etsy page doesn't show but thought I'd ask.