Put a Cork In It!
Whining about your overabundance of corks? Don't have the motivation to tackle a large, difficult project? Lucky for you, corks are a great way to get crafty without pounding your head against the wall in frustration. With a quick glance at the following projects, you'll be wining in a whole new way.
Each year, we find ourselves cracking up over my grandma's cork creations at Christmas. They are fantastic gifts for a family who loves their wine - including my grandma, of course. She has created everything from cork babillards, birdhouses, and wreaths, to mini cork trees and hot plates. "And next year, a cork pontoon boat!" my dad always says.
My grandma was never one to create many crafts (she doesn't even fit the "knitting grandma" stereotype). Of course, crafting with corks comes easier to her since she spends her time relaxing with a glass or two of wine. (So that's where all the corks come from!) These cork projects are easy to try, even if you're not very crafty yourself.
Collect Your Corks
Every time you go to a restaurant or bar, be sure to ask the server if they have extra corks in the back. They probably wouldn't mind giving you a few - or a bag-full, as one restaurant has learned to do for my grandma. Buying corks online is an option as well.
Of course, you can always just buy a bunch of bottled wine and enjoy a few glasses all to yourself - or, I mean, with friends...
You've Sipped Your Wine, Now It's Crafting Time!
Most cork projects don't require too many materials. For the most part, you will want a large supply of corks (some projects need as many as 800! See "Wine Cork Dresser" below) and glue (hot glue works best). Many of these crafts also require old frames (wooden or decorative, it's your choice!). Any additional supplies will depend on your project. If you plan to cut up any corks, it's best to soak them in hot water for ten minutes to avoid crumbling.
The following projects go from easiest to hardest, so choose at your own risk!
Vase of Corks
Fill a wide, clear glass vase with corks and put artificial flowers in it. Voila! You can now dub yourself as a cork crafter. See how easy this can be?
Easy as 1-2-3! Grab a cork, write the plant name on it, and stick in a wooden skewer before planting your new craft into the ground.
Take small picture frames, and glue the corks horizontally on the inside of the frames. Lie the frames on a table, and place your wine glasses on them. Another option is to glue corks on small cork boards, as my grandma did in the picture above.
For a vertical cork board, take a yardstick and glue the corks horizontally along the length of the yardstick. Use pins to tack on pictures, grocery lists, etc.
Take a shadow box, and glue the corks vertically upright, squeezed tight next to each other throughout the box. As soon as it's dry, you'll be so excited to use it that you might as well shower up and test it out!
Large Cork Board
Take a large piece of particle board, framed out. Glue the corks on their sides vertically, horizontally, or both to create a pattern or picture (like a bunch of grapes), as my grandma did in the corkboard above. Stick in pins to tack up anything you please.
Cork Jewelry Display
Use an old, large picture frame and, like the large cork board, glue the corks within the frame. Glue drawer pulls into some of the corks to hang your necklaces and bracelets.
These boxes are great for storing keys or other accessories. Begin by gluing together approximately 21 corks for the base (or however large you want this box or wine bottle holder to be). You will want to lay these corks flat on a table when gluing them together. Add the "walls" after the base dries by vertically gluing corks together around the base, and add another vertical layer on top if you desire a deeper box.
Wine Cork Dresser
Want to spruce up an old dresser? Begin by painting a dresser any color you wish (black or brown would probably look best). On the top, you will want to use liquid nails to attach corks to cover the entire surface. Use two coats of poly for a finished look.
Thank goodness drinking can only help the process! However, please abstain from drinking while crafting, as being intoxicated with a hot glue gun could spell trouble.