Debby Lee Anderson

Holiday Home Tour: Part One

interior design, home tourThe Style CocktailComment
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Happy Holidays Friends!

I don’t know about you, but I wait all year for Christmas. Each year I have to control myself not to put my tree up before Halloween. I was able to hold out until a week before Thanksgiving to begin holiday decorating, but the process of turning my home into a magical wonderland is still in the works. My daughter also suffers from the condition, ‘elf-itis,’ and she was NOT able control herself…her tree went up before Halloween. It runs in the family

 My covered entry has been perked up with a bright pop of red from and antique sign. I am obsessing over all things red at the moment.

My covered entry has been perked up with a bright pop of red in the form of an antique sign. I am obsessing over all things red at the moment. Red in interior design, red shoes, red handbags, red nails, red sweaters, red scarves, red eggs on ham…although I probably wouldn’t eat them on a train or on a plane.

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I believe that deers bring good luck. So I shoved one right in the middle of my wreath…

I am not sure when this belief system started for me. I can tell you that during one particularly difficult time in my life, when I felt as if I was just barely holding on, I was in the car and it was the middle of the night. I asked God to show me a deer as a sign to assure me everything would be alright. I searched the long, twisting road for my deer to no avail. When I reached the stop sign at the end of the road, my son yelled, “Deer!” as he pointed to a deer staring straight at us in someone’s yard. Thank you Mary, Jesus and Joseph! Hallmark moment indeed.

On another note, I got a call from a close friend one snowy, wintery evening:

“Hello?” I said.

“Is it bad luck if you hit a deer? One just ran out in front of her car.

I am not the deer whisperer, but I assured her she would be fine to ease her guilt, which was totally not even her fault. Who wouldn’t feel awful after killing Bambi?

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One little touch I like to do is to hang pretty ornaments from pretty velvet ribbon on my chandeliers. It’s such an easy project and draws the eye up and adds interest. My motto: If you can reach it, you can decorate it.

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I’m still working on getting more greens and fillers for my blue and white porcelain collection. Excuse my over crammed coat rack in the mirror’s reflection…I have a problem with buying coats. Hello, I’m Debby, and I have a jacket addiction.

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My mantle is still in the works but is coming along nicely. I’m feeling the tones of red and gold. The beaded chandelier reflected in the mirror I made. You can view the chandelier tutorial here.

Well that’s it for now kids! Stay tuned for more of my holiday home tour as it progresses. Thank you for visiting and may you keep the holiday spirit in your home year round.

scenes from 'sconset

travel writerThe Style CocktailComment
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Rose covered cottages, paths of crushed stone and bicycles leaning against buildings…Sicaconset, or ‘Sconset. as the locals refer to it, is much quieter than the hustle and bustle of Nantucket town filled with tourists. Flowers and hedges grow abudundantly in the salt air, charming rows of cottages are within walking distance to the beach. The sound of tennis balls bouncing on the court and families riding bicycles, create an idyllic atmosphere.

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Larger homes and compounds with guest houses are scattered throughout ‘Sconset as well, the playground of the wealthy. Some lavish homes are second, or perhaps even third properties, of owners who fly into ACK to escape Manhattan. This is where they throw lavish summer parties on lawns that stretch forever.

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  all photos mine

all photos mine

‘Sconcet is a little slice of heaven. Something about it’s very essence makes you slow down, you stop thinking about time, you get wrapped up in the child-like wonder of nature. The sounds of waves crashing, birds chirping envelope your senses, as the sun warms your shoulders. It is the perfect escape.

my favorite kitchen design

interior design, creative endeavorsThe Style CocktailComment
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Hello Loves - Over the years I’ve lived in a fair number of houses. Three of them were built and designed from scrach. This is my favorite kitchen design from my portfolio. I loved every second of designing it fromt he cabinet glaze to the cabinet hardware. I wanted a modern french country design, (my apologize for the poor iPhone quality of photo 2).

I chose maple cabinets with a glaze and I had wanted a creamy-distressed island, for the contrast. I chose not to skimp on lighting and most of the rooms in my home had chandeliers and feminine lighting. I always loved yellow in a kitchen so the walls were painted the same yellow from the old home.

