Difficulty level- Easy
- Wine corks
- Foam core or poster board or cardboard for your backer
- Hot glue sticks
- Red food coloring
- White vinegar
- Pink or red acrylic paint
- Varnish or glossy lacquer
- Cutting board
- X-acto whittling blade
- X-acto knife
- Cutting matt
- Hot glue gun
- Measuring cup
- Pan large enough to steam your corks
- Strainer -if you don’t have a steaming basket
- Glass bowl or baking dish
Valentine’s Day Wine Cork Wall Art Tutorial Steps
Step 1 | Trim The Corks:
Prepare the wine corks for slicing. Hint- This is optional, you do not need to cut the corks, it just depends what depth you want your wall art to come off the wall. The next time I do this, I will keep my corks at full length and only trim if there is a big difference in heights.
If you are trimming the corks, then place them into boiling water and leave the lid on for 5 to 15 minutes. Any amount of steam will cause them to swell a bit, so if you don’t mind the corks being wider, then steam them up to 15 minutes. If you are making a larger heart, you should work in batches so that your corks don’t dry out too much before you cut them since the wetter they are, the easier the slice.
Step 2 | Slice The Wine Corks:
Use a cutting board and X-acto whittling blade to slice your corks to your desired length. The whittling blade is perfect for cutting corks. It cuts through them like butter. I haven’t found anything else that comes close.
Step 3 | Dye The Corks:
Boil your water for dyeing the corks. Pour a ratio of ½ cup of water to 1 tsp of vinegar to ½ small bottle of food coloring to the dish or bowl that you will be dyeing the corks in. Apparently there is a science to this, so measure it accurately. Add your dye. I did mine in multiple batches, but ended up using 3 small bottles. Your corks will float so put something on top of them like a strainer or a lid.
Step 4 | Check The Corks For Desired Color:
Check after 15 minutes to see how dark the wine corks are. If you want an ombre effect, remove them at different times so you will have color variation. You will have color variation most likely anyway because different cork materials will take the dye.
Step 5 | Create The Valentine’s Day Heart Backing:
Draw a heart on your backing substrate. You will want to make the heart smaller than you want the wine cork art to be. Cut it out with your X-acto knife. Test it to make sure it’s the size you want by placing your wine corks on top. Your corks should overlap your backing substrate. Paint both the top of the backer and also the back because this will help avoid warping. Don’t forget to paint the edges.
Step 6 | Glue The Wine Corks:
Use the wood glue to glue your corks to the backer substrate by dipping the bottom end of the cork in the glue and apply to the backer.
Step 7 | Outline The Edges:
Once you have covered the backer, then work on your outlining pieces. Use the hot glue gun to apply glue to the sides of the corks to finish your heart shape. These won’t sit on the actual backer and will hide where the glue touches the backer on the inner pieces. I recommend weighing down the heart cork art with something overnight to ensure it doesn’t warp from initial gluing.
Step 8 | Seal The Corks:
Apply the varnish or glossy lacquer to the tops of the corks to give the heart a bit of a shine.