Dec 13, 2014

DIY cork trivets mats and other gifts.

Remembering a special,bottle of wine, or event when it was enjoyed is far more interesting if you use the corks you collect in some way other than a large container. My Dad made cork hot pads as favors for my sister's wedding then got many requests for custom sizes so made trays, table centerpieces, and coasters.

  1. First, you need corks. 400 of them isn't too many. Depends on the size of what you're making, but if you lay them out in a small square and count how many more you need for the size of what you're making, you could end up needing 200.  Between dinners, family, and friends ... even help from local restaurants, you can gather what you need.  A bartender or wine shop often gives you corks from opened bottles of wine, and our trip to a winery was very productive.
  2. You can either use a hot glue gun to attach corks to a non-slip backing - best for a bath mat - or you can stack or lay corks in a wooden frame to make portable pieces - which is what he did.  You can make custom frames so the depth and style is perfect for what you like, but even new ones from ikea, garage sale finds, and rough hewn frames from 1x 2 material (get these pre cut at home depot) work.   Pre made shadowboxes are great too. You can often find them at local craft and sewing stores. That size is great for bathmats, since they're often too large to be used as hot plates or trays.
  3. Now, simply add the corks. If you place them vertically, you can see the end of the wine cork. This will take the most amount of corks but it will keep the entire piece looking very consistent.  Or you can place them horizontally so that you see the entire width of the corks. We had fun placing them horizontally and then mixing and matching wineries,  patterns, and distressed versus newer corks.  If you would like to make corks more stable, hot glue them together on the edges too. Don't like to glue? Place them in as tightly as possible in a frame so that they do not move around. I've not heard it done, but I imagine you could use liquid nails or a clear silicone to support and keep all of your corks in a row.
  4. For a bath mat out of corks, cutting them in half and lay them flat on a non-slip base. A piece of corkboard could work well as a base, or a piece of non-stick shelf liner with a rubbery gripped feel. Cut the base to the size that you would like. With a knife or chop saw, cut corks carefully in half. Glue each half to the base, stacking the corks side by side in rows.  You can create patterns, you could make them linear, this is where you can have some fun.

  5. For Cork hot plates and trays we ran them in a brick pattern to corks change direction to corks change direction and when you make a square it works out perfectly with whole corks