I can almost smell the Christmas cookies baking and the aroma of bubbling Four Cheese Lasagna. Yum.

  design and photos mine / barstools from    pottery barn

design and photos mine / barstools from pottery barn

scenes from florence + siena, italy

travel writerThe Style CocktailComment
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Ciao Bella - What do you do when a loved one surprises you with a trip to Italy? You throw your hands up in the air and praise Jesus, Mary and Joeseph, then you do a little dance and breathe into a brown paper bag due to excitement. Next, you cram as much shit into a suitcase that that can possibly fit and get you butt to the nearest airport a.s.a.p. This is exactly what happened to me when a loved one surprised me with a trip to visit my daughter while she studied abroad.

My son had Spring Break at the same time as well, so he arrived in Florence a few days prior to my arrival. No sooner did I place my luggage on my hotel floor, there was a knock at the door. When I opened the door I found my beaming children excited to greet me. My luggage was left to unpack later and we hit the streets running. Where do you end up first in Florence when your kids are of college age? An Irish bar of course. Seriously, there was a great little Irish Bar close to the Duomo and we quickly made friends. Spontaneous, unexpected moments are lifes little gifts, don’t you agree?

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I stayed at The Grand Hotel Cavour Firenze. It’s close to the city center and Duomo so you are in walking distance to everything. The hotel beds are typically smaller in Europe, so that was expected. The bathroom was a good size and well equipped. I would stay there again based on location alone and for the properties gorgeous rooftop bar, which had the most spectacular moonlight views of the ever charming, old world city, (see photo below courtesy of The Grand Hotel Cavour Firenze).

My room had shutters that opened wide to the sight of a bell tower and the smell of fresh air. I found the tower bell charming as it filled the air with it’s musical chimes. If you are looking for a quieter stay, I would search other options. There is also a bar on that same alley as the hotel and each night, a twenty minute noise parade of drunks, stumbled out of the bar and down the alley. If you are a sound sleeper or if you would love to be part of the crowd spilling out of the bar at 2 a.m., then you’ve found your heaven. Hey, there is no judgment here. You do you.

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The food in Florence is…A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! It’s inexpensive too…check, check, double check. I believe I may have eaten and drank my weight in gelato, pizza, pasta, cappuccino and wine…I regress.

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It’s true that Italian men are flirts. Some are kind of charming, and will make you chuckle, but they will leave you alone. The other half are obnoxious and annoying. Beware females…especially the younger variety.

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Sorry for the bad iPhone photography below, that is the bell tower/alarm clock that faced my room. I was so tired from busy days spent exploring, so even when it did wake me up, I fell right back to sleep. I’ve always loved the sounds of bells, church bells, jingle bells and the little hand-held bell I think about buying for the Butler I don’t have. Dammit.

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Siena is a day trip away, we went by bus. The bus ride was annoying, just like any busride in any city. ‘Are we there yet? Are we there yet?’ Siena is a quieter city than Florence, with alleyways you can roam. Families, couples and individuals gather at the historic Piazza del Campo, which is regarded as one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares. See photo below.

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Below is the view of the alleyway from my hotel room. Two a.m. drunks not included in photo. It must have been taken at 1 a.m. Ha!

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  all photos are mine

all photos are mine

Spring is a great time to go. If you are on a budget I recommend booking through Trip Advisor. Depending on what time of the year you plan on visiting you should be able to get hotel and plane fare for $1,000/pp. Rates vary seasonally and even daily.

Ciao!

scenes from nantucket: part {2}

travel writerThe Style CocktailComment
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Hello Darlings, I apologize for some of the photos that were snapped quickly with an iPhone. Sometimes I’m too in the moment to pull out a professional camera. Regardless, even with the quality of some photos not being top-notch, they still capture the beauty of the island in all of it’s idyllic, charm and history.

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The rose-covered cottages in Siaconset, or Sconset as the locals like to refer to it are right out of a storybook. Sconset brings you back to a simpler time. It’s not overly crowded like the town during the summer months. Flowers grow like crazy in the ocean air, bicycles lean against shingled homes and skinny crushed paths make for walkways betweeen the charming cottages. It’s a dream.

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I imagine a time the wealthy whaling captains that inhabited the island had all of their wealth tucked safely away at the Pacific National Bank in the town center.

