One of the (few) fun things about planning a wedding is seeing all of the neat stuff that other people do at their weddings. By this, I clearly mean all of the neat things that H shows me. I don’t jerk around on once wed or in the wedding section of pinterest, but I do occasionally come across something that I think is pretty cool and will actually be fun and worth the time to do at our wedding. Typically, this involves buying something that I deem too expensive for what I’m getting or just flat out rediclous, so I look at the idea, figure out what I really like about it, then trying to replicated the effect for a lot lower cost and environmental impact. One of the best things that I saw was a 5 year anniversary wine box. If you are not familiar with it, you get a box, put a bottle of wine in there, and you and your future spouse write letter to each other. They are sealed off in the box until a pre-determined time (ours will be 5 years) and then on your chosen day, you read the letters, and open the wine and have a glass. There are some kits out there, but they are like 50 bucks, and that’s without the wine. I decided to make my own, so I’ll share the process with you – it was pretty simple and I did it with the tools and materials I already had. The process is highly dependent on what you want – some of the boxes have special glasses with anniversary dates printed on them put in with the wine, and some do not. Some have fancy double locking mechanisms where each partner gets a key, and some do not. Some have very nicely decorated insides of the box, and some do not. Honestly, it’s all up to you when you’re making the box. I’m not exactly a master craftsman, so I followed the KISS principle (Keep it simple, stupid). My box will hold 1 bottle of wine and two letters, and have 1 locking mechanism. It will also be decorated on the outside, but I’m not sure how yet. Here’s what I did to get started:
Determine the size of the bottle of wine, and the box. I used a standard 750mL bottle of wine, but you can use whatever size you want. Measure the bottle of wine, and write that down. Make sure to give a few inches on each side of the bottle as well as the top and bottom. For me, this gave me a box with the following dimensions: 15″ high, 6″ wide and 6″ deep.
Once I figured out how big I wanted the box to be, I started tooling around the scrap wood pile in my back yard (and in other areas called “not my backyard”) to see what I could find. At first I thought that I would be able to make it out of a deconstructed shipping palette that was laying in the alley, but before I could hatch a plan to liberate it from the pile (there were about 5 there) they had all vanished. After that idea was put to rest, I found a leftover piece from the sustainable hounds dwelling (she doesnt like to waste things either) and took a few measurements and figured out that it would be just big enough.
Once that was decided, I got out my pencil and circular saw and started cutting. I ended up with 4 equally sized pieces (15″ by 6″) and 2 pieces for the top and bottom (6″ by 6″). Starting at the bottom, I nailed them together, fastening each piece side by side. Once that was done, I had something that looked like a putty tray – a bin without a lid. Once that was done, I took my hinges and fastened the door to the wine box. Now the box was basically complete, but this was for my wedding after all, so I wanted to make it look nice.
I built a piece for the neck of the bottle to lay into, and guled it into the bottom of the wine box (it looked like the bottom half of a guillitione without arms). That seemed to work pretty well, so after that I covered the inside of the box with some nice fabric (leftover from the napkins that we had made for the event). I made sure to leave room for an envelope on each side of the box, for the letteres that we wrote to each other. I painted the outside of the box, and declared it ready for action. H and I decided not to have the wine box ceremony as part of the wedding, so on one has really gotten to see it yet.
The best part about this is that all of the materials that I used in the construction of the box (except the hinges) were things that I already had on hand or were scraps anyway. They probably would have just gotten tossed into the garbage!
readers: have you heard of the wine box? would you give it a try at your wedding, or if you’re already hitched, did you have one at your wedding? Are you looking for more ways to lessen the impact of your wedding?