If you or anyone you know drinks a whole lot of wine, save those corks! There are innumerable ways to recycle your used wine corks, including cork memo boards (the most simple in my opinion), trivets, picture frames, sewing pin holder, and a whole host of other functions! Just search for wine corks on Etsy, and you'll see how project-worthy these little guys can be. This particular one is a great gift for your favorite wine-o or a nice touch to add to your own kitchen!
To make this Wine Cork Memo Board, I reused an old wooden cutting board as my backing. Large picture frames work well since they come fully equipped for hanging, but anything you can drill a small hole into will do, whether it be scrap wood or a cutting board. Just drill a small hole in the top inch or two of the board, making sure it is perfectly centered from side to side. Then string a strong piece of twine or a leather strip through the hole for hanging.
To make the actual memo board, simply warm up the glue gun. I arranged the corks in a two by two pattern where the orientation of the corks in the row would rotate 90 degrees after every two. Then I used a single cork boarder to finish off the edges. Some other great ideas include a single zig zag orientation where each cork is oriented at a 90 degree angle from its neighbor. Doing straight rows looks nice, as does making a small cork square in the center and lying corks down in larger and larger squares until you reach the edge. There are also plenty of options for borders, should you need one. Using corks is great, but small stones, thin strips of base molding, or plenty of other recycled objects from your house or your yard will work - get creative!
Whatever pattern you choose, lay your corks down before you apply glue! The corks won't stay put too well, but try to get an idea of how they look in this pattern, if you'll have enough, how many will fit in a row, if there will be any overhang or a gap at the edge, etc. It's also important to give some thought to your gluing pattern. If you know that your corks will fit perfectly on the backing with no overhang, then starting from one side and working across may be the best option. But if you have a symmetrical pattern or if you will need to use a border, it will probably be best to start gluing from the center. Try to find the exact center by drawing lines from corner to corner and seeing where they intersect.
Once you have the whole process thought out, start gluing! I glued about two at a time, gave them a firm press, and then went on to the next two. It's imperative that you get the corks down as quickly as you can once the glue has been applied - it dries fast! And if you are having trouble getting any of the corks to stick to the backing, try applying glue to the sides of the corks surrounding it so the cork is glued on all sides and sure to stay put.
Despite the lengthy instructions, this is really a quite simple project, it only requires a little forethought and lots of wine. My cutting board backing measured about 14" by 10" and I needed 95 corks to completely fill it. And though it may take a while to collect as many wine corks as you need, asking friends and family to save them can help speed up the process. Many craft stores also carry pre-packaged wine corks too, though I prefer reusing old ones for the sheer joy of recycling and the interesting stains and shapes that you'll see.
Have fun and, if you're making this project for someone else, don't forget to supply them with push pins too!