Getting the ladies together for a little wine at happy hour is a great way to catch up after a long week. If you make it a regular thing, be sure to start saving your wine corks. Then, next time it's your turn to host, plan a fun, crafty event that will put all of those corks and good memories to use. Or if you're ready to try this before you have good stash, you can always buy some online. Once you have a good number, dive into the following five crafts with your girlfriends.
Mulled Spice Bag
Mulled spice bags are fun to make around the holiday season and can be a delicious addition to a warm winter beverage. You'll need one wine cork for each bag, and get some small cotton spice bags and some twine at your local craft store.
Next, you need some mulling spices. You can develop your own recipe, but some common spices to use are dried cinnamon sticks, allspice, clove, nutmeg and dried orange peel. At your party, put the spices out along with your bags, twine and corks and encourage everyone to experiment a bit with the different scents. Once you get the right mix, tie off the bag with the twine, and then tie a wine cork to the top. The cork not only provides decoration, it also serves as a float when you mull some hot cider.
Wine Cork Wreath
A wine cork wreath will likely be a group project, unless you have a whole lot of corks to go around. A decent sized wreath will take upwards of 200 wine corks to complete, and that's a lot of vino. Start by using hot glue to place corks on the inside edge of a 12-inch straw wreath. The key for the first layer is to make it as neat and close together as possible. Wedge in corks however you can until it's completely covered. Then, start on a second layer, but make this layer more jagged and random in placement in order to give it dimension. You'll want to cover the entire straw wreath for the bottom layer, but overlapping in places and spacing them out more in others is what you're looking for the top layers. Some people spray paint the wreath green, but leaving it natural adds a classic appeal.
Wine Cork Craft Kits
If you're looking for a theme for you next happy hour, look no further than the BYOCCK party. That stands for "bring you own cork craft kit." Shop online or at most any craft store for dozens of wine cork craft kits to choose from, and most of them can be assembled in pretty short order. Picture frames, coasters, wall art, you name it. Give your girlfriends a little heads up so they can purchase or order their kit, and then get everybody together to put them together over some cocktails. Putting alcohol and hot glue guns together can sometimes yield surprising results, so always remember to craft responsibly.
Wine Cork Hearts
For an easy introduction to wine cork crafting, try having everyone make wine cork hearts. For this one, you'll need some thin square wooden plank boards of varying sizes, the trusty hot glue gun, and as always, a lot of wine corks. With this particular project, it's best to use corks that were actually used for wine bottles and not newly purchased corks. Pass out different-sized plank boards, plug in the hot glue gun and then take a moment to sketch out your heart outline. Then, line up your corks and glue them to the wood with a glue gun. This project is great for when you want to do more socializing than crafting. You'll have plenty of time to sip and chat while you wait for turns with the glue gun. And always remember to glue the cork with the wine-soaked end facing out for a colorful effect.
Place Card Holders
If you or one of your girlfriends is hosting a sit-down dinner event coming up, why not get the girls together to help make some crafty place card holders? Wine cork card holders are fun and easy craft to make with a group and the dinner or wedding guests can take them home as a keepsake. You'll need enough corks to cover all of the guests, and some sharp knives, both straight edged and serrated. The first step is to cut your cork in half so it will have a straight edge to sit on. Sometimes it's easier to score it with a straight edged knife and switch to a serrated edge for the sawing. Then, holding it strategically so you don't slice your fingers, make a cut across the top length of the cork, only going about halfway through. This will provide a slot for the place card to sit.
Chalk paint — no priming, no sanding and, though slightly more expensive, a great painting alternative. HowStuffWorks looks at this DIY superstar.
- "25 Things to do With Used Corks." Wisebread.com. May 26, 2012. http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-used-corks-including-making-money-with-them
- French, Alicia. "5 Creative ways you can reuse your wine cork." Sheknows.com. May 26, 2012. http://www.sheknows.com/living/articles/952639/5-creative-ways-you-can-reuse-your-wine-corks
- "How to make mulling spices for the holidays." Seriouseats.com. May 26, 2012. http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/11/how-to-make-mulling-spices-for-the-holidays.html
- "Mulling Spices Recipe." Lovetoknow.com. May 26, 2012. http://herbs.lovetoknow.com/Mulling_Spices_Recipe
- "Wine Cork Kits and Crafts." wineenthusiast.com. May 26, 2012. http://www.wineenthusiast.com/home-housewares/wine-cork-kits.asp