Monday, February 13, 2017

How to make a perfect champagne cork shamrock stamp

Champagne cork shamrock stamp

If you’ve saved that champagne cork from New Year’s Eve (and I know you did) you can use it to make a perfect cork shamrock stamp! 

It’s easy to carve with an X-acto or craft knife.  When the cork shamrock stamp is ready it will have a myriad of uses.  Stamp all your correspondences.  Stamp up a few bookmarks for school treats for your child’s classmates.  Stamp some plain brown paper to create your own wrap for small gifts. 

Since you make this stamp from cork your image will have tiny open areas that gives your stamp a textured look. 


Champagne cork
X-acto or craft knife
Piece of thin cardboard
Ink pad (green, or any color you prefer)
Stamping items
Tiny bit of fine sandpaper

Champagne cork shamrock stamp


1.     First, make your pattern.  Begin by folding a thin piece of cardboard in half.  Then use a pen to draw a half heart on the fold.  The half heart should be measured ¼” on the fold line.  Finally use some pointed scissors to cut out.  Open the cardboard piece and you will have your heart stencil.

2.     Next, use the pen to draw the heart on the bottom (Flat end) of the cork.  Make three hearts in the shape of a shamrock.  Draw a curved triangle in the center for the stem.  (See photo)

3.     Now, use the craft knife to carefully cut around your design.  Work slowly, making small slits and slices.  Cut around the image about ¼” down.

4.     Then use a tiny piece of fine sandpaper to lightly sand any rough surfaces.  Your stamp is ready to use.

5.     Ink up the image with your preferred color and stamp using steady pressure.  Practice first on scrap paper before you stamp on your projects to the get used to the pressure and stamp.  Now you can use your shamrock stamp to make seasonal bookmarks, greeting cards and more!

Wasn’t that easy and fun?  Let’s connect on Facebook, Pinterest, G+, twitter, and more!  I’d love to hear your comments!

Note:  When working with a craft knife please be extremely careful, this is not a project for kids, but the kids will love if you make them a stamp of their own!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

How to make a lovable wine cork Valentine bear

Valentine wine cork bear

This little recycled wine cork Valentine bear is cute as a button just sitting down or you can add a wire hanger and attach him to a bag of special candies.  Make him out of corks from a special celebration or wedding and you can mark the date on the bottom with a sharpie marker.

Write with the sharpie on the bottom the date of this special wine cork Valentine bear for a lasting keepsake.  

Wine cork Valentine bear 

You will need:

3 wine corks

1 champagne cork

1/8” thick cork sheet available at craft stores

Small awl or pointed nail

Xacto or craft knife

Scrap of white and red felt

Tiny brown pom pom

Black dimensional fabric paint or small black beads

20-gauge wire

Wire cutters


Fine line marker

220 fine sandpaper

Piece of heavy corrugated cardboard to cut on

Glue gun and glue sticks

(Optional hanger)  Scrap of 22-gauge red wire

1.     Protect your work surface with one or two pieces of heavy corrugated cardboard. Using two matching wine corks and the Xacto knife, slice thinly down each cork.  Rub on the fine sandpaper to smooth.  This will allow the corks to be stable. Run a bead of hot glue down the side of one cork and attach them together.  These are the legs and base of your bear. 

2.     Add a generous amount of hot glue on the bottom of the champagne cork (Body) focusing on the areas where it attaches to the legs. Center the body on the legs and attach. (See photo)

3.     Measure and mark a line halfway across the third wine cork.  Use the Xacto knife to cut the cork in half.  Rub the cut end of one half on the sandpaper to smooth.  Turn the half cork on its end and mark in half diagonally and cut.  You will have two arm pieces.  (Save the other half for another bear or discard)

4.     Cut a ½” piece of 20-gauge wire.  Use the awl to make a pilot hole in an arm piece and insert the wire piece.  Make another hole in the body with the awl or nail, add some glue on the arm end with wire and insert into the body hole.  Repeat for other arm on opposite side.

5.     Trace and cut two ears (half moon shapes) on the flat 1/8” thick cork and use the Xacto to cut out.  Cork cuts easily but at that thickness it is simpler to cut them out using short strokes with the pointed end of the Xacto.  If there are any rough areas lightly rub against the sandpaper.  Trim to fit the head if necessary. Add some glue to the edges of the ears and attach to each side of the head. 

6.     If you choose to add a hanger, cut a 2 -inch piece of 22 gauge wire with wire cutters and fold in half to form a loop.  Make a hole in the center top of head with the awl or nail.  Add some glue to the ends of the wire and insert.

Finishing your Valentine wine cork bear

7.     Cut the muzzle into circle shape on a scrap of white felt. Glue to the front of the bear face. (See photo)  Glue a tiny brown pom pom to the muzzle for a nose. Add some dots of dimensional black fabric paint for the eyes and let dry.  (You can substitute black seed beads if you choose)

8.     Cut a large heart shape for the stomach from a scrap of red felt. Then add the heart to the stomach area with some hot glue. Next, cut two small heart shapes from the red felt and glue them onto the feet as pictured. 

Wine cork Valentine bear

Note: You can make a pattern for your heart shapes by folding a piece of paper in half.  Draw a curved half heart shape on the fold and cut out.  Open and trim to the size you need if necessary.

Wine cork Valentine bear

Monday, January 23, 2017

How to make a wonderful mini woven cork board

Mini woven cork board

If you are looking for a small bulletin board for quick messages and notes this mini woven cork board fits the bill.  It is so easy to make using an old 8 x 10 frame with the glass removed. 

Did you know that you could buy rolls of contact cork inexpensively in most discount department stores?  The contact back has lines with exact measurements which makes cutting quite easy.  So lets get started!


Contact cork (sold in rolls in the kitchen sections)
8 x 10 frame without glass
Corrugated cardboard to fit in the frame
Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
Blue masking tape
Craft knife and cutting board


1.     Cut 1” strips using the lines on the backing paper as a guide.  Cut as many as will fit across the cardboard.  (I cut 8 across the top and 9 down the sides.) Use masking tape to tape the strips vertically across the corrugated cardboard.  (The tape strips will be removed later)

2.     Begin weaving the cork strips over and under as needed. You don't have to remove the paper backing from the cork.  After you have woven to the bottom use the glue gun to add some glue to attach the strips to the cardboard.  Remove the blue tape from the top.

3.     Now trim up the edges of the cork to be flush with the corrugated cardboard backing.  You can use scissors but it is easier and neater to use a craft knife on a cutting board.

4.     Place the cork board into the frame and secure.  Hang over a desk or other area where you would like to put small messages.