Christmas is a big holiday for my friends over at the Barker Ranch. Every holiday is celebrated and the house is decorated from floor to ceiling – especially Christmas. (Or Christmas Hell depending on who you’re talking too) Every nook and cranny is stuffed with festive décor and it’s a wonder to behold. I’m not exactly sure how it happens – it’s seems almost magical, even though I’ve been at the start of “Christmas Hell” .
Another well known fact about the Barker Ranch is that they’ve collected quite a few wine corks over the holidays. Yes, the Barker Ranch heartily supports the California Wine Industry. It was inevitable that the Wine Cork Christmas Tree was made.
You will need:
- You need cardboard paper cone form – easily found at your local craft store. Don’t buy the foam kind – foam and hot glue are natural enemies.
- Glue Gun
- 15 – 20 hot glue sticks (depending on your glue gun and your glue gun skills)
- Friends who drink wine… a lot of wine… (Caution: this project requires approximately 90 – 100 corks I do not recommend drinking all the wine in one sitting.)
- Fine gauge wire (approx. 15 – 20 feet)
- Decorative Beads that fit the width of the wire.
Start at the bottom of your cone form, gluing each cork and pressing it to the form. The trick is to butt one cork right up against the other – you don’t want to see any gaps.
When you get to the end of the row – you might find yourself with a gap. Skip it for now (we’ll come back, I promise) and start the next row – over lapping where two corks meet below. (If you’re anxious over the missing cork portion – I recommend you open another bottle of wine)
Rinse and Repeat, continuing to the top.
When you’re ready to fill in the gaps – take a cork and eyeball where you will need to cut it. It needs to fit the size of the gap. Corks are really easy to cut with a sharp knife. Place the cork on a cutting board and position your knife. Press the knife and roll the cork, (with your knife) cutting as you go. This will make an even cut. Now you can go back and and glue the smaller pieces to fill in the gaps. I use the blank corks (with out writing) to fill in the gaps.
At the top of the wine tree, you have a choice. You can either glue wine corks all the way to the top, but if you also drink Champagne, you can easily drill out the bottom of a Champagne cork to fit over the last bit of cone.
Make the Beaded Twisted Wire Garland.
Even a wine cork tree needs a little holiday bling. (Especially if it graces the Barker Ranch). I saw a lovely beaded garland at my girlfriends charming shop – Mulberry Row – during her holiday open house. It was so gorgeous I had to buy it. It seemed perfect for the wine cork tree I made for the Barker Ranch. But after being commissioned to make 3 more wine cork tree’s, I realized I had to make my own beaded garland.
Luckily, it’s a snap to make!
Measure a length of the wire by loosely wrapping it around and around your wine cork tree. Bend the wire to mark your spot. Double the length and cut your wire.
Thread all your beads onto the wire. Move one bead to the middle position.
Twist the wire around the bottom of the bead to secure it.
Move another bead about an 1 inch or 1 1/2 inches from the first bead. Twist in the opposite direction that you twisted the first bead. If you twist in the same direction, the first bead will untwist. I found it easier to grip the bead and twist it around the wire.
Repeat until you have the wire completed beaded.
I left a long tail which I used to attach to the top of the cone form. Then I hot glued the corks over it, to secure the wire in place. After wrapping the beaded garland around the cork tree, I secured the other end by using a staple, pushing it into one of the corks on the end.