Google+ Nine Red: DIY: Message in a Bottle & Aging Paper

Monday, April 8, 2013

DIY: Message in a Bottle & Aging Paper

"Sendin out an S.O.S." - hehe,  now you're going to have that song in your head all day, like I did.  Your welcome! So, this is easy. It shouldn't really even be a tutorial, but what the heck - perhaps you don't know the art of aging paper, in which case, I can tell ya.  Write a message, age it, and throw it in a bottle.  Simple enough, right? Perfect lil project to get your crafty self all warmed up & ready to take on bigger things. It's easy, fun, satisfying - that's what I love about these mini projects.  So - the guest room is beachy-nautical, and I know I said I wouldn't go over the top with the theme, but I couldn't resist this. Theme or not. It's just cute:

***UDATE: Guest room? Check.. See the full tour here*** 
Yo-ho, look what we have here. Isn't that cute? Yes - yes that Charles Shaw wine, the infamous "Two Buck Chuck" which has actually gone up to $2.50.  Only the finest for me and my messages.  Truth be told, I don't know a thing about wine - and anytime someone tells me important information about some, you can see it going in one ear and out the other.  My brain just doesn't have a file for that info. Wait I'm wrong - I can tell you whether it's red, or white. Or if it's not wine at all. That's about it.  Now ask me what's the best paint & finish for your project & I'll talk your ear off... but I'm off topic.

As to "Annual Message" - well, these messages clearly aren't going out to sea, so who are they for? Us. I wanted to write my future self a letter about what we're up to, so I had a few sips of the wine (don't wanna waste it!) and wrote a two page letter about how things are here.  My goal is to read it eventually, in at least a year, and then do it again.  Yea, yea, super cheesy - but I love that kind of junk.

Wanna make these? Let's do it!
You  need these obvious items:
  • Wine Bottles (Clear, this usually means white wine) keep the corks.
  • A message
  • Recently used coffee grounds, so they're wet
  • Water bottle - set to mist...
  • A lighter
  • An oven
There we go, I'm ready to rumble. I wrote out my message on the computer for a few reasons.  1) I haven't handwritten in a letter in so long that it hurts my hands, 2) Word has this cool piratey font that I didn't want to recreate, and 3) If the fire gets out of control and burns up my letter - bam, reprint!

For my message I just rambled on and on, I wanted it to read as if I was talking to a person in front of me, so yes - there are jokes & cusswords in there, that's just how I roll. I put in things about the house, projects we're working on or want to work on, to see if they get done by the time we read it again. Nerdy I know, but your future self will love reading it. So, think ahead!

Step 1. Crinkle up your message.  How would a message in a bottle get crinkled? No one knows, but it looks fantastic. If anyone at your house asks you that, remind them that it's not an authentic, you made it. Then kick them out. Just kidding!
Step 2: Pour coffee grounds all over it.  Isn't this tutorial complicated?
Nice work, Barista.  Now spread 'em out over the page and roll it up. If your coffee has dried out a bit, spritz with a little water. 
I left that for about 20 minutes, mostly because I got distracted.  Unroll and reveal:
Dirty grimey letter! Hurrah... Now put it in the oven.  I did about 350 and kept an eye on it, then I did the broiler for a little, just watch it.  This adds some nice brown spots here and there, a tint to the paper, and dries out the dampness from the coffee.  Here's mine in the murky depths of our vintage oven..... 
This takes longer than you'd expect, but you have to stand nearby - for safety - so since I was tethered to the oven I took this shot looking out the kitchen slider... oooh....
Breaks over slacker, let's finish up! This is the fun part.   Inspect your pages to make sure you're happy, which you should be - no perfection in this project.
Now roll it up, and light the end.... careful, it goes fast! Blow it out before it burns your writing.
Mine went a little too far and got some of the words, but luckily you can still make sense of it. It was just a few "and"s and "the"s.   Big whoop.
Again, if you're wondering how would a real message in a bottle got burned, just don't ask. This is all in the name of cuteness.
A before and after, naturally.  Ready to go - roll her up and throw her in!
 Aaaw.......... cute.   So that's it really, a super easy fun time project.  Adds a little knick knack for the new shelf (tutorial here!) and will be fun to read in a year or so. As for getting that message OUT of the bottle? I haven't thought that far ahead, I'll let you know how that goes in a year or so. And hey, I'll let you read the message too.  I'd post it now for ya, but the messages are already in & the word file deleted... It'll have to be a surprise. :)

I highly recommend you do this. If not with a message in a bottle, then put it in a jar, or a binder, or a book you know won't get opened for a year, like a Christmas cookbook or something. I do this kind of weird stuff all the time, we've found notes in our camping gear & Christmas lights that I've forgotten about and it cracks me up everytime.  Simple pleasures I guess!

Alright folks, enjoy, don't burn the house down with this one, but have fun!


Up Next: Super-sized Geometric Bird Murals? Yes please...

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  1. Great project! Since there is fire involved, I may even be able to talk my husband into participating. Although he is a red wine only guy. Guess I will have to do the drinking.

    I love your shelf project too.

    1. Thank you! Yea it's a fun one, Hey - maybe they'd look cool in a green bottle too, since hubby drinks red! Glad you like the shelf, I think it fits that area perfectly. Have fun!

  2. Great idea for a gift too! Of course, I want to read the letter to yourself, too. lol
    Love, Mom

  3. This is perfect for a pirate party I am having for Halloween!! I did mess up the first time. I tried to roll after putting them in the oven and the paper broke and crumpled. I'm assuming longer cooling time. I'm just so darn impatient!

    1. Great! Yes, I know all about impatience, haha... maybe you're cooking them too long? If they do it again, try cooking them a little less. Have fun!


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