Friday, March 11, 2011

Wine Cork Art

I finally managed to start AND FINISH a craft project, probably my first one since Amelia was born. The hubby and I drink a lot of wine. A lot. And we keep all of the corks. And since we've been drinking so much wine for years now, and saving all of the corks, we had quite the collection going. It was time to do something about it. I had (and still have) a plan to fill in a tray with wine corks as a fun table centerpiece, but couldn't quite envision how it was going to work (and meanwhile, the tray I had purchased for the project found a home elsewhere). However, my brother-in-law and his wife recently made a fabulous corkboard out of their old wine corks and I loved how it turned out! So, I stole their idea and made one of my own. We aren't however, using it as a corkboard at the moment - for now it's just a great piece of wall art for our dining room. For those of you interested in making your own, here are a few tips I learned along the way.
1) Cutting the wine corks in half requires less corks, plus allows you to see most of the cork, which is cool since most corks have designs that go all around the cork.
2) Cutting the corks, although it may sound relatively simple in theory, was actually quite difficult. I found that a sharp serrated knife was good to make a long cut lengthwise down the cork, and then a sharp X-acto knife worked to cut the remainder of the way through the cork. I would also suggest wearing gloves, if you have them. I did not, so my hands ended up with a few cuts and one bad stabbing in the middle of my palm (it bled, badly, for awhile, and then made it difficult to maneuver tubes open single-handedly in the lab the following week - what a travesty!).
3) The corks don't have to be cut perfectly - as long as they're cut relatively evenly down the middle.
4) If you situate the corks by alternating one cork horizontally and the next one vertically, it allows for a bit more wiggle-room, which works well if you're simply filling in a frame that you found.
5) Hot glue was perfect to glue them all down - quick and easy, and relatively mess-free. I glued the corks directly onto the back board of the picture frame, saving the glass for another project.
6) Although this looks like it took a lot of corks, it did not make a dent (not even a small one!) in our collection. Up next? I think I may try to make a smaller corkboard out of the synthetic corks that we've saved - they're supposed to hold pushpins even better than the real corks. (Although I suspect this will also mean that they'll be harder to cut!) Another cute idea I saw was to make a pin holder out of corks standing vertically - perfect for my sewing table! And then, maybe I'll get around to actually making that tray. I also have an idea that I'm toying with for some of our champagne corks...


Fixen Vixen said...

What a great idea! I may have to steal that one...

Laura said...

Love this idea and I also might be stealing it!