How to Make Jewelry and Other Crafts With Bottle Corks
Wine Cork Jewelry Instructions
There are a few different ways that wine bottle corks can be used to make jewelry. They can be painted or covered in fabric. The addition of chains and ribbons creates one of a kind jewelry items that would be hard to duplicate. More than likely if you’ve been doing any crafts you probably have all the supplies you need to create a complete set which includes a bracelet, necklace, and pair of earrings. Simply cutting them into perfect circle slices will give you plenty of “beads” to create as you like.
You should have most of the following supplies on hand. Acrylic craft paints, fish hook ear wires or earring clips, a short piece of a wire coat hanger, a 14 to 20-inch costume jewelry chain, white glue, varnish or clear nail enamel, split rings, jewelry pliers, a very sharp knife and a short piece of wire.
For the earrings cut even slices of the wine cork. Paint and decorate the corks to look like peppermint candies or create special designs of your own.
Punch one hole in the cork slice near the edge and insert a round wooden toothpick to keep the hole from filling with paint, and to give you something to hold onto them with as you paint.
Use a foam egg carton, turned upside down, to stick the toothpicks with the corks in until they dry. The painted corks can be sealed with a coat of varnish or clear nail polish. If this is not available simply coat them with white glue.
After they have dried use one peppermint circle to make each earring. Attach them with split rings or large size O-rings.
The Peppermint Necklace
To make the peppermint stick necklace, insert three whole corks of the same size, onto a section of coat hanger wire. Coat them with a solid coat of white paint.
When the white paint has dried, make the peppermint candy design on one end. Then paint even strips down the length of the cork. Add the peppermint stripes on the other end following the lines of the stripes.
When they have dried coat them with spray varnish or use a brush to coat them with white glue. Remember, if you use white glue it will not be waterproof.
When they are completely dry remove them from the wire coat hanger section.
Use the jewelry pliers to remove the o ring or catch from one side of a metal neck chain.
Insert a 5-inch piece of wire into the last loop on the metal chain. Fold the chain up double and feed it through the whole cork. Pull the wire from the other end and bring the cork onto the chain.
Follow the same procedure for the other two corks. Reattach the clasp on the neck chain.
The Pumpkin Jewelry
Connect six painted pumpkin cork slices together using split rings or 0 rings. Separate a metal chain in the exact center of the chain. Hold the chain up in your hand and let it hang. Grasp the center at the center point opposite the clasp. Separate the chain at this point and insert a split ring or O-ring on each end of the chain. Attach each end of the chain to one side of the pumpkin face section.
Use six decorated corks hooked together with split rings or o-rings to form the bracelet. Add the clasp to both ends. If the bracelet doesn’t seem long enough use additional cork pieces to lengthen it.
For the earrings use a split ring or o ring to attach a finished pumpkin face to an earring hook. For the peppermint earrings in the photo, two slices were used for each earring by connecting two pieces together and then connecting it to the earring hook.
Use your imagination and creative abilities to create other designs. One cork can be cut into at least eight even slices. Try gluing on plastic gemstones, cabochons or even buttons. A handful of corks can create an assortment of jewelry items. Give the finished jewelry as gifts or fill your own jewelry box.
Other Cork Craft Projects
Christmas decorations, personalized gifts, a message board, and children’s craft projects can be done with slices and sections of wine bottle corks.
Christmas Tree Decorations
Cut each cork into three even disks using a sharp thin knife or leave them whole. Push the corks onto a section of wire coat hanger. Make sure you put the hole in the middle lengthwise. Use several wires to create different colors.
Paint them in the preferred colors with craft paint and allow them to dry. String them onto cord or yarn in any lengths you need. Start the garland at the top of the tree and wrap loops around the tree until you reach the bottom.
Make Name Brooches
Cut the corks in three pieces lengthwise. Use the center section to make a brooch. Paint the cork slices with craft paint and then paint on the name. When they’re dry a light coat of varnish or lacquer will preserve the paint. A coat of plain white glue could be used instead of varnish. Glue a jewelry pin back to the back of the name brooch.
Use them as gift tags, name badges or award pins in the classroom. Velcro or magnets could also be used on the backs.
Make a Cork Message Board
Use a child’s old chalkboard to make a message board. Cut each cork into four even disks. Glue them side by side with the edges touching onto the chalkboard until the board is covered. Regular white glue or hot glue can be used. Paint or decorate the edges of the board. Attach a pencil with a cord or ribbon and a push pin. Hot glue a small pad of sticky notes onto the bottom edge of the board.
Projects for Children
Children can make necklaces with cork rectangles and decorate however they wish. Use stickers, glue on plastic beads or whatever may be available. They can be painted any color they like. Brown corks can be used to build log cabins, fences and they are excellent for making birdhouses.