Corkies - Champagne Cork Figurines

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Introduction: Corkies - Champagne Cork Figurines

Several years ago, I was trying to make a small group of Roman soldiers. I realised that champagne corks looked like they had a body and a head, so I took out a marker and gave them faces and armour. I then took the metal caps of the corks and used them as small helmets for my soldiers. 
My idea developed further and further. First, I only focused on my little roman legion, adding centurions, trumpeters, a standard bearer,  etc. But then I realized that I could also make a modern soldier. After that, my ideas ran wild. I made a Native American, a chef, a clown, Superman, and many others.
I also made several Corkies as gifts for people, such as a pilot, a pianist, or a pastor.

In this instructable, I will show you how to make a basic Corky -- a gardener.

Step 1: Come Up With an Idea

The first thing you need is an idea. Pick something simple, but unmistakable - something that will immediately be recognised. 
For example, a gardener. A stereotypical gardener has a sun hat, wears an apron, and has some sort of gardening tool, such as a rake.
For me, it really helps to get some images to base the Corky's clothes on, so I found some clip art of a gardener. 
ketch the corky as it would look like when it is completed.
Keep in mind that champagne cork figurines don't have arms (or legs, for that matter). That issue stops you from making a Corkie that needs arms or legs, such as rollerskates, a bike, boots,

Step 2: Gather Materials

The materials and supplies used to make a Corky really vary. Some (like this one) might hardly require any tools and materials. Others might be very complex, and might need tons of different things.
For most of my Corkies so far, the materials used were almost completely reused.

This is what you need for the gardener Corky:
Materials:
  • A champagne cork - If you don't have any lying around, a great place to get these is at a recycling center. They often have barrels filled with them. Try getting one with the distinct head and body, like the one below. The head shouldn't be too squashed, though, as it makes it difficult to draw the features and make the head ware.
  • Scraps of fabric, ribbons - for the clothes.
     
  • Toothpicks/matches - for the accessories, in this case the rake.
     
  • Disposable aluminium food trays - also for the rake.
Supplies/tools:
  • Scissors - make sure that they're strong enough to cut the aluminium. You might want to use heavy duty scissors to cut the foil.
     
  • Permanent markers
     
  • Pencil
     
  • UHU glue


Step 3: Draw the Face

Use a permanent marker to give your cork some features. I tend to make simple, cartoonish faces, because I think it fits more with the shape of the cork and the style, but that all depends on the person. 
Hair is really annoying to do realistically (with fur, for example), so I usually just fill in the head with black lines.
I used to do the face last, but it's safer to start with the face and then do the rest, because it can be really frustrating if you do a mistake on the face.

Step 4: Clothes

For the clothes, cut out strips of fabric, long enough to fit around the cork. Start with the shirt and pants, then make the apron. 

Step 5: Hat

I was intending to make a straw hat, but all I could find was some thick yellowish cloth. It worked as well.

Step 6: Accessories

The last step is making the rake. Get a match or toothpick, color it brown, and glue on the front bit. 
Corkies don't have arms or legs, so just stick the rake to his side. 

Step 7: Done!

That's it! You're done with your gardener/farmer Corky (it started off as a gardener, but looks more like a farmer now).

Please comment any questions, tips, or suggestions for other Corkies that I could make.

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37 Comments

Haha yeah maybe. Or I could make Steve.

Any comments from the pro??

Really wanting to make it!!

Thanks.

captain america.png

That looks possible. Here's what I would do:

Find a cork that's not too thin on the bottoom, otherwise your captain will look really skinny. Use thick acrylic or poster paint to paint the bottom and the head part blue. Try to paint the details on when the blue paint is dry. If that doesn't work out or is too difficult, you could try to glue on bits of colored paper, like I did with Superman above.

For the shield you could try to use a metal champagne cork cap, adding the colors in the same way as the suit.

Hope that helped

make darth vader or mybe a storm trooper

Great idea! I could also make a Jedi, maybe Luke or even Yoda. I would give them lightsabers, of course.

how about making a dragon ball z figure

you could also try to make the lightsabers light up like you made the iron man arc reactor light up.

I could, but they would look really bulky.

I can tell that this is going to be like pet rocks or beany babies. Rarely do I see originality like this!

My first few corkies!
Left to right: actor, superman, farmer.
I'm not yet good enough to come up with my own ideas, but I think this is a good start,?

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1 reply

Awesome Corkies! It's definitely a good start. Thanks for posting

These are great fun! I made some this afternoon!

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1 reply

Awesome! They look great!

I am very eager to know where you get all these champagne corks!
I am a very eager corkie maker and have already created a superman, and actor corkie, if you can give me any tips on where to get corks I'd be very grateful.

Thank you!

1 reply

Of course I don't drink that much Champagne. I get all of my corks from recycling centers. Often they have a barrel where you can recycle cork.
Tips? Well, I think I wrote everything I could think of above. The most important tip is probably to draw the face before you do everything else. If you do the rest first, and then mess up the face, it's gonna be a pain to fix, or you might even have to start over.

I'd love to see some photos of your Corkies.