Thursday, July 14, 2011

copycraft: wine cork letters

Okay friends, it's official. I've got the bug.

(Sorry, that's a little misleading. I'm not sick, nor have I actually captured a bug in my midst because, let's be honest, that's very difficult and my hand-eye coordination is never really fast enough to accomplish this feat, so I end up looking like a lunatic grasping at random pockets of air. But, as usual, I digress.)

What I mean is that I've got the craft bug again. And the decorating bug. Dangerous combo for a person with a strong affinity for hot glue and online purchasing (Yeah, I see you, PayPal.) But this is great news for those of you who like the craftier posts (as opposed to the rant-y or the sappy which I also specialize in.)

It all began with my new websession (that's a combination of the word web, as in World Wide Web, and obsession. I know, very clever. Thank you, I'm aware.) It's a little gem of a site called Pinterest and if there are any of you out there lucky enough to swipe an invite (frankly it's not hard, a Google search and quick blog surf was all it took to get mine), then please indulge my addiction by posting the link to your account in the comments below. You can follow me by clicking here. However, I must say, proceed at your own risk because I'm 100% serious when I use the word addiction. They should have a name for the cult following of Pinterest addicts. Oooooohhh I got it: Pinheads. That's good right? (*Ugh, just did a quick Google search and apparently someone already thought of it. It's cool if you want to tell people I made it up though. It will be our little secret...)

So during my initial pin-frenzy I was looking for some inspiration on what to do in our kitchen. We just ditched our old, ugly island for a beautiful light-wood butcher's block buffet thingy (from the exotic country of Ikea, as Jason says) and we now need some cool art to go above it. I, of course, took this as a welcomed opportunity to claim ownership of just one wall in our home. (I currently have none, but in my initial invasion of the Sadler man-cave I thought closet space was more important a battle than wall space. Still very confident that it was the right strategy.)

So anyway, I was looking for fun craft ideas or pieces of art. I have this vision of a collection of different pieces and prints arranged in a geometric-ish pattern, but right now it's still just a vision. (Look for the finished product in a future post.) As I was looking for potential ideas, I found this pin to the right. (Credit to the original source, a craft blog called The Elephant's Trunk.) Cool, huh? Being a bit of a wino myself, and considering the fact that Jason's mom keeps an entire drawer full of corks at home (God bless her, she loves her some wine too!), I thought it was the perfect idea for the greater art collection I have in mind. It's kinda crafty, but still pretty clean/simple and it's personal too.

So below we have my version. I added the frames in order to give a little more sophistication and geometry to the overall look.

Once they are included in the collection of things I'm picturing in the end, they'll look a little less... letter of the day a la Sesame Street. I can see the final product in my head so I can't wait until I can bring it to life (and share it with you all of course!). Anyway, the project was super easy and I'm confident anybody could do this, crafty or not. 

Here are the quick steps to replicating my look:

Supplies List: Large satchel of wine corks, two shadow box frames, large letters to trace (could also just be printed out templates or freehand letters), pencil, hot glue gun, possibly a tiny screwdriver, crafty pants playlist of your choosing

  • Find someone you know that likes wine as much as myself or Jason's mom. Steal their corks. 
  • Purchase two shadow box frames (shadow box is important if you want to hide some of the depth from the corks, which I did.) Please note: I suggest looking closely at the color of the frames in the light at the store because even though you think they might be black when you get home, you could realize they are actually dark brown, in which case you might return them, but then you might be too excited to craft and not want to wait to return them, which would lead you to convince yourself that you in fact now like the brown much more than the black. (But, really, don't you think the brown looks lovely?)
  • Remove the glass or plastic or whatever from the frames and recycle. (This may require unscrewing very tiny screws on the back of the shadow box and you might be terrible at unscrewing things so feel free to enlist help from the nearest burly man with a screwdriver that looks like it belongs to a Barbie.)
  • Take the backing of the frames and trace your large letters with a pencil, centering them on the board. 
  • Arrange your corks within your outlines, doing your best to avoid big gaps. You may have to play around with the spacing a bit before you get it right, which is why I suggest arranging them before you glue them down. 
  • One at a time, place a dab of hot glue on the wine-side of the cork and place them within the outline on the board. Make sure none of the stringy cob-web hot glue strings are hanging off the cork before you put them down - this could end up making the whole thing look sloppy. 
  • Do this to both letters and once all corks are glued down, place something heavy on top allowing them to dry and set. 
  • Finally, place the backing with the corks into the frame and take a step back. Pat yourself on the back for a craft well done. 

Hope you all enjoyed my overly verbose tutorial and look for many more crafts in the future. After all, I do have the bug. And don't forget to leave your Pinterest links below. If you have anymore fun cork crafts, feel free to leave your ideas in the comments too! Happy crafting!


  1. Love it! Chet doesn't understand why I keep every cork from every bottle of wine we drink. ("I'm going to MAKE something with them!")

  2. These turned out great!  Jason has been saving corks since I don't know when, and I don't know what for...but maybe this is the answer! I have a pinterest account I think...somewhere...but have yet to really get into it. Now I'm scared!

  3. Of COURSE you are. They really have a hard time seeing the vision, don't they? :)

  4. I'm telling you, for a creative person it is the best website! Just inspiration pouring out - I love it! I'll keep an eye out for your pins!

  5. I am totally stealing this! I can't say what for, yet, in case the person I'm making it for somehow also cyberstalks you (you'd be surprised, this has happened to me), but I will publish the end result if and when I can make it happen.

  6. to 2 many words .......