Every wine bottle has a cork, so what are we to do with all those cute little things lying around? You could collect them in a cute little container, but where is the adventure in that?
I decided to make wine glass charms with them. I chose a light new type cork and an old-fashioned natural one. Here is what you will need:
Corks, slicer, jewelry pins, top rings to fit around the glass stem, industrial strength glue, tiny pliers, deco-podge medium. decorations of your choice. I have a vast collection of tiny shells that I scavenged from a beach in Kauai. You should have seen HOUSEMATE’s face when my luggage was inspected as we boarded the plane and my suitcase was full of shells and sand! These are something I treasure, so it seemed only natural to use them. I had other decorations in my scrap box, pearls from a broken necklace, beach theme scrap-book pieces, etc.
I attempted to slice the corks using a knife, but it was a lot of work and the slices didn’t come out uniform, so I got out my meat slicer and set it to 1/4 inch. Of course you MUST use the guard to avoid injury, but the corks sliced nicely into about 6 pieces each. They are not perfect, but that only makes them uniquely hand-made.
Work a jewelry pin down through the cork. This was a little tough because the pins wanted to bend, but I found that if I started a small hole with a tiny nail and then used my tiny pliers to push the pin from the top edge about a quarter of an inch at a time, I could get them in place rather quickly. The slices probably won’t be completely uniform. so start from the narrowest edge and work them down into the wider edge. ( Experience point: don’t push too hard or too fast, these pins can bend and come out the side into your finger!)
Once the pin is through, pull it all the way to the top with your pliers. Insert a bead or pearl onto the pin and pull it up to the bottom of the cork slice. cut the pin off at the bottom so you have just enough left to curl up the end and hold the pearl or bead in place.
No good sheller worth their salt doesn’t have some extra sand she’s collected, so I chose to use some of that in my creation also. I used an industrial strength glue to be sure to hold my treasures fast to the cork. I applied a good layer of glue to one side of the cork and then pressed the glued side into the sand. while still wet, I used more glue to attach some shells and other decorations to the sand. Let this all dry well – at least over night.
After the charms were good and dry, I coated the top with a good coat of mod podge and allowed that to dry well. It gave them a shiny finish and also some protection.
Now you know, your friends are all going to want some of these, so you will probably want to make several sets. You are limited only by your imagination. I did a second set using the natural cork. I used stamp pads to add some fall colors to them in random patterns, then attached some tiny wooden hearts. I used some pretty wire wrapped beads from an old broken necklace for the bottom. Other ideas – I had some tiny jingle bells that could be used as dangles and do the cork slices in a Christmas theme. Tiny flowers and scrap-book sized lady bugs for the dangles would be great for a gardener. If you have a regular group of friends who meet for wine, how about using scrapbook letters of your choice to make each person an initialed charm of their own.
Check out the rest of the site for other wine craft ideas and send me some comments and pictures about your own creations.