Wine cork artwork tutorial.

wine cork, art work, distressed art
A few years ago I bought a friend a birthday card that said “Always carry a corkscrew and the wine will provide itself”. As much as it was the perfect card for her, it also resonated with me for a couple of reasons…

  1. I really like wine
  2. It reminds me to be ready for opportunity when it knocks on my door
  3. It reminds me to have faith that things will fall into place
  4. I really, really like wine

This is the project I did for the first week of the One Month To Win It contest. I made a distressed painting with this phrase and created a “mat” out of wine corks.

The first step in this project is to drink a lot of wine and save the corks. I have been saving wine corks for quite a while in order to get enough of to do this project. I also had my friends save them for me, but I have heard it is possible to buy corks in bulk at some craft stores. (But I’ve never needed to do buy them, so I can’t confirm that.)

how to, wine cork, art, distressed1.) Starting with a $5 thrift store frame, I had it fitted with a piece of 1/4 inch plywood and then primed it using a basic brush on primer like Kilz.

2.) Using acrylic paint I had on hand, it was painted a golden-taupe color. You can use any color that you like on this step. Whatever color you choose is the color your letters will end up being.

3.) Next I used my Cricut to cut the letters out of contact paper. If you don’t have a Cricut or a Silhouette you can use pre-cut scrapbook stickers. You can buy them at Michael’s or JoAnn’s. The next step is to arrange them how you want them and adhere them to the board. I am a big fan of the “just eyeball it” Letter Placement Technique, especially if you’re using a script-style font.

4.) Once the letters were adhered to the board, I covered the entire board with sage green acrylic paint went. While the green paint was still slightly wet, I free-hand painted a wine bottle right over the top of it all (and like a dork, did not take a photo of this part.) I used black paint to do this and it blended a bit with the still slightly wet green. I also got a little bit of gold paint and put little streaks of gold over the bottle.

5.) While it was still wet, I peeled off the letters. If you wait until everything is dry to pull the letters off, there is a very good chance that the paint will peel up with it. While this can still happen while it’s wet, at least if it’s still wet you can blend the paint to “fix” the problem areas. Once it’s dry, you’re kinda screwed. (That’s a technical artist term, by the way.)

I painted a black border around the perimeter of the bard. My thinking was that there would probably be gaps between the corks and that black showing through would be better than the green.

6.) I allow these distressed art pieces to dry overnight. Once completely dry, I use a light to medium grit sandpaper and go over it with the hand sander until I achieve the distressed look I wanted.

7.) Wipe down the board. I usually put a metallic wash over these pieces. It softens the look of the piece and adds to the distressed look. In this case, I just water down a little gold paint and brush it over the top. Once this dried, I place the board into the frame. There was a gap between the board and the back of the frame that was just the right space for the corks.

8.) Figuring out the placement of the corks was quite a puzzle. They are all just a little bit different. Some are slightly shorter than others, some are a little fatter, etc. Once I got them in the pattern I wanted, they were wedged and glued into place one at a time. DO NOT USE HOT GLUE FOR THIS. Use an epoxy of some kind. Hot glue dries too quickly and you will most likely need to wiggle them around or re-position some of them. A strong, but slow drying epoxy works best.

9.) Then to make sure they were really secure, whatever was handy and heavy was used to weigh them down while they dried. (In this case, Mexican Train Dominoes and ceramic candle holders.)

I hung it against a green wall in a funny little niche that is always tricky to decorate because it is small and rather dark. This feels like it works here because this art seems to add more texture than it does color, and it has created sort of a layered look.

wine cork, art, distressed painting

You all

I’m really happy with how it turned out. I hope you all like it too!

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  1. says

    So glad you made it through to another week, I really do love this project. I just voted for my fave week 2 entry, although I had about 3 that I wanted to vote for!

  2. says

    Very cute project. I have bought some wine corks in a craft store, but I haven’t made anything with them yet. Would have been more fun to drink my way through the project though!

  3. says

    Gorgeous. Love the quote too….as well as your passion for wine. I am right there with ya!! This would be a great gift for some wine lovers I know!! Thanks for linking up!!

  4. says

    Okay, let me get this straight. You’re not actually going to TELL us which project is yours?

    You want to be all fair and crap?

    I tried really hard to tell which person was you by the writing!

    But I voted…I hope it was your project! Also…it really WAS my favorite project…just so you know.

  5. says

    Shawn=RUDE! At least READ the post first! Gah! 😉

    I’m in love with this frame. I want one. I need one for my kitchen. Make me one. I’ll pay for it. I’m good for the money. Actually, MY MOM could use this as a gift for Mothers Day! So…get busy! Kthanks.

