by Kara Hugglestone
How are you going to remember the special bubbly you enjoy this New Year’s Eve? A unique, crafty and fun memento would be a champagne cage chair.
They are made from wire cork cages and are a clever way to recycle or up-cycle and make a delightful party favor, name card holder, ornament or gift.
After admiring them for years in champagne houses, antique shops and even art galleries, this year I decided to try my hand at making some. I had an eager collaborator since champagne is a bit of a passion for my sailor guy – almost as much as sailing.
We used them several times throughout the year. Our champagne-themed Christmas tree this year sported champagne chair and cork ornaments along with champagne-colored recycled glass ones. We used Chandon cages and corks as their shooting star was a perfect Christmas motif.
It was easy to get the champagne cages too, their holiday limited editions were particularly fun and popular with my friends. We continued the sparkling and sustainable theme by using wrapping paper featuring bubble-like patterns and kraft paper based ones.
Earlier in the year champagne chairs were party favors at our nautical-themed table at pop up dinner party. Our little anchor-backed chairs were quite a hit. Again Chandon was a perfect choice as their limited edition bottles fit so well with the theme. I liked them so much I used them as vases.
Limited editions are just that, limited, and although these fun nautical bottle are gone now, there will be another clever limited edition this spring/summer.
Inspired? Here is a step-by-step guide to make your own:
1. Assemble your materials, needle nose pliers, a champagne cork cage and consider your design. Here we’ll do a simple circle back; once you’ve mastered that you’ll be ready for more intricate designs like grape clusters and yes, anchors!
2. Note a special occasion under the top – perfect for a gift or a remembrance – for a nice touch.
3. Untwist the the bottom wire where the two ends meet and straighten the the wire to form a u shape, then remove it from the legs. Once free, finish straightening the wire.
4. Use your pliers to form the back, in the example we used a melon baller to create the circle. Work on the back until it has the look and feel you desire. I think there is a charm in some imperfection here, the rustic look is fun and has a nice handmade feel… Some people take their champagne chairs quite seriously though. Deign Within Reach holds an annual contest with some stunning submissions.
5. Attach the back to the top of the back legs.
6. Ready now! How will you enjoy your chair? I’d love to hear, please share. Happy New Year everyone!