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Petticoat Row Bakery in town has all kids of sweet confections to tease your tastebuds, from coconut cupcakes to beautiful boxed macarons. I’ll take one of everything please!

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The home above is one of the “three bricks.” The 3 homes stand magestically aligned on a cobblestoned street in town. The prominent and wealthy whaling captain, Joseph Starbuck, had these homes built for his three sons. The homes contained widow’s walks, or roofwalks, which rumor says were part of the period architecture intended for wives of mariners to watch for their spouse’s return from sea.

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My favorite boutique, Milly & Grace, decked out for the holidays. I’d love to own a boutique just like it one day…dream big, people!

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  all photos are mine

all photos are mine

Have you visited Nantucket? What is your favorite time of year to visit? I have some hotel reviews on my navigation tab if you are looking for places to stay on the island. xo

DIY Beaded Chandelier

creative endeavors, diyThe Style CocktailComment
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I fell in love when I came across this beaded chandelier online. Can you believe it was made out of a hanging flower basket and mardi gras beads from the the dollar store?

I made the one below with a plain light fixture that I painted greige with spray paint. I got mardi gras beads from my local craft store and spray painted those outdoors as well. Next I hot glued the beads to the light fixture. I added some candles and and hook to hang the chandelier from a wood beam in the center of my dining room and voila. I’d like to try making a chandelier with wooden beads so stay tuned…

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  all photos are mine

all photos are mine

scenes from paris

travel writerThe Style CocktailComment
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Bon Jour Mon Chéri! Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I’m a Francophile (noun): a person who is fond of or greatly admires France. My fascination with Paris began before I even visited it. I had a close girlfriend in high school who went to Paris for a study abroad and stayed with a French family. She brought me back a mini Eiffel Tower and stories of the magical city. That began my obsession with the city of lights. I have not been in quite some time but I can’t wait to visit again to see with my close friend Sophie, and her darling sister Isabelle

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Carousels placed within this beautiful city create an air of magic and a sense of childhood imagination that something wonderful is about to happen.

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Be aware of scammers that like to hassle tourists in front of Basilique du Sacré Coeur de Montmarte, (below). They will bother families with children by placing handmade bracelets on childrens wrists and then they will get quite aggressive demanding a payment.

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When I visited with my family, we had stayed at The Marriott Champs Elysess. We had so many Marriott points and free nights which is why we chose that property. It is located on Champs Elysess and is within walking distance to The Arc de Triophe. Like any Marriott you know what to expect, comfortable bedding and a basic standard hotel. Next time I would book a beautiful apartment via Paris Perfect and live like a local. I would choose a different location that is less commercialized, like Saint Germain in order to feel more immersed in the culture.,

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I do not recommend visiting The Louvre Museum during your first day or two while you are still jet lagged. The museum is huge and it takes energy to enjoy it and see all the wonders it holds.

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Absolutely musts: Nutella crepes from any street vendor, hot chocolat from Angelina, and breakfast or colorful macarons confections from Ladurée Paris. You can thank me later.

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  all photography is mine

all photography is mine

Thanks for visiting. Bisous Bisous xo

scenes from the vineyard: part two

travel writerThe Style CocktailComment
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Hello Friends - Here are some photos that show the quieter side of the Vineyard. Some were taking during the summer months, but the majority were taken during Autumn. Martha’s Vineyard is a larger island than Nantucket so there are more towns and beaches to roam, there are farms and cliffs to see, trails to explore and even off season you will find people doning clothing from Vineyard Vines. Bring your preppy attire, grab a gourmet coffee and ready, set go!

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Below is the inside of the French restuarant Létoile which I showed in an early Vineyard post. It is open during the warmer months. Can you say let’s wine and dine?

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The Harborview Hotel in Edgartown overlooks the Edgartown lighthouse. It is in the perfect location for those who wish to stay in Edgartown which is the most upscale town at MV.

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  all photography is mine

all photography is mine

scenes from P-town

travel writerThe Style CocktailComment
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Provicetown, MA, lovingly referred to as P-town, is a haven for the gay community, families with children, straight couples and singles, and anyone who is just looking for beautiful beaches, delicious dining and a place where anything goes. It’s not uncommon to see drag queens in full costumer riding bicycles up and down Commercial Street and shouting hellos to everyone they know. Think of the funnest amusement park, minus the rides, set in a historic, ecletic land consisting of culture, music art, cuisine, cocktails, music and shows. There is a little something for everyone in P-town.

