I frequent York watering holes on weekends for dates, to meet friends and to listen to live music. Never in a million years did I think I would stumble onto a craft idea while at a bar. (I’m just not that crafty.) But when I went to the ladies room at Bistro 19, I spotted something cool on the wall. It was a cork board made of wine corks. It seemed relatively simple, so I decided to give it a try. I quickly realized that collecting dozens of wine corks would take months. I felt like a weirdo asking waiters and party hosts for their corks, but I did anyway. Family and friends contributed help me stock up, too. Finally, a few weeks ago, it was time to put my project together.
1. Collect corks. This is the fun part, but it will take time. It’s a great excuse to have a wine-tasting party. Cheers!
2. Find a frame that has a flat back. I actually used the frame of a traditional cork board I bought a few years ago on sale at Target. I scraped off the old cork with a fork until the surface was clear. (A straight razor would work, too. This part was a little messy.) The frame I used had a space of 8-by-15 inches to fill. I needed 77 corks.
3. Arrange the corks. This is easier said than done. I actually took a special trip to the Bistro 19 bathroom to see how the corks fit together. Unfortunately, I realized that all the corks were from the same brand of wine, so they were the same size. The corks I used were all different sizes and shapes. Luckily, I had enough of the same size corks to complete my project. Traditional corks, with a wider top will not work well. Corks that have uniform cylinder shapes work best. I ended up with a pattern with alternating rows of horizontal corks and vertical corks. It gave the board a more random look, which I liked.
4. Glue it. I made sure all of the corks had their print or pattern facing out and then, one by one, I picked them up, applied Gorilla Glue to the other side and placed them with the print facing out. (I didn’t trust that I could remove all of the corks and place them in the same pattern.) This method worked well. I would suggest spreading newspaper on your work surface and wearing latex gloves to avoid drips and stained fingers.
5. Dry and decorate. I let the project sit overnight. The Gorilla Glue held well, but I noticed that it puffed through in a few places so that it was visible. I used a knife to cut off the excess and hung it on my wall. After that, you can stick notes, memos and photos onto the board with pins or tacks.