If you are even a little bit crafty (no need to be Martha Stewart) and a wine drinker (or even a bottled Belgian Beer drinker), you have the ingredients to make a nice Christmas gift for your wine lover friends or family. I am currently working on my 3rd wine cork wreath.
If you drink wine and wonder what to do with all of those corks, here’s an idea. Gather a number of corks (one can probably make a wreath out of about 75 corks, although the more the merrier). For us, it usually takes about a year to collect this amount. You want to try to use the real corks and not the plastic ones that are becoming more common. Even if you go out to a restaurant and share a bottle of wine with dinner, stash the cork in your purse. Nobody will mind.
– wreath base. I like straw but these are getting harder to find. Styrofoam will work too. I prefer the light green styrofoam, as they look less tacky than the bright white foam when little gaps peak through the corks.
– ivy leaves/grape leaves. The artifical leaves they produce now are more tasteful than they used to be. I use this as a base for the corks.
– 75-150 corks (not plastic)
– wooden toothpicks
– glue gun/glue sticks
– wide ribbon or fabric that can be tied into a big bow (red, burgundy, purple, gold make good accent colors for the wine wreath)
– green wire, floral tape or floral pins
1. Wrap the string of ivy or grape leaves decoratively around your wreath base. You probably just want to use a thin covering, to allow plenty of openings into the wreath base with the toothpicks later on. You can use green wire, floral tape, or the floral pins to attach the string of leaves to your base.
2. Break each toothpick in half. Use the sharp pointy end of each half to insert into the middle of the length of each cork.
3. Place hot glue around where the toothpick is inserted into the cork and a little bit on the length of the toothpick.
4. Insert each toothpick into a spot on the wreath base, making sure there is adequate glue for the cork to be permanently fastened to the base. Vary the direction and spacing of each cork so that the overall look of the wreath is appealing.
5. Continue this process until there are no unsightly gaps left on the wreath and double-check that there are no loose corks.
6. Clean up any “strings” of glue on the wreath.
7. Use the ribbon or fabric to create a large bow on either the top or the bottom of the wreath.
8. Create a hanger on the top of the back of the wreath out of the wire, tape, or pins.
And there you go…an easy peasy, but impressive homemade holiday gift!