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Holiday DIY: Cork Wreath

I think I found this project via a tweet. Somehow I ended up here: Curbly: Make a wine cork wreath. I didn’t watch the whole video, because pretty early in it’s obvious that it’s just a matter of hot gluing all your corks to a wreath base with wild abandon. Okay, not wild abandon exactly, because you want the red wine corks to have the stained part facing out, and the cool labels facing the right way, etc. And in the video they just glued the ends to the wreath, so it’s really bristly looking. Not what I was going for here – I like the mish-mashy look better. The overwhelming majority of our corks are from Schmitt Söhne riesling (from a time when I drank *much* more than I do now) ;) so I used those as base/background corks to prop up the more interesting corks as needed. They’re the ones with the sun-face on them. There are lots of them on the wreath and I still have at least 50 of them left over. I also set aside all our synthetic corks – to be used at a later date in a smaller wreath project – because they don’t match the natural cork aesthetic. Note: I got a lot of burned finger-tips along the way.

Supplies

One 12″ straw wreath base, about $3 at your local craft store
200 or so natural corks (from wine, beer, and champagne)
hot glue gun and plenty of glue sticks (I went through at least 2 extra long sticks)
2 feet of wired ribbon

Instructions

Separate your corks into “base” (boring) corks and decorative “featured” corks. It’ll make it easier as you go along. Decide which side is “up” and keep it in mind the entire time you’re gluing. I started at the center bottom area with the plan of placing the ribbon in the upper right (northeast) quadrant.

Start gluing! Try not to glue the corks too far to the back of the wreath base, or it won’t hang flat on the door. Orient the corks with interesting logos so that they’re readable, and make sure that you’ve got enough red wine-stained cork ends sprinkled throughout (and facing forward). I ran out of red wine corks (red wine gives me a headache, so they’re all from JR or parties), but luckily I’d left the part behind the ribbon/bow til last for exactly that reason.

Work it kind of like Tetris or a puzzle. Try to keep to a perpendicular-ish pattern – alternating between horizontal, vertical, and sticking out/overlapping. If I do the project again, I’ll be a little more careful with the hot glue than I was – there is more glue visible than I would prefer.

When you’ve filled in all the spots so you can’t see the straw base, wrap the ribbon around, tying it in a knot and then a bow, leaving the bow ends long. I think I’m going to go back and re-do my bow – I want to layer the silver with a wider, wine-colored ribbon, and go for a more elaborate bow style, with more than just two loops. I bring it in at night because I would be super-bummed if it got stolen.

This was a really easy project that took about 3 hours, and the look on JR’s face when he saw it on the door was priceless. :)

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6 comments

1 John Forsythe { 12.20.10 at 11:44 am }

Great photos!

2 Monica { 01.07.11 at 3:51 pm }

omg, this is awesome. Thanks, I’m going to try it. (came across your flickr by mistake and clicked your blog : )

-Mo

3 Ashley { 01.07.11 at 4:59 pm }

Thanks, Monica! Glad you came by. It was a really easy project – good luck!

4 Rachel { 01.07.11 at 6:32 pm }

Ashley, I love the assumption that I even have special corks :-P What I do have is a plastic shopping bag of (mostly) St Genevieve corks that I have been accumulating since Central Market started their cork recycling program. My intention was to turn them in every month… but… um… I keep forgetting… Somehow I think that a St Genevieve cork wreath might depress me :-P

5 Sharon Walther { 02.24.13 at 11:15 am }

I am just in the beginning stages of this project, collecting the corks from family and friends. Your information has been great help. When looking at a lot of the wreaths on line I seen one I liked that had grapes/leaves on one side of it, that is what I am looking to make right now, might change my mind along the way, but thanks for getting me started. Sharon

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