Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Cork Craft Craziness

The sharp metal point pierces into the soft material in the neck of the bottle.  The “squeak, squeak, squeak” echoes as the cork screw is imbedded into the cork.  After pressure to remove the stopper, a familiar “pop” sounds, followed by a waft of aromas entering the air.  The dark, chokecherry-colored liquid slowly fills a clear piece of crystal stemware.  Pouring a glass of wine remains a beautiful routine that many love to repeat.  Nevertheless, this common practice also has some universal drawbacks, number one being the garbage left after enjoying a wonderful bottle of wine:  glass and cork.  However, there are some truly fun ways to reuse wine waste, especially corks.  Hello, my name is Kara, and I am a cork craft-aholic!

Cork craft one:   Corks themselves can be fun décor, especially when put in a cork cage, which there are currently multiple designs.  If something more distinctive than a cork cage is desired, find a unique antique bowl or glass vessel.  Stores also carry many glass containers that can serve double duty as cork holder and candle holder or other function.  This is the easiest craft of all; just put the corks in after each bottle is empty, and a simple cork craft is born!
Cork cage easily purchased at a wine or kitchen store.
 Antique glass bowl used to hold corks--art in itself.
Large, antique pickle jar that holds hundreds of corks.
 Candle holder that can hold corks in the bottom, found at home decor stores.

Cork craft two:  Tables can be set with many different objects made from corks.  Corks with a slit cut in the top make great placecard holders.  With just an easy jewelry-making kit, corks can also be used to make wine glass charms.  I have seen center pieces and napkin rings fashioned from corks.  Of course, used wine bottles also make great crafts for the table, but that is another blog entirely!
Placecard easily made with slitting the top and flattening the bottom of the cork.

Corks with string as wine glass charms, placecards, or table decorations.

Cork craft three:  Corks used as bulletin boards, trivets, and coasters are fairly easy to make and are very popular.  The larger the board, the more corks needed; however, the hardest part of hot gluing all of the corks in place is making sure that the corks are the right size to fit in the necessary spot on the board.  Corks can be split in half horizontally or vertically to use half as many corks to finish the project, but this takes a very sharp blade to complete.  I usually use whole corks for my bulletin boards.

Heart-shaped cork trivet; kit can be purchased from home and wine shops.
Large bulletin board from whole corks.

Cork craft four:  Though this project takes many corks, cork wreaths of varying sizes make wonderful decorations during any season of the year.  There are multiple patterns that can be found for different style wreaths; one internet search can show these varieties.  I did a random pattern and then tied a bow that matched the kitchen of the individual to whom I was gifting the craft.  This was a really fun project and one I am going to make to keep for myself at some point!

All-season cork wreath--took almost 200 corks.

One search for “cork crafts” online shows very unique cork projects for completion, anything from vests, to bathmats, to table tops, to wall coverings.  I haven’t decided what my newest venture with corks is going to be, but I do know I will continue to hear the squeak of the corkscrew in the bottle before the pop of that cork.  After the routine of pouring the final drops of what I like to think of as “the nectar of the Gods” from its bottle, I will save my cork to continue my crafting.  Don’t throw those corks away!  Use them to counteract the only drawback I see to responsible wine drinking—the waste involved.