Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cork (Drinking!) Problem: Improvised

So, I'll preface this post by saying the corks you see here have been collected over the course of 10 years! I have pretty much saved every cork from wine we've drunk at home, at a restaurant, or on vacation (especially corks from special occasions - which I write on - see further down...).
This wreath below was the first thing I did with my corks several years ago. I don't quite remember where I got the idea, but I think I'd seen something similar at a winery. My 'improvised' technique turned out to work pretty well:

I bought a straw wreath form at a craft store (they come in all sizes and are inexpensive). Then I stuck I got a bunch of toothpicks, broke them in half and stuck one end into the cork (you have to push firmly) and then stuck the cork into the wreath form with a little dab of hot glue. Most of the corks have stayed in place firmly all this time! I didn't have any specific process for how I added them to the wreath, just started in one section, worked my way around and kept filling in holes / layering them on top of each other until it was full.

Here is the wreath decorated for Christmas - something a little different than the conventional evergreen wreath:

Below is my attempt to recreate the idea I saw in the Domino magazine of the huge jar filled with corks. I had this tall vase in our stairwell with just a few rocks on the bottom holding the branches. I decided to fill the rest in with all the corks I had previously stashed away in a closet. What do you think?

Finally, over the Christmas holiday I was inspired to fill out this wine cork trivet kit I had gotten as a present a couple years ago (one of those things I've always been meaning to do, but haven't found the time!). It was actually pretty tough to find just the right sizes of corks to fit like a puzzle within the frame, but it was fun to play around to make them fit. I didn't make a completely symmetrical design - more freehand:

I've propped it above the stove for now to show it off rather than stash it away in a cabinet:

One habit that I've gotten into, and I'm glad I did, is to write on corks that are from special bottles of wine. It's kind of hard to write easily on corks with a pen, so it doesn't necessarily turn out pretty, but it's so much fun to sift through old corks and come across the ones I've written on that bring back memories of special dinners, celebrations, or everyday moments like our "First BBQ with new grill" on our roof deck in 2007:


  1. I love that you filled that tall vase with the corks. It looks great and it's a perfect example of a design idea that you "improvized"! I also like that it is located on the stairs that lead to the wine fridge :)

  2. love the jar - but more especially the writing on all the corks:>) can't wait to see the table in the future!!!

  3. Haha I love the fact you have that many corks! not judging! just impressed!


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