    PS. I voted for my favorite. I hope yours was the CHAIR!

  6. says

    Oh my goodness, I love this! I also LOVE wine and always keep the corks in hope to find something to do with them some day. I might just borrow this idea from you!! Thanks!
    Scissors & Spatulas

  7. says

    I loved this! You are awesome, I know you know this because I tell you often. I am nervous to vote for the next one, I can’t decide between two different ones I am nervous I will pick the wrong one. LOL. Maybe tomorrow I will have a clearer head & go back to vote.

  8. says

    I’ve been collecting corks for a while….I need to do something like this with them.

    I voted. I think it might be your project but I’m not sure….

  9. says

    Very cute idea! We certainly have enough wine corks to make one (or more!) :)

    Thanks for the tutorial.

    Visiting from Wow us Wednesday. It’s great to find your blog.


  10. says

    This is just as cute as it can be. You did a great job. Thanks for the good instructions. I would have letters on my forehead and corks in each ear. I am sooo not crafty.
    Sure enjoyed looking at your craft, tho. :)
    I am your newest follower..come over and sign up for a chance to win an awesome enamel house sign.
    xo bj

  11. says

    Well, I can definitely handle the “drink a lot of wine” part! LOL! This truly is such a neat project Vivienne and we are so glad you linked it up to Inspiration Friday this week! :-)

  12. says

    Fabulous project! I’ve been collecting corks too (and having fun doing it!) Hope you don’t mind, but I’m totally copying this for myself!

    You’ve got a new follower!!

  13. says

    Absolutely love your project, love wine and art, this is something that I will be making for sure. Thank you for the great tutorial!
    XXX Ido

  14. says

    OK, I know you’re going to be totally surprised, but I LOVE THIS! Should I even bother coming to tell you I’m featuring your project, or do you just want to assume that your rockin’ ideas have a a place on my Saturday Favorites list? HAHA!

    Thanks for linking up at The Little Birdie, you know you always have a huge fan in me! :)

  15. says

    Such a clever idea!! It turned out so great. I think for those of us who don’t like wine, corks are also available on Ebay…or so I’ve been told.

    If you have time for one more link party, I just started one (on Sundays) over at Addicted 2 Decorating. I’d love for you to link this up!!

    (And do you have a new blog design? It looks different from what I remember. Anyway, it looks really nice.) :)

  16. says

    I LOVE this!!! Thanks so much for sharing this idea. It will make the perfect gift for my son’s (Wine Guy) new home. Heading to the garage now for plywood…
    Jane (artfully graced)

  17. says

    Vivienne, this is such a COOL project!! And I also like that you highlighted your reasons for wanting to do the project. 😉 T’s aunt gave us a “hot plate” made of wine bottle corks and it is so cool looking that I keep it up on display. :)

    Thank you so much for joining my “I {Heart} My Crafty Cutter” party. :) (and for linking back–I REALLY appreciate your help with that) :)

  18. says

    I don;t think I commented on this yet…I feel like I have…but too cute. I like wine too…maybe I will be making one next. Great job!

  19. says

    I’ve been eyeing this little gem all week….I’m only jealous that I can’t add to our cork collection right now (4 months preggers) I’ll be bookmarking to make as a celebration project! love your blog…it’s just makes me smile :)

  20. says

    Omg totally adorable. I have some art that I’ve made out of wine labels, but this would be a great addition to the wine art in my dining room. Thanks for the inspiration!

  21. says

    I love how it turned out! love the quote and the way you arrange the corks, now i need to save all the corks after i finished the wines to make something like this! great idea and thanks for sharing the tutorial!

    I’m following you from homemakeronadime Creative Bloggers’ and Hop!

    Susan @

  22. says

    I love this project! My mom is really into cork-craft. I am sure she is going to like this when I show it to her in a couple of days! Great job! Cheers!

  23. PJFM1313 says

    I know this is late, but I wanted to comment. I tried this but in a bit of a different format. It went great and I gave it my sister for here screened in porch 2 years ago(which is more like and outdoor living area and where she does ALOT of entertaining). After about 6 months, the corks started falling off. Planning to try this again, but looking for a better approach for use outdoors in the south (very humid) – Maybe a specific type of epoxy? THANKS

    • vivienne says

      Hi there, I like E6000. Maybe try Gorilla Glue..? Sorry, I just don’t have the experience with humidity like that. Good luck!


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