Ghosts of Christmas Present #1 - Getting in the Christmas Spirits

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Project by scottb posted 01-03-2009 04:04 AM 2630 views 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Shortly after Thanksgiving my wife decided that we should make a (literal) cork board for her mom. Great idea, I thought, something we’ve been meaning to make for a while. I was happier still when she said by we, she didn’t mean me, it was something that she intended to (mostly) tackle on her own.

As a quick aside, lest I offend… I was the Art major, my wife – English. And thus, I’m typically the maker of all manner of stuff. It’s my bailiwick. From the latest incarnation of the “mix-tape” (complete with graphically designed cover art and liner notes) to art and food, soaps and candles, and (of late) wooden things. Needless to say it’s a busy (and tiring) time for us creative types (as you all well know). Though, I’d still take Santa’s job if it were offered to me.

Anyhow, the frame was up to me, but that was a no-brainer. It had to be oak, as a tribute to the barrels from whence it came. Luckily I had plenty of salvaged oak strips from a somewhat recent stair job, I found two matching, quartersawn pieces, cut a quick dado with the tablesaw and mitered them. (also had a piece of luan for the backer board.) This year we took the “very homemade Christmas” idea very seriously, and most of the family got great stuff that cost us little more than time and love (oh yeah and talent of course).

We grabbed a bottle of vino from the kitchen to toast our great idea, admiring the frame I easily knocked off. (somewhere in the ballpark of 12×19 inches, perhaps slightly larger). The one lone cork we had might as well have been a speck of sand in the vast universe.

“We’re gonna need more wine.” My wife and I both said at the same time.

We jumped in the car – had to take two trips – to the State liquor store and grabbed one of anything that looked interesting, or was on sale. Good thing we saved so much money making everything else, we nearly maxed out the credit card getting the holiday spirits.

Christmas Eve is kinda fuzzy. Most of December is kinda fuzzy come to think of it. I know we got to bed late. Very late. Near sunrise. But somehow we had the wherewithall to get that last cork glued into the frame before my mother-in-law came over. With Mimosas.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

11 comments so far

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3752 days

#1 posted 01-03-2009 04:27 AM

Another Jock posted a wine cork tray . He actually discovered a place to BUY the corks!!! Now what fun is that?!!!

Nice project, Scott. I like the oak connection. What type of glue did you use?

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

789 posts in 3830 days

#2 posted 01-03-2009 06:16 AM

Your cork tray is becoming a clasic. The last two bottels I opened had plastic corks. Very cool and great team work.

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4324 days

#3 posted 01-03-2009 06:40 AM

We used a combination of glues actually, first up, the hot glue gun Which worked fairly well, until we #1 ran out of glue sticks and #2 lost power (when I found the cordless glue gun, with different sized sticks). My wife was actually putting the finishing touches on this cork board the night we lost power in that terrible ice storm (over 2 weeks later there are still people without power! My sister finally got her power back after 12 days, a day or two before Christmas.)

The rest (and any loose ones were glued in with Gorilla glue super glue. That seemed to do the trick, even better than the hot glue. I’ve used some hot glue and the wood to wood bond can be very strong with that. to date none have popped off, but should be easy to reapply if they ever should.

The trickiest part of the project was coming up with a visually pleasing layout, and making sure each row fit in just right. Some corks are a hair wider, shorter, longer or narrower than the others – not to mention some never quite got over being tapered from all their time in (or half in) the bottle.

We’ve been collecting these corks for almost 10 years now. Friends and family have donated to the near grocery bag full we have. This project did put a dent in the supply, but I think we can still get a good looking, and even larger one or two made, without even dipping into the seperate (and smaller) bag of the plastic corks, (and CORQ’s as some are labelled)

Perhaps I’ll actually get my hands on some reclaimes wine barrel staves for the next one. Having the wines birth, and final resting place, all wrapped up in one project!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4311 days

#4 posted 01-03-2009 06:55 AM

Nice project Scott. It brought back some memories. I use to work in a wine cork importers warehouse. Amazing what you can do with tree bark.

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4303 days

#5 posted 01-03-2009 05:27 PM

“Cheers” to you two! Looks good, Mom told me about it but pictures are nice. Did you put any type of finish on it?

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4157 days

#6 posted 01-03-2009 05:36 PM

very special

(love reading the story behind it as well)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4397 days

#7 posted 01-03-2009 11:48 PM

Scott: I don’t see any screw on aluminum caps or cardboard containers. You must use a better grade of wine.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4324 days

#8 posted 01-04-2009 12:15 AM

Tis finished with the “family favorite” there Rob.
(Howard’s Feed and Wax for the rest of you – Orange oil and beeswax. Looks good, smells great, and tastes… well, I really didn’t check.

There is some good wine in a box Karson… gas prices are causing producers to look at cost of bring in each truckload of glass bottle (one truck in, one truck out), versus one truck in of boxes for each 10 that go out (or so). Also when my wife and I were honeymooning in CA, we asked the innkeeper which wine they were serving at tea time (cause it was really good). the answer yelled in from the kitchen “Wine in a box!”)

and Debbie, I trust you’re referring to the true parts of the story.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3871 days

#9 posted 01-04-2009 01:19 AM

Over 300 bottles of wine. Wow, that would take several weeks!

View winecountrywhimsy's profile


99 posts in 3345 days

#10 posted 05-07-2009 04:23 AM

I like your project. I know what you mean about getting all the corks to fit properly, it can be a real trial.

I have made similar bulletin boards and trivets using wine corks. The special twist I put on the frame is to cut down wine barrel staves. The wine stains on the wood makes for an interesting addition. I have some posted at my LJ page. I just sold a few empty frames to a fellow LJer.

I have also found the smaller trivets make a great gift when someone is visiting us here in the wine country. I make and empty frame and we save the corks during their visit. We swrite on them where we were, what restaurant, date, etc. It makes for a great souvenier of their trip to the wine country and makes collecting the corks during their visit an adventure.

Cork supply does not seem to be our problem. I have baskets and boxes (wine boxes of course) full of corks, probably over 5,000. Let me see, one or two bottles a day x 10 years of marrieage = ? If you ever need corks, I can send you some.

I love to see people here with similar interests. Thanks for sharing.

-- Todd @ winecountrywhimsy Sonoma County, CA

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3574 days

#11 posted 05-07-2009 04:32 AM

cool project

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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