How Not to Make a Wine Cork Wreath

by Abby on November 25, 2013

So you know how you get on Pinterest and start clicking around and before you know it the weekend is shot and you’re up to your eyeballs in corks and hot glue? Just me? Well, I had to do SOMETHING with all those wine corks I’ve been saving. So why not make them into a decorative wreath like these? Fun!

wine cork wreaths on Pinterest

First, I gathered my supplies: a Styrofoam wreath from Michaels, toothpicks, a glue gun, and a big ol’ bucket of corks. Then I got to work, poking the toothpicks into the corks, then poking the cork-pops (my name for them) into the wreath. This sounds easier than it was. My cheap, dollar-store toothpicks kept breaking. And if I repositioned the corks, I made a whole bunch of extra holes in the Styrofoam, which made the surrounding corks too loose. And everyone knows nothing is worse than a loose cork!

So I went back to the store for better toothpicks, and heated up my glue gun to better anchor the corks. Then I started over, beginning with a ring of corks around the outside and inside of the wreath and filling in the rest with random bunches of corks. But this time, some of the toothpicks poked out the other side of the wreath, so I had to break them off with my teeth. Note: this is not a dentist-approved crafting technique. But the alternative was going back out to find a tiny saw and individually sawing off each toothpick. No chance.

With surprisingly no chipped teeth and only a couple minor glue-gun burns, I completed two-thirds of the wreath before I ran out of corks. Dammit! I KNEW I should be drinking more wine! I sent out an alert to all my booze-loving friends. Over the next week I collected a paltry half-dozen more corks.

By this time, I had decided that I didn’t like the look of the white Styrofoam showing between the corks. No matter how close together I placed them, you could still see some white. Plus the Styrofoam looked like Swiss cheese at this point, there were so many extra holes in it. So back to Michaels I went to get another wreath. I also happened to find some cute burlap ribbon. Perfect! I’d wrap that around the wreath first so no white would show through.

DIY wine cork wreath This worked surprisingly well. By this time, I had honed my technique. To save my fingertips from puncture wounds, I was using a tiny hammer to poke the toothpicks into the corks. Bonus: sometimes the hammer would break off the end of the toothpick, saving me from having to use my teeth. Then a blob of hot glue around the base of the toothpick, and into the wreath I poked it. I alternated having the wine-stained ends of the corks facing out because I liked how it looked.

Periodically, the boys would wander in and ask if they could help. Sharp objects! Hammers! Hot glue! Choking hazards! What fun! My little danger-magnets were all over it.

I was about 85% done when I made a horrible discovery: the new Styrofoam wreath I’d purchased was several inches bigger than the previous one. Meaning: MORE CORKS. I’d come this far; I wasn’t about to give up now. I called around till I found a helpful guy at my local wine bar. Sure, come on in, he said. We have tons, help yourself. I thought I was making an odd request, but he said he gets similar calls a couple times a week. Guess I’m not the only cork-crazed crafter out there!

completed DIY wine cork wreathWhen my masterpiece was finally done, I made a decision. Instead of keeping it for myself, I would give my labor of love and liquor to our friends who were moving away as a combination goodbye/housewarming gift. It seemed only fitting, since we’d probably drunk at least half the bottles together. Those people love their Mark West pinot noir, let me tell you. They loved the wreath, and it hangs proudly on the wall in their new house.

A few months after Corkapalooza, a friend sent me this:

I'll try to drink more wine so you can do something crafty with the corks.

LINK O’ THE DAY: If you’re looking for an actual cork-wreath tutorial that’s useful and not just a cautionary tale, check out this one.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy at kissing the frog November 25, 2013 at 7:22 am

Abby, I read the title wrong at first. I thought you were really going to tell us how you made this – I was impressed! Now I’m even more impressed that you put your Pinterest foible out here for all of us to see. 😉 I have never pinned any craft to Pinterest because I know I will never make it. I am SOOO not crafty at all. However, I may do a theme this winter on my blog about Pinterest just for fun. Should I start saving my corks now? 🙂

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Abby November 25, 2013 at 9:21 am

I could have a whole section on my blog called “When DIY Goes Awry” or maybe, “Pinterest Fails.” But it doesn’t stop me from trying! It’s always way more involved than I think it’s going to be, but it’s fun and it shows I made an effort, right? Yes, save those corks — they’re worth their weight in gold. And that wreath ended up being surprisingly heavy!

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Lisbet November 13, 2015 at 12:54 pm

I have been looking for a way to use all our wine corks. This is a great idea!!

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