Mickie Gee is a retired librarian and a grandmother. She knows a little bit about a lot of topics. Life experiences are wonderful.
DIY Instructions: How to Make a Cork Wreath
If you have finished 22 bottles of wine, then you certainly deserve to display your accomplishment with a cork wreath of victory. No one needs to know how long it took you to drink those bottles; they just need to realize that you had the foresight to save the corks to recycle.
It is thought that the origin of the wreath had its birth in ancient Rome. It was initially worn on the head and symbolized a victory of some kind. Historians assume that the head wreath was then hung on the wall as a display and a way to show pride.
All in all, this wreath is a fun project to undertake and is also relatively easy. Why don't you make two and give one as a gift? You could get the recipient to help you drink the wine!
Craft a 9" Wreath With Your Recycled Corks
You'll use 22 corks and small jingle bells for this wine cork wreath. The finished size will be between 9 and 11 inches in diameter—depends on the corks and the bells. My first poorly made wreath with the larger 3/4-inch bells was 11" wide.
(FYI—I originally saw this project on Pinterest. That in turn led me to the website where I got the instructions for making the wreath.)
What You Need
- 22 wine corks, new or recycled
- 22 jingle bells, 3/8 inch diameter (important to get this size!)
- 20 gauge floral wire
- ribbon and embellishments of your choice
- wire cutters (optional)
- needle-nosed pliers (optional but nice to have handy)
- vise (highly recommended for safety when drilling holes in the corks)
- 1 helper who knows how to hold their liquor and a drill (optional)
Step 1: Drill Holes in the Corks
Drill 2 parallel holes 1/4 inch from the "top" and the bottom edge of the cork. It's very important that the holes are going in the same direction.
Notice that I am using a drill press. My husband inherited one from his father, and that makes me a lucky wine cork hole driller. It saved a lot of time.
A vise is a great tool to have! Keeps you from holding the cork in one hand and trying to hold a drill in the other. Accurate measuring does make a difference. The holes must go in the same direction. That is why the vise is so useful. You can drill the holes in the same cork. My vise could fit 2 corks. I had the markings on the vise 1/4 inch from the top and the bottom of the corks.
Safety Note: The vise is a must for holding the corks while drilling the holes—safety first.
Step 2: Thread Wire Through the Corks
Lay out your corks in a line and thread wire through one edge of all the corks.
I recommend using a wire baking tester; it clears the drilled holes in the corks. My wine corks kind of closed up waiting for me to thread the wire! Those naughty corks had to be poked with the cake tester to clean the holes so the wire would thread without hanging up. Green 20 gauge wire worked very well.
Step 3: Add Bells
On the other edge, thread a bell between each of the 22 corks—this will be the outside of the wreath. Remember to leave enough wire to make a loop for a hanger or to attach a bow. Handy. I found that making a big loop with the wire helped me keep it from getting crimped.
Just so I would not be wasting money, I tried to make larger bells work with my first wreath—I had some beads left over from past projects and inserted them in the smaller inside. I do not think it worked (see photo in the gallery below).
Step 4: Add Finishing Touches
Twist to close the ends. Add a bow or a holiday themed decoration like silk holly. If you can stand up, you are done.
The wreath on the right is the first one I made. Remember, I used the wrong sized bell.
The wine cork wreath on the left is the second to be made. It used the correct sized bell. My husband also gave me some heavier wire to use on the smaller inside of the wreath which gave it stability. I used regular 20 gauge wire on the outside edge of the wreath with the bells.
Where to Send Corks to Be Recycled
When you have enough corks to share, contact RECORK, which provides a natural wine cork recycling program. The ReCORK program is sponsored by Amorim of Portugal, the world's largest producer of natural cork wine closures. The goal is to recycle corks and to educate and inform our audiences about the crucial role cork forests play in curbing climate change. Go to this site to find out where you can recycle your corks.
More Wine Cork Wreaths to Craft
If you do not like the style of this wreath made with corks, then check out some of the websites below. I am lucky to have a husband who is retired and has nothing better to do than show me how to use his workshop to make my crafts. Some of the wreaths below only require a hot glue gun and a foam base. I wish you luck and hope you do not have trouble getting the corks.
Note: The designs below use a lot more than 22 corks. Some of the sites claim to use 200 corks!
- How to Make a Wine Cork Wreath from About.com:
Same process but more regular in placement of the corks.
- Wine Cork Wreath by Everyday a la Mode:
This project used a Styrofoam wreath base and Spanish moss as a filler between the corks that are mounted vertically from the base. Interesting look that makes a huge wreath.
© 2011 Mickie Gee
Do you have 22 corks you can use to make this wreath?
lesliesinclair on November 09, 2013:
The drill press was the first thing I noticed and something I've been longing to own. Nice tutorial.
Gregory Moore from Louisville, KY on May 30, 2013:
My wife is the wine drinker. I will have to get her to start saving her corks. When her friends come over on the weekends, they can go a long way toward getting those 22 corks!
Mickie Gee (author) on November 07, 2012:
@coolaunt: Perhaps you can make a mobile instead of a wreath where the cork hangs and you can see all sides. Or make ornaments from the individual corks and have a tree to hang them on.
coolaunt on November 06, 2012:
Yep, when my In Laws come they always write notes and dates on the corks and they can drink some wine. I wonder how to incorporate the written messages.
KimGiancaterino on October 03, 2012:
I have hundreds of corks that have been saved over the years. I keep them in pretty wine case boxes and stack them in the basement. They're great for insulation on an outside wall, and available to anyone who needs them for crafts. I'm making a large corkboard for my office someday.
anonymous on September 21, 2012:
Heavens yes we could make 50 wreaths with the corks I have! I have been saving them for a couple of years and now I am looking for ideas to do something with them.
Genesis Davies from Guatemala on September 13, 2012:
Nope. I guess I need to buy some wine . . .
ghoulfriend on August 25, 2012:
No. But I'd really like to drink 22 bottles of wine first. I love that line.
Indigo Janson from UK on January 18, 2012:
I don't, I think I'll have to ask you to help me out! It is certainly a most original idea for a wreath and the finished result is great!
anonymous on January 17, 2012:
Well, "Drink 22 bottles of wine" got my attention right away! :) What a terrific lens. I am going to save 22 corks and give this a try.
iWriteaLot on January 13, 2012:
No, but I'll get on it right away! Great lens and I love that you showed the good and the bad.
Richard from Surrey, United Kingdom on December 23, 2011:
Not right now, but this gives me a good excuse to consume 22 bottles of wine ;) Love the wreath :)
Malu Couttolenc on December 22, 2011:
I like keeping wine corks just as a collection, now I know what to do with them! Love the idea of making a wreath with wine corks :)
Virginia Allain from Central Florida on December 20, 2011:
I have several hundred (maybe even more) as I've been saving them for the past 20 years.
Joan4 on December 15, 2011:
What a pretty wreath!