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…
- I really like wine
- It reminds me to be ready for opportunity when it knocks on my door
- It reminds me to have faith that things will fall into place
- 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.)
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.
I’m really happy with how it turned out. I hope you all like it too!