DIY: A decorative way to recycle wine corks

 

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.

 

Erin McCracken

I'm a FlipSide reporter covering all things entertainment in southcentral Pennsylvania. Contact me at emccracken@ydr.com or leave a comment.

1 Response

  1. Teresa Cook says:

    Corks make great trivets, too. I have a couple my son made for me.

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