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Treat yourself to some gorgeous fresh flowers from Wildflower of Provicetown. They also have a Wildflower Home Décor store on Commercial Street if you are looking for goodies for the home.

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The Red Inn is a must-go destination if you visit P-town. It has waterfront dining and beautiful rooms. Try their Raw Bar Happy Hour or Jazz Brunch on select Sundays during the year.

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  all photography is mine

all photography is mine

scenes from the vineyard

travel writerThe Style CocktailComment
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I once had a boyfriend who lived in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard. I would pack up my little dog and explore the island alone while he was at work, snapping photograph after photograph, trying to save all of the island’s magic on a roll of film.

The Edgartown lighthouse is a magical place mostly because of the Lighthouse Keeper, who is named Wade. I refer to Wade as the ‘keeper of light,’ because that is who he truly is. It is no coincidence that he ended up in this role, in my opinion it was divine intervention. You see, Wade is a very spiritual person, he says a lot by saying a little. He’s eyes look right through you and they are an indistinct color, you feel as if he truly sees you…unlike anyone has ever seen you before. Within his quiet and observant nature, he somehow magically comes out with a phrase or two for whomever he is speaking with, and tells them exactly what they need to hear in that moment. Words of an Angel. Not only was the 5 minutes I spent with him during our intital meeting life changing for me, I’ve witness people from all over who recognize him and gush to him how he affected their lives when they happened to come upon him at a previous date. If you ever go to the island during the months when the Edgartown Lighthouse is open, a visit with Wade is a must!

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Létoile is a romantic French restaurant underneath a tent of twinkling lights. I can’t imagine a better setting for a romantic or special evening. It is open during the warm months.

The home below is my dream home. I have seen it photographed a million times which leaves me to believe it it a dream home to many others.

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  all photography is my own

all photography is my own

Aahhhh, and nothing can beat those Vineyard sunsets! Have you visited Martha’s Vineyard? What is your favorite thing about the island.

Nantucket In The Fall: Harborview Hotel

travel writerThe Style CocktailComment
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Hello Friends - I love Nantucket year round, but I adore it even more during the fall months. The idyllic island turns into a quaint snowglobe of autumnal bliss. The beaches are clear of crowds and perfect for putting on a light jacket and going for a long stroll. The one-of-a-kind restaurants are quieter and cozier and the shops are yours to stroll at a leisurely pace, with unharried shop owners who are ready to dote on you. The cobblestone streets are less busy and are perfect for photographing all of the architectural delights from a time gone by.

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One of my favorite shops in town is Milly & Grace which is filled with gifts, clothing and jewelry…and one of a kind boutique treasures. Owned by sisters, the boutique is named after their Grandmothers.

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If you are looking for privacy and spaciousness then I highly recommend Harborview Nantucket. Each individual cottage is decked out to the nines and is fully equipped with whatever you may need. It’s very quiet and a short walk to town. You will feel like you have your own home in Nantucket. It is divine. Below are some photos of the cottage I stayed in for my travel editorial.

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If you go: The Steamship Authority has ferries to and from the island and Cape Air flies directly into Nantucket airport. I suggest a Lola Burger or sushi from Lola 41 and a visit to Petticoat Row Bakery to satisfy your sweet tooth. Ahoy, Maties and have a great visit if you do go!

Season Shop: Pomtastic Studios Featuring Pom Pom Clutches

pomtastics studio, creative endeavorsThe Style CocktailComment
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Hi Y’all - last summer I was looking for a straw clutch for a summer wedding I was going to in Kennebunkport. When I couldn’t find what I was looking for I decided to make my own. My friend who’s son was getting married loved it so much she asked me to make them for her to give to the bridal party. People started to ask where I got my clutches and with that I Pomtastic Studios was born. Because I live in New England and it gets cold here I consider these seasonal items and will most likely open my Esty Shop again in Spring of 2019. Shoot me an email or leave me a comment if you would be interested in purchasing a clutch next season.

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My Ombre Tassel Earrings (below) were a big hit. They add a pop of color and look darling with a messy updo and an off the shoulder summer top.

