A few years back, about five weeks before Christmas, I got it into my head that I needed to make wine cork wreaths for all of my cronies and cohorts. There was just this tiny wrinkle. I had lots of cronies and cohorts. I didn’t have any wine corks. Details! I phoned some friends, who phoned their parents, who phoned their friends, and . . . in 16 short months, I had enough wine corks to make wine cork wreaths for my cronies, my cohorts, my cousins, the Colts, some call girls, a few cadavers, and most of Congress.
After receiving wine corks from all of those sweet and generous people, I’d like to report that I made enough wine cork wreaths to get myself into the Guiness Book of World Records, but the truth is far more embarrassing. I made two. As it turns out, I really don’t like making wine cork wreaths. In point of fact, I really don’t like drilling wine corks. So awkward.
This year, I decided I needed a wonderful wine cork project that did not involve drilling, so I created this Christmas tree garland:
I love the way the corks dangle from the twine, almost like icicles, or better yet, winecicles. Just don’t lick them. You’ll look like a desperate wino.
If you want to make a garland of your very own, you’ll need to do a bit of advance planning. You might also want to be a hoarder, or at least the sort of person who saves wine corks. Ready?
- According to people who know things, you need nine feet of garland for every one foot of tree. For a six-foot tree, that means you need 56 feet of twine or sisal and 175-225 wine corks. (The lower number allows three corks per foot; the higher, four.) For a three-foot tree, meanwhile, you need 27 feet of twine or sisal and 85-110 corks.
- You will also need small eye hooks, one for each cork. I used the 17/32″ size.
- Finally, I recommend something else to go on your garland. Could be beads. Could be bottle caps from your favorite beer (it’s a booze garland!). Could be jingle bells that sound like Santa has arrived every time your cat / dog / toddler / grandmother crashes into the tree. For my part, I used rustic metal charms that I pulled off of a candle holder I found at Goodwill.
Still with me? God love you. Here’s the good news: After you get the supplies, the rest is pretty much cake.
Steps, meant to be completed over multiple nights:
1. Pour a glass of wine / beer / absinthe. Okay, maybe not absinthe. Put on It’s a Wonderful Life, The Ref, How the Grinch Stole Wine Corks, or While You Were Sleeping (You Were Not Accomplishing Anything with Wine Corks).
2. Measure 9 feet of twine or sisal and pull out 27-36 corks.
3. Screw an eye hook into each cork. This takes just a few quick turns of the wrist.
4. Start stringing. Obviously, you’ll want to space the corks so they fall at roughly equal intervals, but since no one will ever come into your house with a measuring tape to check your work, don’t freak out about making things all exact. Just eyeball it.
By the way, you’ll notice that I tied knots around my eye hooks. That’s because I didn’t use beads. If you use beads, you can skip knots.
5. When you reach the end of your twine / sisal, call it a night – or if you still have energy, start over at Step 2.
6. When you’ve made as many nine-foot sections as you need for your tree, tie them together and string them up! Fa la la la la (pause to drink wine) la la la laaaaaaa!