Monday, January 20, 2014

Artsy Monday – Wine Cork Trivet

This project was inspired by Pinterest – again. I love wine and my man and I have been saving our wine corks for several years now. About 4 years ago we threw out 5 years worth of corks and I still cringe thinking about it so instead of letting that happen again I took to Pinterest to see what others had created from wine corks. Fortunately, I found all sorts of fun ideas.

For this Artsy Monday post I decided to make a wine cork trivet in the shape of a cluster of grapes.

My finished project 

If you click on the picture above it will take you to the home page for the winery that makes the wine shown in the picture. I've been really pleased with these wines!

  • Wine corks – I used 32. If you are really talented at cutting them in half then you could get away with 16. I chose to not worry about it and just cut them all to 1” tall.
  •  E6000 Glue
  • Scissors
  • Felt (I used dark red)
  • Sand paper
  • Sponge Brush

Decoration items: not required for trivet
  •  Large silk leaves (any shape) 
  • Plain computer paper 
  • Pins 
  • Garland with brown wire base

1) The first step is to cut the corks in half or to 1”. 

Wine corks are approximately 1 ¾ inches tall so if you are cutting them to 1” you will not have two even pieces which means you will need more corks.  I had my guy cut them using his table saw which made it really easy! If you choose to cut them to the 1” mark, be sure that the wine colored end is the end you make 1” unless you want to mix it up and have red and natural ends. We tend to drink about 3 times more red wine than white wine so I went with all red wine corks. I also like the look of the wine stained end so I chose to use that end as the top of my trivet.

You do not need to use a table saw to cut our corks. Cork is a fairly easy material to cut by hand and you can use an Exacto knife or a small hand held saw or you can even leave them as they are and have a taller trivet.

2) Sand the ends of the corks to eliminate any rough edges and to even out the surface if necessary.


3) Once your corks are cut you will want to lay them out in the shape that you like. I did several layouts, taking pictures each time, until I found one that I really liked.

 4) Once you find a layout you like you will start to glue. This process was definitely trial and error for me. I went online to find the best glue to use for cork and got several different results. Many people had luck with super glue, others liked gorilla glue and still others liked E6000. Since all 3 are heat resistant and I had super glue I tried that first.

Super glue is great for lots of things but I did not like it for gluing the cork. If you get a little bit too much not only does it take a long time to dry, you can quickly glue your fingers together (ask me how I know!) I did not have much luck with the super glue.

Gorilla glue is an amazing product but it does not dry clear, it must be clamped to form a strong bond and it expands while drying so it could look really clumpy if you are not extremely careful! I didn’t want to see the adhesive so I chose to use the E6000 as my next adhesive experiment.

At first I was skeptical of the E6000, it takes a while to dry and I wasn’t sure it was going to hold the corks together, especially since I was not clamping them together. What I found was that if you apply a nice line of E6000 to the cork and let it sit for about 30 seconds to a minute and then attach it to the next cork it adheres fairly well.

Adhering the corks to each other takes a bit of time. Before adhering a cork in place I first set in where it would go and then looked for the contact points, especially if it would be adhering to more than one cork. You want to be sure that you have a line of glue on each cork that the one you are working with comes in contact with.

I started at the bottom tip of the cluster and worked my way up. Once I had my entire cluster glued, leaving the cluster on the table, I gently pressed the corks together, making sure to keep the shape as I went.  Then the hard part – I let it sit overnight to dry!

The next morning I went in and was thrilled with the results! Because I wanted to use this on my table I chose to add a felt bottom. Not only will this keep the corks together it will provide an nice soft surface between my trivet and the table.

5) Trace your cork grape cluster onto a piece of copy/computer paper.  Cut the out the shape being sure to cut well inside the trace line.

6) Before cutting the felt lay your paper template on the bottom of the cork trivet and adjust it for size.  You do not want the felt to hang over the edge of the cluster. This is not a design detail that needs to be seen, just a functional one. Once you are happy with the size of the template pin it to your felt and cut it out. Double check the size of the felt on the bottom of the trivet before you glue. 

7) Apply additional E6000 adhesive to the bottom of the trivet. I also added extra adhesive between the corks that were close to the edge to add additional strength.  Be sure that you do not get the adhesive too close to the edge; you want to cover this layer of adhesive with the felt and do not want excess adhesive showing. Fortunately E6000 drives clear so if you do have some excess if will not be too noticeable. 

Once you have the additional E6000 on the corks take a sponge brush and brush the adhesive to form a nice thin layer. Top with the piece of felt you cut previously.

8)  Let dry. HARDEST STEP!

Decorating your trivet

You do not need to add any additional decoration to your trivet however I decided to make a couple of leaves and some curlicues to dress it up a bit. These are not permanently attached so I can remove them if I want to use it for something hot.

Rather than purchasing grape leaves I dug through my stash of craft supplies and found some silk leaves from a large floral pick that I got at my local craft store. You want to make sure the leaves are larger than what you need because you are going to cut them.

I went online to find a grape leaf pattern and found this perfect picture. The original picture compared a maple leaf to a grape leaf and can be found by clicking on the picture above or using the link here: . I then re-sized the picture in a word document to the size leaf that I wanted and printed out my template. 

Many silk leaves have plastic stems attached to them, as mine did. These stems easily peel off the leaves.  Grasp the leave near the stem in one hand and the stem itself in the other then gently pull the two pieces apart.  Set the stem aside.

Take the leaf template that you have sized and pin it to the leave, far enough down that the stem area is in the leaf you are going to cut then cut out a leaf.

 I leave the stem area uncut on the template which give me additional support and control when cutting out the tiny stem from the leaf. In this project we are going to remove the stem from the leaf and add a plastic stem so you do not need to worry about the stem if you do not want to. I suggest cutting the first leaf this way to see the difference of the additional support the paper provides.

Once you have both leaves cut you will take one of the plastic stems and cut it in half. Remove a couple of the “veins” that are below the tip; leaving the tip and the two “veins” below it to support your leaf. Remove any remaining “veins” left on the half stem you are working with. If the plastic vein supports are longer than your leaf trim them to fit.  

Glue the stem to the back of the leaf and then trim the plastic stem to size. Complete the second leaf in the same fashion.

To make the curlicues I used the brown covered wire from a berry Christmas garland that I purchased on clearance at my local craft store. You can get great deals on garland right after the holidays – any holiday! I look for the brown based as well as metallics as these are the types I tend to use most.

Remove any decoration from the garland so that you are left with the paper wrapped wire.  Wrap the “good” end, the end that was not attached to the garland, tightly around a small paintbrush or pencil. Slide the tight coil off the end of the rod you used and gently pull apart and bend to shape.

Wrap the other end around the stem of the leaf. You will do this for each leaf. Once both leaves have curlicues take another piece of wire and wrap them together at the stem.

Bend wired stems in a 90 degree angle from the leaves and slide into a hole between the corks.

I hope you enjoyed this project. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email me using hte link on the right.

Thanks for stopping by!

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