I’ve become a failure at taking pictures while I create something. This one probably would have been helpful considering the way it changed as I was working, but it was also the first project I got a little frustrated with in the process. It was messy and made my hands hurt a lot.
That being said, I absolutely love the way it turned out.
I became pretty obsessed with wine cork letters recently, and finally decided I wanted to tackle one. Luckily, J and I both have last names that start with “S” so it wasn’t an awkward attempt at choosing what letter to do. Probably I’d have just done a small “J & L” if this had been an issue. After an unsuccessful attempt to buy a wooden letter at multiple craft stores (they were all way too small), I came across this website. I chose the thinnest option because I didn’t want an outrageously large letter hanging in a spot that gets as much traffic as this does. It took just under a week to be delivered.
Originally we had planned on saving our own corks for this project. This presented two problems: 1. We drink basically the same three brands of wine at all times, and I liked the idea of having a wide variety on the letter; 2. Most of the corks we have on our own are the little plastic ones (I have decided without any research that red wine usually has “real” corks and white wine now has “fake” corks. It’s possible that this is a thousand percent inaccurate).
We stopped by a local winery when we were out and about to ask if they had any corks lying around to get rid of. Shout out to Pop More Corks of Lake Geneva for being as generous as they were! We walked out with a bag full of corks that they planned on just throwing away, and we were told to come back any time we needed more.
The construction of this was a lot of trial and error. Initially, I cut both large and small pieces to cover about six inches of the letter. This was a horrible idea; I wasn’t attaching them as I placed them, so when I warmed up the glue gun I ended up with small pieces everywhere whose placement I couldn’t remember.
I switched to placing only the halves around the entire “S” and glued them as I went. This was much easier because they were big pieces and we had decided it would look cooler if you could see what the media was from far away. The halves were the hardest pieces to cut, and I had to take about a million breaks in between to make my hand stop hurting. I’m not sure if there’s a way to soften the corks or something before slicing them, but if I ever do another project like this I’m going to find one.
After the halves, I sliced corks into much smaller pieces and glued them into spots they would fit. A new type of injury came with this… hot glue all over my fingers. I think as I develop patience, I’ll hurt myself less during projects. I tend to try to get things done fast without being very careful once I know what I’m doing, and I think this lack of concentration gets the best of me when sharp and hot tools are involved.
The final mistake I made, or maybe the first, was not attaching some sort of apparatus to hang the letter before putting all the corks on. It was really hard to put enough pressure on the wood once it was floating a quarter inch above the table surface. Sidenote – I’m embarrassed at how many “oops” moments were involved in this project. This is why you should find and follow tutorials rather than just guessing how to make things.
This letter has replaced Sam’s paw print art in the living room/kitchen area. I’m not sure if that will actually be on display anywhere from here on out, but I’m hoping that we can find some hidden spot to put it up.
Maybe one of the greatest parts about this project though, was one of the corks fate had us end up with: