Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Getting Crafty with Wine Corks

Recycling, reusing, up-cycling, creating....Let's face it, we're all going through a bit of a craft phase, whether it be re-upholstering old furniture, making your own photo frames or creating something new out of what looks like nothing, we all know someone who actually thinks they are Kirsty Allsop. A friend recently made a coffee table out of some pallets he found dumped in the High Street but admittedly, it looks awesome!

Believe it or not, wine related crafts are incredibly popular - reusing cases, glass bottles and even corks to create storage solutions or artwork. And the best part? You have a reason to drink wine! "Oh, I have to collect 50 corks for this noticeboard I'm making..." Oh, you poor thing.

Recently Laura wrote about the gorgeous Baxter & Snow wooden wine boxes - handy storage solutions that look great in your kitchen/bathroom/lounge - a great example of how to recycle after the good stuff (the wine!) has long gone from the case.

Last Christmas, a friend collected wine bottles in varying sizes (from halves to magnums) and different colours, and had them cut in half, lengthways by a glass cutter. They make perfect serving dishes for olives and nuts and are a great talking point for dinner party guests who you leave in the lounge while you faff around in the kitchen getting everything ready.

If you want to go down the recycled route, but haven't got the time (or a friendly glass cutter on hand), online store Protect the Planet has a gorgeous range of recycled wine bottle products made by  melting and moulding the glass at temperatures up to 1000 degrees. From tumblers and salt/pepper pinch pots, to plates, dishes, cheeseboards and platters, they've covered every foodie/wino's dream!

So with stylish new uses for packaging and bottles, what about the corks?

A friend of mine asked if I could keep hold of any corks for her as she wanted to make something with them. She knows I drink a lot of wine so I suppose I was her first port of call. As a good friend, I willingly obliged (though I'm normally a screw cap girl, so there weren't many to hand over), but I was intruigued as to what she might make with left over corks.

She'd found her inspiration on Pinterest, so I did some research and was in utter awe of the creativity of the great cratfy folk out there - the possibilities are endless! Regrettably, I could not use my burst of enthusiasm to create a masterpiece as I'd given my friend all my corks...BUT I did have a lone Prosecco cork left over from the weekend. So I got crafty....and made a little cork person!

I know, I know, it has no practical use (yet!), but my point is that it's easy to make something out of seemingly nothing. It took no time at all and I was actually quite pleased with it - I'm intending to make a set and turn them into place-name holders for my next dinner party. It's a real shame as I'll need to drink a few more bottles of Prosecco to collect some more corks - what a tough life...

There are small projects like key rings, plant markers and place card holders and medium projects like jewellery holders, coasters and pin boards - all relatively simple and doable over a weekend. If you've got a serious cork collection, you can stretch to dartboard surrounds, wall art, chairs and even stairs (for decoration - the stairs aren't actually made of corks...).

At Vinspire, we've started documenting all of our favourite things about wine, cocktails and drinking in general, with a few (ok, we're addicted, there's more than a few!) Pinterest boards. So where better place to Pin all of our cork craft aspirations? Check out our latest board Wine Cork Craft for some crafty inspiration - there's some corkers on there! (Pun intended).

If you've lovingly crafted something spectacular from left over corks, we'd love to hear from you - get in touch via our Facebook or Twitter pages!

Cork heart image from winestyr's photostream on Flickr under the Creative Commons License.

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