Gifts: Wine Cork DIYs

 

Yesterday, someone asked me about making a cork wreath, and since I have made a few in my day, I thought I would share my methods and see if that helps anyone out who is an avid wine lover (like me) or looking for a fun and easy holiday gift (also, like me – and yes, they’re coming!)

So, for starters, you need a LOT of corks. Seriously – a lot of them. Since I was living by myself at the time I endeavored to make these, I called up my favorite restaurant and wine bar (Quartino’s in Chicago – you’re not living if you haven’t eaten there) and asked them to save some corks for me. When I turned up for dinner a couple of weeks later, this is what I got:

Wine cork DIY

Other supplies you’ll need:

  • Foam wreath core (or other floral type core)
  • Acrylic or spray paint, or some type of wrap to disguise the green floral foam (you could get a straw wreath and shortcut here)
  • Hot glue gun and LOTS of glue sticks
  • Any beads, ribbon or embellishment you’d like + to hang it with.

First, I separated all of the synthetic corks from the real corks because I wanted the wreath to be all real, but what I ended up doing is using all of the synthetics as the base around the foam core and then started gluing on the real corks once I had my baseline down.

It takes a lot of layers so I would recommend having a hefty supply of both corks and glue, as well as a work surface to protect your surroundings from the web of hot glue you’re about to weave.

Here’s what my end product looked like. Read on to learn some of the things I would do differently next time!

Wine cork wreath DIY

Lessons Learned in Wine Cork Crafting:

  • It’s addicting. I made 2 wreaths, a tray, and 3 ornaments at least. I had enough corks to fill a cork cage left over.
  • Asking a restaurant for their corks is safer, healthier and 1,000x faster than trying to drink them yourself. (Although it would make a better story, I’m sure)
  • Cutting corks (for the tray) is really hard. Research accordingly if you plan to do this.
  • Have a lot of time! It takes a while to glue all of the corks on, and if you paint your foam core, you’ll have to wait for that to dry as well.
  • Don’t expect perfection. I had a photo of what I wanted mine to look like, and it doesn’t look like that, but it’s still beautiful.
  • Hot glue is kind of flimsy. I would recommend putting your hanger on the wreath’s base before gluing on the corks, so it is secured beneath your wine cork masterpiece and easy to install.
  • Don’t take your cork wreath on Amtrak 🙂 It’s a disaster waiting to happen. Corks everywhere! If you must, bring your hot glue gun to perform a quick fix when you arrive to your destination.
Wine cork tray DIY
The tray I made – started with an unfinished wood tray from Michael’s and hot glued the corks to the bottom.

Do you plan to try any wine cork crafts this year? Share pictures and your lessons learned below!

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