Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hammer & Wine Housewarming Gift

The perfect housewarming gift! Includes free printable wine label and hammer design.

You know you're really entering into adulthood when your friends start getting married, buying houses, and having babies. For me, that trend started a few years ago, when it seemed like every week another mid-20s acquaintance announced an engagement, marriage, or pregnancy. My high school friend, Maris, and her main squeeze, Cole, were the first of my close friends to hop the train to adulthood when they tied the knot last year. Then, a few weeks ago, they took the next step and bought their first house in Western Massachusetts! It's no small feat to independently purchase your own place, so I wanted to be part of celebrating their achievement. I scoured Pinterest for fun housewarming ideas, and this blog post from MotherStucker ultimately served as my inspiration:

Housewarming Gift // Francis-Arden Jackson
Source: MotherStucker

Given my newfound love of free fonts and graphic design, I wanted to create a more formal wine label for the newest homeowners in my life, as well as something I could also share with all of you! The printable is available at the bottom of this post, and as always, it's free for personal use! 

"Get Hammered" Housewarming Gift // Supplies

What you'll need to embellish a hammer:
  • hammer
  • wax paper
  • sharpie markers (I used fine point and ultra fine point)
  • clear acrylic sealer
  • tape

What you'll need to make a "get hammered" housewarming gift:
  • embellished hammer
  • bottle of wine
  • free printable (available at the bottom of this post)
  • scissors and glue
  • twine
  • colorful ribbon

How to embellish wood using wax paper and sharpies.

Step 1: Use any word processing program to design your embellishment. Once you've got it properly sized for your hammer, flip the entire design horizontally (some programs will call this "mirroring"). Alternatively, you can use the printable at the bottom of this post, already flipped horizontally.

Step 2: Print your design embellishment on wax paper: a process that's tricky, but can be done successfully! I followed a great tutorial on a blog called A Piece of Rainbow, which I'll outline for you here:

Cut a piece of wax paper to about 8.5x11.5", just 1/2" longer than a standard piece of computer paper. Fold the extra 1/2" of wax paper over a piece of computer paper, making sure you have a sharp crease. Tape the 1/2" wax paper flap to the computer paper.  Finally, feed the paper-wax paper sandwich through an inkjet printer, taped side first. You'll be more successful if you guide the paper through the printer, so it doesn't get jammed or feed through improperly.

How to embellish wood using wax paper and sharpies.

Sounds easy enough, right? It seems like every crafter on the planet has this down to a science, but my own experience was a comedy of errors! It took twenty minutes and several sheets of wax paper before it finally fed through my finicky printer properly. I ran to grab my camera for a picture when it finally printed successfully, and in those precious few seconds, my sneaky little printer sucked the wax paper back up and ruined it! I had to start all over again. Twenty minutes after that (and several more sheets of wax paper), the wax paper finally fed through properly again. I don't have a clue what I did differently the two times it went through successfully, but I can't tell you how glad I was to finally be done with this step!

Step 3: Get your hammer thoroughly wet, dry it off with a towel, and carefully tape down the wax paper embellishment, ink side down.

I'm not sure wetting your hammer actually does anything, since most hammers have a waterproof finish, but because all the tutorials I read recommended it, I went ahead and did it. (It certainly didn't hurt anything, anyway.) Carefully cut out your wax paper embellishment, and then carefully tape it down onto the hammer. "Carefully" is the name of the game, people: you have to do all this without touching the ink or moving the wax paper around on the hammer. Otherwise, it will be SMEAR CITY!

How to embellish wood using wax paper and sharpies.

Step 4: Rub the wax paper with your finger (and a little bit of elbow grease), hard enough to leave an ink imprint on the hammer. Remove the wax paper, and you should see a very faint imprint of your design. Now, grab your sharpie and start tracing! I used an ultra-fine point sharpie to trace the smaller letters as well as the outline of "HOME," then used a fine sharpie to fill in the bigger letters in "HOME."

"Get Hammered" Housewarming Gift // Step 5

Step 5: Carefully take your hammer outside. Emphasis once again on the word "carefully": due to the hammer's waterproof finish, the sharpie ink never fully dries on the hammer, which is why this step is so important! Use 1-2 coats of clear acrylic sealer to seal in your sweet little design and make it permanent. Now that your hammer is properly (and permanently) embellished, it's time to tie it all together (literally) with the finished housewarming gift.

"Get Hammered" Housewarming Gift // Step 6

Step 6: Print and cut out the printable (available below). The original label on my wine bottle was easy to peel off, but if it doesn't come off easily, simply size your printable to be slightly larger than the original wine label. Glue the printable onto the wine bottle.

"Get Hammered" Housewarming Gift // Step 7

Step 7 (optional): Tie the hammer to the wine bottle by wrapping twine around both every which way and double knotting the ends together. You gift will still be fairly stable if you skip this step and only use a ribbon to hold the hammer and wine bottle together, but it will be even steadier if you use twine first.

"Get Hammered" Housewarming Gift // Step 8

Step 8: Tie your ribbon in a lovely bow around the hammer and wine bottle. And you're done!

The perfect housewarming gift! Includes free printable wine label and hammer design.

Free Printable // Housewarming Gift with Love
Download the PDF sized for a standard wine bottle
by clicking here.
Free Printable // Housewarming Gift
Download the PDF sized for a standard wine bottle
by clicking here.
Free Printable // Housewarming Gift with Best Wishes
Download the PDF sized for a standard wine bottle
by clicking here.
Free Printable // Housewarming Gift from Your New Neighbors
Download the PDF sized for a standard wine bottle
by clicking here.

Free Printable // Housewarming Gift
To download, right-click on the image and choose "Save Image As..."


  1. What a brilliant idea - and glad to here I am not the only one that has struggled with wax paper in the printer - mine did exactly the same on another project I was doing I was so happy when it finally printed and then the project didn't work - your instructions are much clear so thanks for sharing :)

    1. Once I realized that I lacked the magic touch, I copied and pasted multiples of the design as a safeguard: if anything went wrong later on, at least I'd have extras so I wouldn't have to try printing again! I'm thrilled as punch with the final result, but probably won't make wood transfer a go-to craft project. :) So glad to be in good company!

  2. Thanks for linking up to Tip Me Tuesday linky party. {knuckle bumps}

    Did you know that I can “lend” your blog posts my Google page rank for better search engine traffic? {fabulous}

    If you upload at least 2 images, 2 steps, and blog post URL into your Tip Junkie craft room, you’ll be in business!
    {wink} ~ Laurie {a.k.a. the Tip Junkie}