How to waste time

For the past few years I have wanted a Christmas wreath made with corks.  I have seen such wreaths occasionally and have been attracted by their novelty.  They seem like the perfect holiday signature item for someone in the wine trade.

The problem I have had is finding where to buy one of these treasures.  I have conducted Google searches and have found some craft stores that sell the materials and even a few artisans who make cork wreaths in their basement.  The problem is none of these people live anywhere near Toronto so it appeared that the $75.00 wreath could easily double in price once shipping was factored in to the equation.

In the meantime I have almost never thrown away a cork, or at least I haven’t done so for several years. I don’t like throwing things away that should be re-cyclable.  Presently corks are considered garbage in Toronto so I have held on to the corks I pull from my wine bottles in the expectation they will one day fall into the recyclable category. This means I have a pretty healthy supply of these otherwise useless artifacts.  Useless, that is, unless you want to make something out of used cork…say, what about a cork wreath?

I looked high and low for my daughter’s glue gun and when I learned she took it to university I went out and bought a light-duty model that would do the trick for a cork wreath project.  I found a previously used vine wreath, with no adornments, in the basement and sat down one recent afternoon to make the coveted cork wreath.  I found some sample designs on the web and they provided me with enough guidance and inspiration to feel comfortable with the project – keep in mind I haven’t done arts and crafts since I was a child – or a young father – so this was forging new and foreign territory.

Well, the project flew like I was an old pro and after a couple of fine tuning follow ups to make sure the cork balance was fairly even around the wreath I was finished.  I used about 120 corks, six or seven glue sticks and maybe 2 hours of time and voilà…here it is:

Nobody – well, maybe my wife – was more surprised than me that I was able to do this.  In any case, I don’t plan to do another craft project for a while, unless someone steals my beloved wreath. It is pretty nice!

à bientôt…


Author: John Switzer

I am wine writer, educator and tour guide. From 2005 to June 2014 I published a bi-weekly newsletter, the Winesights Vintages Newsletter (WVN). This Newsletter was closed in July 2014 when the Government of Canada put in place the onerous administrative requirements of Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation. The legacy of WVN continues on this blog spot where I post wine-related articles as well as reviews of a small selection of best-value wines from each bi-weekly LCBO Vintages release. I hold the WSET Diploma, I am a WSET Certified Educator, I teach in the WSET program at the Independent Wine Education Guild in Toronto where I am the past Director of the WSET Diploma program. Since 2010 I have been a judge at Decanter World Wine Awards on the Rhône panel and I am a member of the Society of Wine Educators.

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