Man, that title is a mouthful. But that’s what this project is:
I know it’s not cool to gush over your own craft, so I’ll try to refrain. And pretend that I don’t keep finding excuses to open my front door just so I can look at it.
It’s hard, though. It’s just not everyday that you see a summer themed wine cork project. The rich, warm hues and the texture of the corks tend to lend themselves to fall beautifully. But spring and summer? That presents a challenge.
I have been mulling over my cork collection, re-arranging it, and trying to visualize a way to adorn my front door with them for awhile. I had planned to copy this awesome heart wreath for Valentine’s Day but never got around to it because this past winter’s cold and flu season kicked my ass. Repeatedly.
But I’m back to rockin out some projects like the naptime warrior that I am. And damn- it feels good! I need my craft time, guys. Toddlers have a way of making a mom feel nutty, don’t they?
Provided you have less corks than I do (I’ve been saving on and off for about a decade now) and a good napper, you could bust this out in 1- 1.5 naptimes.
Here are the tools and supplies you’ll need for this masterpiece:
Later on I’ll tell you how much it costs. But first, we’ll start with an overview of the tutorial for those expert crafters who can look at a picture and reproduce it, then I’ll move on to the step by step directions and some helpful tips.
The Short and Sweet:
Gather similarly stained wine corks and arrange them into groups of 6, adding one contrasting cork for the center (bud) of the flower.
Hot glue the corks together, making them look like flowers.
Hot glue each of the flowers together in the overall shape of a circle.
Flip it over and hot glue some tongue depressors together to make a frame.
Use twine to create a loop for easy hanging.
Add a little bit of fake foliage for color and texture.
Hang it on your door and smile every time you walk up to it.
All the Details:
(Plug in that hot glue gun so it’s ready to go by the time you have everything sorted.)
1. Separate out 6 similarly stained wine corks into piles with 1 contrasting cork.
Assemble the cork flowers.
2. When you have 14 groups of corks you can start to assemble them.
3. Take the contrasting center cork from one group:
4. And start placing the other corks around it.
5. You are just getting them placed right now.
6. When you have all six you can sort of start to eye ball where they will connect and where you need to place the hot glue.
7. Continue until all corks are formed into flowers.
8. Test fit the flower corks arrangement
9. Decide which flowers will be set back (shorter). This step isn’t required, but adding dimension to the wreath will make it pop. And look more professional.
10. I decided that I really liked the idea of the large champagne corks being prominent so I chose to make the alternating pattern around them. (The circled flowers are the ones I cut down to set them back.)
Cut the corks.
11. To me, a length of about 1¼” looked right. (That’s about half an inch shorter than the standard cork length.
12. Once you have that first once cut, you can use it as a guide for all of the other corks you’ll be cutting.
13. Use a utility knife to cut the cork
14. When cutting something round I like to employ the same method I use to cut fruit; cut into it a little...
15. And then turn it a bit and cut some more. Until you make it all the way around. Without cutting off the tip of your finger. Very important.
16. Repeat that until all the corks in your flowers that you want to be shorter are cut.
Glue the corks together.
17. Start with the center (the bud) of the flower. Place a line of hot glue along the side of It.
18. Push one of the side (petal) pieces onto the glue you just placed.
19. Then, place a line of hot glue on both the bud and petal pieces.
20. And add another petal to it. Squeeze it together to help get a nice, secure bond.
21. Keep going until the flower is complete.
22. Repeat for all of the flowers until you are done. If you decide to use champagne corks as your large focal piece they are a little trickier. Because they are bulbous on the top and narrow in the middle they won’t be as secure. Just add a line of hot glue all the way around the side of the bulb…
23. And place the surrounding champagne corks around it, squeezing well.
(We will make it more secure later.)
24. Now just glue the flowers together.
25. This is where that test fit we did earlier comes in handy. If you did not place your flowers back in position after you glued each of them up, go ahead and do that so you can see how it fits together and where you will need to add glue. Here’s a little refresher:
Make the frame.
26. Once that hot glue has cooled completely, carefully flip over the wreath so we can add some stability to it. Have those tongue depressors handy.
27. Add a healthy amount of hot glue to a stick…
28. And place it on the back of the wreath, being careful to position it so that you can still see wine corks on all sides of it. (We don’t want to see the depressor from the front.)
29. Work your way around the wreath, one stick at a time.
30. You want the ends of the tongue depressors to butt up against each other, but don't overlap them- yet.
31. Stop when you have gone all the way around the wreath but there is space for one more stick at the top.
32. Let’s make a secure loop for easy hanging. Cut a piece of twine (or string or sturdy ribbon) about 16” long.
33. Fold it in half and tie a knot close to the ends.
34. Place the knotted twine behind a tongue depressor…
35. Slide it underneath the loop part of the twine.
36. Pull it down….
37. Until it’s tight and secure.
38. Add some hot glue…
39. And glue this piece to the top, backside of the wreath.
40. For maximum stability, here is where we will overlap the tongue depressors. Try to glue an additional depressor from the middle of one depressor to the middle of another. It’s tricky, and it won’t be perfect, but aim to make sure these pieces are not visible from the front of the wreath either.
41. Once it’s completely dry, flip it over right side up. (It should feel a lot more sturdy now.)
Add the flowers to finish it off.
42. Pull the tips of your foliage pieces off of the stems.
43. It’s nice to try and get a variety of sizes if you can.
44. Start playing around with the placement a little. I knew my focal point was going to be the champagne cork flower, so I chose to place the bigger, more dramatic flowers around it and sprinkle in the tiny flowers around the rest of the wreath.
45. If any of those tongue depressors are peeking out, that’s a perfect place for a flower.
46. Secure it by adding some hot glue to the end and tucking it in there.
47. Near the focal point it’s also nice to group or layer the foliage a bit.
The best part? This was yet another FREE project for me because I had all of the supplies lying around in my stash! Man, I love free.
If you don’t have all of the supplies already, here is about what you can expect to spend on consumables- minus the wine you have to drink to get those corks, of course:
Less than 15 bucks?! That’s a pretty small price tag for such a pretty craft project.
After a brutal summer on my front door, this poor wreath needed some doctoring. Baking in the Arizona sun activated the hot glue and it started to fall apart. (Honestly, I feel a little stupid that this scenario didn't cross my mind earlier.) So I repaired it with this adhesive:
I picked it up from Jo-Ann for about $3.60 with a coupon. I decided on it because the package was one of the only ones that listed the temperature range (-40-150°F), which was obviously a concern for me as I am not willing to re-glue a project every couple of months.
While I was fixing it I up, I noticed the sun had also faded the beautiful corks.
So I decided to take care of that with a little bit of watered down paint.
For the red wine corks I started with just the red paint and water.
I dabbed a little on...
And smudged it with my finger. I worked by adding a little at a time and intentionally keeping the paint uneven so that it looked more natural.
There. Beautiful once more.
For each flower or flower bud I wanted the color to vary a bit so I added a little of the maroon paint for one, then a tiny bit of blue for another, and finally black for another.
I tested on a paper towel to get a better look at each custom color.
For texture I blotted some with a paper towel.
The white wine corks proved to be a little more challenging. I mixed yellow with a dab of orange and black.
Do you have any awesome wine cork projects to share? Because I still have a heaping pile of unused corks…
I’d love for you to tell me about it in the comments or post to the Flickr group if you do!
Happy crafting, friends! And whatever you make, make it yours!
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