Tutorials

How To: Recycled Cork Notice Board

I’ve made several of these over the years and not only are they easy to do but they also look great. Before you start it is worth noting that you need a lot of corks for this; depending on which method you use (see below) you can make them stretch a bit further, but it still requires a fair number. Fortunately for me, especially as a non-wine drinker myself, my family gets through a bottle or two and my mom has always saved the corks. So when she’s got a few too many and they are overflowing out of the big glass bottle she displays them in, it’s time to find something crafty to use them for.

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There are two ways in which you can put your own together, both work well and give a good finished effect, but one requires a bit more work (and possibly a few blisters). I will explain both in this quick step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Decide on the size you want your board to be and work out how many corks are required.

This is where the two different methods are important, as they dictate how many corks you will need. You can either use the corks whole, or, as I did with my large black framed board, cut each cork in half lengthways. I personally prefer the second method, as it not only doubles the surface area you can gain from your corks, but also ensures a wider, and flatter, surface area when you glue them into place which will help them stay securely attached. The downside of this method: it takes a little longer, and, depending on how many corks you want to use, it can take a toll on your hands – after spending an afternoon in the garage with a saw doing mine I had one of two blisters to show for it (but the result was worth it).

Step 2: Decide how to frame your board

This is also important to think about before you actually start putting anything together. For a simple version, find an affordable frame that you like, take out the glass and arrange and glue your corks to the back board. The drawback of this, however, is that it may be difficult to find a frame that allows you to arrange your corks and leave no gaps, but if you want something quick, careful and creative arrangements of your corks can achieve great results.

My preferred way of doing this is to build your own frame by choosing a length of decorative timber from your local DIY store (such as this http://www.diy.com/departments/dado-rail-t20mm-w2400mm/1419979_BQ.prd) and using a piece of MDF board as a backing. The great thing about using this method is that it allows you to make a frame that fits your board perfectly.

Step 3: Glue your corks in place

So you’ve decided on your board size and your building method, you’re now ready to get started. If you are cutting your corks in half, make sure they are all prepped and ready to go. Then lay out all your corks on your backing board – doing this first will help you decide on the best layout and ensure that everything fits neatly together before you start gluing. If making your own frame, ensure that you leave a suitable space around the edge of your board to attach your frame to.

Once you are happy with your arrangement, use a strong adhesive to glue the corks in place; a glue gun is ideal.

If you are using the picture frame method, then your frame is already done, enjoy your fabulous cork board! If you’re going with the make your own frame method, keep reading.

Step 4: Making your frame

To make your frame measure the length and width of your corks. On the inner edge of your wood for the frame measure your first length and then cut each end at a 45 degree angle outward from that measurement. Repeat this for all sides of your board. If you want to paint your frame it is easier to do this to each piece of wood before putting it together, and then doing any minor touch-ups once complete. Then, using strong wood glue, fix your frame in place around your corks.

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Step 5: Finishing up

To finish, you will need to attach some small screws to the back of your board for a strong string to place it on a hook. Depending on the size of your board, you may also want to add some structural pieces of wood to the back for extra strength, as I did with mine, which was just over 70cm wide.

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Step 6: Hang on your wall and enjoy!

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