Saturday, August 10, 2013

DIY:Crafts with Corks

I absolutely love wine corks. Wine corks provide a sophisticated and unique look over a basic cork board. With such a variety of uses, you can cheaply add some design to a wine theme in a kitchen, replace that old cork board in your office, or even provide organization to your jewelry.

I decided to try to make myself a cork board for my kitchen. I knew I wanted a round or oval frame because I love the look and I can never bring myself to cut a picture to fit into one. But first things first, I need corks. I put out a call on Facebook and the corks started rolling in, it was amazing. I never imagined I would get such a fantastic response. For those that donated their corks to my project, thank you! You are awesome!

 I started by getting the gaudiest, cheapest round frame I could find at a thrift shop. Make sure to get a frame that screws shut or is easily reconstructed. If it was professionally framed, you will need to know a little bit about framing to get it back together and a staple gun. It is much easier to go with a screw back one. I took it apart, took some sand paper to it and got to painting. Since I was going black, I didn't use a primer, but you will want to use it if you are going darker to lighter in your project. I used acrylic craft paint on this one. This will take longer than spray paint, but I had it on hand and my apartment isn't well ventilated. I didn't know any better on this one, but you will also want to paint your back piece during this step as well.
Once the frame is dry, you can seal it. For this piece, I used Mod Podge Matte. The black I used wouldn't have looked as good with a glossy finish. Don't panic if you see white like in the picture. It will dry clear. I know that it seems like you can skip most of these steps and hurry the process along a bit, but don't. Each step has a reason that will ensure long life to your project. If you don't sand, the paint has nothing to stick to and will be unevenly coated. Primer will ensure your color will show true. Two coats or more of paint will ensure proper coverage. Sealer will allow you to clean it without endangering the paint. Take your time and do it right the first time.
Once the sealer is dry, arrange your corks. Don't start gluing until all your corks are placed. To cut a cork, I had success with both an Xacto knife and a paring knife. Of the two, I preferred the paring knife. I felt like it was easier. I had more control and I could go at a faster pace. Once they are placed, use a glue gun to place the corks. It's not going to fit perfect in a round frame, so don't stress, but this is the reason it's important to paint your backing. It was in my kitchen for a day before I had the idea to make it into a cameo. I geek out over cameos and don't have any in my house. I cut the silhouette out of card stock and glued it to a pushpin. I put it in my bedroom. I often change the look of my bedroom and thought I can easily change out the silhouette for something else in the future. It was a really easy project, but it does take a lot of time with drying time and a lot of patience to place the corks. I decided to make them as Christmas presents. For most I switched to quick drying spray sealer. I made a silhouette for each as a sort of gift tag. With each silhouette made out of card stock, they don't have to feel bad about throwing it away and just using it as a cork board. I still have a few to go before they are all done, but I have a good start so far.
For my second project, I made a jewelry organizer. I wanted something I could put my over-sized hoops and extra long earrings that don't fit in my jewelry holder. I remembered seeing someone in a craft forum make a key holder out of champagne corks and thought that would be perfect for the big hoops. On the other half I put wine corks which works perfect for earrings with stems. This was made from a standard 4x6 easel back photo frame with the glass removed. Corks were glued with hot glue. This is a really fast project if your nervous starting out with a big cork board.

For my third project, I got another easel back frame. It was matted for a 5x7 photo. Without the matte, the opening was 6.5x9 inches. It came in black, so no painting required. Instead of hot glue, I used super glue and GOOP. When heated, hot glue will remelt and i wanted this to handle a hot pan sitting on it. When not in use, it doubles as a candle plate on my kitchen table.You will need to remove the easel for it to lay flat. Make sure to remove it before you glue your corks.
There are so many more ideas I have that I want to try out, but for now I need to finish all my Christmas presents. The last thing I did was refashioned an old candle holder that I painted to hold the unusable corks, like the plastic corks and the champagne corks to bring another wine element into the kitchen. I have had two people request coasters, so be on the look out for another cork DIY coming soon!

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