Memo: Save wine corks for a bulletin board

  • Story and photo by Jonetta Rose Coffin
  • Saturday, July 31, 2004 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

In one of our early Craft Corner columns, we showed you how to make a bulletin board using wine corks and a picture frame.

This week’s offerings are variations on the same idea – a trivet and an erasable message board – but this time around we rely on kits rather than generic frames.

The Wine Enthusiast, a mail-order company specializing in all things fruit-of-the-vine, offers kits for a trivet, a bulletin board, a message board and a serving tray. They provide the wooden frame, pertinent accessories and supplies; you supply the wine corks.

We ordered one of each kit, but decided on the 11-by-9-inch countertop trivet and the 18-by-24-inch cork and erasable board message center for our samples.

The serving tray measures 17 by 13 inches; the bulletin board, 16 by 16 inches or 22 by 22 inches (two sizes).

This is an easy craft, but it does take a bit more time than one might think. You’ll have to play with the corks a bit to get them to fit snugly and properly into the specified space.

Also, unless you have a friend in the restaurant or wine shop business, you’ll have to start saving wine corks long in advance – or drink an awful lot of wine to build up your stash of corks.

Figure on about 30 corks for the trivet, but plan on using 15 or 16 dozen corks for the message center. It helps to have some corks that are a little bit longer, shorter, fatter or thinner than standard as well.

To assemble your project, place all the corks in the specified area and move them around until you achieve the design you desire. You may need to sand some of the corks to make them fit properly.

The instructions said to begin at the outer edges and work toward the center, but we found it easier to work from one side to the other, then play with the center part when we had most of the corks in place.

Once the corks are where you want them, glue them in place and let dry for at least 48 hours before use.

We found the glue provided in the kit to be a bit thin for our liking, so used our old standby, quick-dry tacky glue – at least on the trivet.

For the message center, we decided to try some great glue that we just ordered: Gorilla Glue.

This is wonderful stuff, but don’t – we repeat, don’t – use it on your wine cork projects. The glue “foams” up, and while this is what makes it hold so well, you don’t want the glue bubbling up between the corks.

That’s what happened to us, and we spent several hours with an X-acto knife cutting the bubbles out from between the corks. If it had dried clear, we might have been able to leave it, but Gorilla Glue dries to a yellowish beige finish that just wouldn’t do.

So stick to quick-dry tacky or the glue provided in the kit. We don’t recommend a hot glue gun for this project, since it might not hold well enough once you begin pulling thumbtacks out of the corks when the old messages are tossed.

We liked the plain wooden frame on the message center, but decided to decorate the edges of our trivet with decorative rub-ons: easy-to-apply designs that come in a wide variety of patterns and cost from $2 to $3 per package.

Oh, and speaking of cost, the trivet kit is $19.95; the message center, $39.95; the serving tray, $39.95; and the bulletin boards, $24.95 for the 16-inch or $34.95 for the 22-inch.

To reach The Wine Enthusiast, call 800-356-8466 or visit the Web site at www.wineenthusiast.com.

By the way, you’ll most likely see the serving tray and bulletin board kits in future Craft Corner columns. The frames are so attractive and versatile, that we plan to use them for something other than a way to display wine corks.

You can e-mail Jonetta Coffin at jrcoffin@aol.com.

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