Showing posts with label Corks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Corks. Show all posts

3.01.2012

Baby, You Light My Fire

Seeing as my Cork Creativity board on Pinterest is the most followed of all my boards, and that my two top blog posts of all time involve corks (Wine Cork Herb Markers and Wine Cork Tray), I'm pretty certain that 1) I have a lot of vino-drinking readers and friends and 2) you all like creative uses for discarded items!  I thought it would be fun to explore some other great ideas using wine corks.  I love the idea of turning trash into something useful, don't you?

Today's easy peasy craft for the uncrafty:

Other people preserve strawberries or pickle cucumbers; we marinate wine corks in this house!

You'll need:
A collection of corks
A glass bottle
Rubbing alcohol

Save a glass bottle and it's lid from your recycle bin.  In a sink filled with hot water and a bit of liquid dish soap, soak the jars for a half hour or so, until the labels peel off easily.

I was going to use Goof Off to remove the adhesive left after the labels came off, but anything that smells that vile just cannot be good for you!  Instead, I tried scrubbing the adhesive with a nylon scrubbing pad and liquid soap and it came right off.  So, goodbye, Goof Off.

Fill up the bottle with corks and cover with rubbing alcohol.  Then, allow to fester for a few weeks before using.  You may want to write the date that you bottled the corks on the bottom of the bottle to remind yourself of when they should be good to go.

See this bottle below?  The corks on the bottom have been in marinating for a month or so.  The one on the top was just added and is not mature enough to be lighting anyone's fire. *wink wink*

To use, place corks under kindling and light with a long-necked lighter.
*This goes without saying but I'm going to say it anyway:  keep your bottle away from heat and flame as it's highly flammable.  Derrrr, obviously.

I made a bunch of marinated fire starters as hostess gifts for our pyromaniac friends and family.

They're perfect for anyone who uses their fireplace frequently (like us) or has a fire pit outside.  With these I gave the lids a quick spray paint to jazz them up a bit.  I just threw them into a cardboard box and gave them a quick coat out on my deck of whatever spraypaint I had on hand.

Mark suggests gifting the fire starters with a tong so the user doesn't have to fish down into the bottom of the bottle to get a cork, spaz out and accidently pour rubbing alcohol all over the floor (not that we would know anything about that!!!)  I found these inexpensive tongs on Amazon.

The labels are from a really lovely site called The Wedding Chicks, which offers free printable invitations, place cards and the like.  I added the text to the file, which you can save and print if you'd like, or save the original file without text from The Wedding Chicks.

And there you have it - a very inexpensive and unique gift!


Don't forget that tomorrow, 3/2 is the link up of March Before Projects!!  I'm looking forward to seeing what you're looking to accomplish in March, friends!


Shine Your Light




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11.15.2011

Wine Cork Tray

{I wanted to title this post
Put A Cork In It
but that doesn't sound very welcoming, does it? :)}

Do I have a fun project for you today!!!

Remember these??

The post I wrote about my wine cork herb markers happens to be the most visited post ever on my little blog, and pictures of the markers are the most re-pinned photos from Shine Your Light on Pinterest.  I was even asked by a Swedish magazine, Allt om Trädgård, if one my photos could be used in their publication as a gardening DIY!!

Apparently I am not the only one who wants to put my wine cork collection to good use!
So how about another easy wine cork craft?

There are tons of fun things to do with them!  Just look at this pinboard for oodles of inspiration.  From bulletin boards to wreaths to placecard holders, there are so many inventive ways to upcycle wine corks.

My neighbor, Sue, and I both have quite a collection of corks and tossed around different ideas of what we could do with them.  Sue finally decided to reinvent a small mirror that she spray painted and I can't wait to show you the finished product when it's done.  Here's a sneak peak!

I knew I wanted to use my corks for a tray, and since I have several empty picture frames in my basement I decided to use one for this project.  I bought a small sheet of plywood at Lowes and cut it to the outside dimensions of the frame.  If you pre-measure your frame you can ask someone at Lowe's or Home Depot to cut the plywood for you.   The plywood was attached to the back of the frame as a sturdy base, and the frame spray painted black.  I plan to get cork tiles like these and glue them to the plywood so the tray doesn't scratch my table.

Now the fun part! - playing around with different designs.  Sue and I got together, dumped our collections onto her counter and lost ourselves on Sunday afternoon while our husbands watched football and our kids ran amuck.  It was so much fun piecing together a design that was aesthetically pleasing.  Once I was happy with the design, I plugged in the trusty glue gun and
I love how it came out!


Some of the corks on my tray are from a fun night or special occasion.....
...but with many I can't even remember if we liked the wine; I just like the font or the cute logo on them (like the "B" cork above - placed on the tray in honor of our friend, nicknamed B!)

I have a lot of repeat corks on my tray and also some "blanks"; I tried to mix them all up and make it interesting.

This Liberty School cork is a reminder of one of my besties.

2002 was the year our family was complete when my baby Seanie came along - so of course this had to go on.  I'm such a sentimentalist!

I wanted to fit the corks into the frame with minimal cutting and eventually came up with this placement.
The only corks I had to cut were on the very end, and I trimmed them down with an exacto knife outfitted with a fresh new blade.  If you make a tray or bulletin board, I strongly suggest you lay out your entire design before gluing so you know how they will fit.

The tray will be perfect for setting up a bar when we entertain, and I'll also use it on our coffee table for hot appetizers or just a spot to set down flowers and a candle.
The corks actually make quite a level base for a wine glass, believe it or not.
I needed a nice glass of wine this weekend after working on a BIG project in my foyer....any idea what it is from this picture above??  Let's just say that I have a fresh appreciation for skilled carpenters.

I'm so happy to use my collection of corks for something functional in my home, and to be able to upcycle my oddly shaped frame from this....

...to this!

If you have an empty frame lying around this would be fun way to give it new life! 
You can also buy cork tray kits or glue corks into a store-bought tray.
I'm thinking about making some trivets, small trays or bulletin boards as Christmas gifts for the wine-lovers on my list!  

There you have it.....another easy wine cork craft for my vino drinking friends out there.
I'd say today is as good a day as any other to start your wine cork collection!  

What though youth gave love and roses,
Age still leaves us friends and wine.

-Thomas Moore

Cheers!




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