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Above is a photo, (yes, I apologize for poor iphone quality), of my collaboration with West Elm Fenway. It was a fun morning, I got to meet some great people and sell some of my goods! West Elm Fenway is the best to collaborate with!

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  all photos and work is mine

all photos and work is mine

Creative Endeavors: DIY Holiday Simmering Spice Gift

The Style CocktailComment
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photo is mine

Hello Loves - How cute are these DIY simmering fragrance gifts? They are super easy to make as well. All you need is canning jars from a craft store and seasonal spices. I visited my local health food store and bought: rosehips, cinnamon sticks, anise stars and added some greens and topped each jar off with a fresh clementine. Add a tag and a pretty ribbon and the receipient just needs to add the ingredients to a pot of simmering water and voila…their home will be filled with the scent of Christmas! Don’t forget to make yourself one while you are at it.

Interior + Exterior Design Portfolio

interior designThe Style CocktailComment
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Hello Friends - interior design has always been a huge passion for me. I’ve built and designed 3 homes from scratch to finish right down to the cabinet hardware and loved every single second of it. I’ve also moved a lot after my divorce but one thing has remained true…no matter what size home I’m in or how big or small my heart is always set on making it a home, not a house…a place where guests feel welcome and where my adult children feel loved when they walk through the door. I guess these photos will prove that I’m part elf. I love Christmas! Every year I have to control myself to wait to start decorating…for a girl who loves designing and Christmas then it truly is the most magical time of the year! Thanks for visiting. xo

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  all photos are mine

all photos are mine

Creative Endeavors: Macaron + Holiday Candy Towers

creative endeavorsThe Style CocktailComment
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Hello Friends! I love making macaron/candy towers for the holidays. Not only are they a beautiful housewarming gift, they double as a dessert! I apologize for the poor iphone quality of the Ferrero Rocher tower below, I’m blaming the holidays being too hectic to take the time for a quality photo.

How to DIY:

You need a styrofoam cone from any craft store, I usually get mine at Joann Fabrics or Michael’s.

Candy of your choice, (the macarons I bought in boxes at Trader Joe’s, I could have used an extra box. My advice is to always buy extra to be safe.

I like covering the white base with paper or tulle. I actually prefer the tulle that is shown on the Christmas tower below.

Use toothpicks and stick 1/2 of toothpick into covered cone. The remainer part of toothpick that is sticking out from cone is what you will stick into candy.

Wrap a pretty ribbon or tulle around tower and place a pretty bow on top.

If you wanted to preserve tower as opposed to eating you can hot glue candy on and spray with shellac spray like I did with my candy cane towers.

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  photos are mine

photos are mine

sip sip hooray! diy champagne favors

diyThe Style CocktailComment
debby-lee-anderson-diy-champagne-favors.jpg

These champagne bridal shower or wedding favors are as bubbly as a new bride-to-be! I have made them several times for people and you can too. The favors can be adapted for any occasion simply by changing the tag/color combination...graduations, new year's, anniversaries...you get the idea...

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What you will need:

187 ml. mini champagne bottles

Card Stock 

Some type of photo editing software. If you don't have photoshop you can use sites like Canva or Picmonkey.

Ribbon 

Paper Straws, (found at party stores, craft stores, or Amazon).

Hole Puncher

Ruler

Labels (optional)

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Directions:

With your photo editing software create the design you want for your favor tags. If you have your own graphics you would like to use then you can add them to your design by using an overlay effect. Sites like Creative Market offer graphics at a relatively inexpensive cost if you can't find what you are looking for. You can download fonts as well from Creative Market. The favor tags and label stickers above and below contained artwork that was handpainted by the soon-to-be sister-in-law. I found a free editing too to make sure the background on artwork was transparent before adding it as an overlay to the gift tags and back labels on Pickmokey. You can also just add hand-written calligraphy on tags as opposed to creating a graphic tag.

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When you are happy with your design you can print out on cardstock. Adjust printer settings to print 16 to a page. Once printed, use a ruler and pencil to lightly line where you are going to cut the tags. Take a hole puncher and punch where ribbon will be strung through. Slip the ribbon through the hole, slip straw through and tie into a bow.

If you prefer to do labels on the front or add them to the back like I did, you can buy some Avery labels and select the template to upload your design on their site before printing.  

There you have it...time to pop the bubbly and sip sip hooray!