“No-Tipsy” picnic holders save the day (or, at least, the beer).

bottlekeeper11Every picnic basket needs some “No-Tipsy” bottle holders made with BUTTONS from your stash. 

I once heard Elizabeth Zimmermann call a knitting method an “un-vention” — meaning she couldn’t be sure that process was never done before, but it came from an original thought of her own, based on applied, practical experience.

That’s exactly how I developed these “No-Tipsy” holders to keep bottles from falling over when the lawn is not perfectly flat. I’ve seen commercial versions used to support wine glasses.

Here’s how to make your own!

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(1) For each “No-Tipsy” you will need… one BBQ skewer with a loop/ring at the top, one button (with 2 or 4 holes, not a shank) that fits inside the skewer ring, one very large button (a great use for those big, vintage buttons you inherited), a bracelet or other sturdy hoop that’s big enough to fit over your favorite bottles, some strong thread, a needle, and scissors. (Or, instead of thread, some wire, a wire snipper, and really pointy pliers. I have never used wire, but it should work out OK.)

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(2) Be sure to test the bracelet for sufficient diameter of the hole. Any design will work as long as it’s strong enough to support the bottle. I usually use bangles.

(3) Thread into the small button, through the ring of the skewer, into the large button, back through the second hole of that one, then back through the ring and the second hole of the small button. Wrap the ends around the bracelet and tie a firm knot. It’s OK if it’s just a little loose, it will tighten up later.

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<If you are using wire instead of thread, use your judgment according to the gauge and tighten as needed by twisting. YMMV. Be sure to roll under the cut ends so no sharp points stick out, hence, the pliers.)

(4) Assuming you are sewing, repeat the process so the thread goes at least four times round. If your buttons have four holes, you’ll alternate, sewing through each.

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(5) Next, wrap the thread a few times around the “thread shank” as you would when sewing on a button (perpendicular). This tightens the attachment.

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(6) At the end of the process, fasten with an overhand knot. You’ll likely have to slide it up into place by using the needle as a tool. It’s hard to get your fingers into the confined space.

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(7) Cut the thread and tuck the ends in, between the buttons.

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(8) To use, push the skewer into the lawn as far as needed and drop the bottle in. Voila!!

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