Introduction: Step by Step Wine Cork Dartboard

Need a way to reuse some of your wine corks, or looking for a simple craft to add to your decor? This craft incorporates reusable materials such as wine corks and cardboard to create an easily constructed dartboard.

Approximate Time Required: 1.5 hours to 2 hours
(depending amount required for glue and paint to dry)

Materials Needed:

  • 9" x 9" cake pan
  • 9" x 9" cardboard square
  • 10 feet of 20 gauge steel wire
  • 40 to 50 wine corks
  • Cutting Board or Cardboard
  • Super Glue
  • Large Binder Clips
  • Red, Black, and White Acrylic Paint

Tools Needed:

  • Box Cutter or Sharp Knife
  • Paint Brushes
  • Pliers
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie
  • Tape Measure
  • Wire Cutters

Step 1: Protect Your Cake Pan

  1. Cut two rectangles of wax paper that when overlapped and folded will cover the bottom and sides of cake pans.

Note: This step is not necessary, but protects cake pan from paint and glue later in the instructions.

Step 2: Cut Cardboard and Place in Bottom of Cake Pan

  1. Place the cake pan on the cardboard and trace the bottom of the cake pan with a sharpie.
  2. Cut the square of cardboard carefully with the scissors.
    • Once you have the square laid out, place it into the cake pan. If it doesn’t fit trim the edges accordingly.
    • Keeping the cardboard within the cake pan provides structural support if you choose to remove the dartboard from the cake pan after completing the project. However, this is not necessary and the cardboard can provide backing for the dartboard.
      • If you desire to remove the cake pan at the end of the project, you may move ahead to step 2.
      • If you are not going to remove the cake pan in the final version, glue the cardboard to the cake pan. This can always be done after the dartboard has been constructed. However, it is easier to do so prior to assembling the dartboard.

Step 3: Lay Out the Rough Draft

  1. Begin by sorting the corks by size and material.
    • Discard corks of irregular size as they will interfere with the aesthetics
  2. Begin laying the corks out into a circle along the outer ridge of the cake pan
    • Depending on the size of the corks, there may be a gap between the pan and the line of corks. This will be filled later in the instructions. However, it is recommended to alternate which side the gap is on to improve structural integrity.

    • Depending on the size of the corks, there may be a gap between the pan and the last line of corks similar to the right side of the picture above. This will be addressed in step three.
  3. You will then need to cut the corks to fill in remaining empty space

Step 4: Cutting Corks to Fill in Gaps

Hazard/Warning: Keep sharp objects such as knives or other blades away from your body. Use the binder clip as a safety, but still handle with caution.

Note: Cutting wooden corks are easier than cutting synthetic corks. To make wooden corks easier to cut, they can be boiled to make the corks softer.

  1. To cut corks to fill in the gaps as pictured below, use the following instructions.
    • Hold the cork over an empty space in the pan to see the shape that needs to be cut to fill it. Using a sharpie or making a notch in the cork with the knife, mark where on the cork to cut in order to fit it into the pan. Do this for all open areas in your pan to cover the board with as much cork as it can fit.
    • Line up the sharpie line you made on the cork with the binder clip, as seen here. Repeat as many times as necessary for what you need to fill into your pan.
    • Cut along the where the sharpie line meets the binder clip (See Picture B), using the binder clip to avoid getting your hands or fingers close to the blade. Do this for all corks until you have enough to fill as much empty space as possible.
  2. Depending on the spacing of the corks, you may or may not have excess space between the lines of corks and the pan. If you have plenty of corks, you may be able to interchange them so that this gap does not occur. If this does not work out, the gap must be filled in. The corks will be cut vertically rather than horizontally. Use the following instructions.
    • Hold the cork with the empty space, and with a sharpie mark the line to cut on to fill the empty space.
    • Align the binder clip with the line on the cork. The binder clip should secure the cork to the point that the cork does not easily move (Picture B).
    • Holding onto the binder clip, cut along the line on the cork. Once completed, place cork in empty space.
      • Note: One of the corks cut in half vertically will have to be cut horizontally to fit within the cake pan. To do this, follow the step #3
  3. After filling in all of the gaps, the board should look similar to picture C.

Step 5: Laying Out the Corks & Gluing

After all corks have been placed and all gaps filled, you are ready to glue. Carefully remove one cork at a time and add a line of glue on the underside of it. Take a picture of the pattern you made beforehand if it helps you find the placement of the corks easier. After setting the corks down in the glue, you’ll need to wait a few minutes for the glue to completely dry before doing anything else with them.

Step 6: Creating the Wire Border for the Bullseye

Caution: When cutting wire, there is potential that the cut portion of wire could fling upon cutting and could cause injury. To prevent this, it is recommended to cut over a hard surface and use the nondominant hand as a guard. To do this, hold the wire cutter in the dominant hand, and use the nondominant hand to form a shield over the wire.

  1. Using wire cutters, cut two 9 inch segments of 20 gauge wire.
  2. After the two 9 inch segments of wire have been cut, align the two wires so that the tops are even and pick up the wire segments with pliers with the dominant hand (see picture A). Using the nondominant hand, twist the wires together using a clockwise motion (see picture B and C). In order to create a tighter twist, move the pliers down on the wire to keep tension on the wire. (see picture D). Continue twisting until the wires are completely twisted together.
  3. Take the twisted wire segments, and use the pliers to begin bending them into a circle shape. After a rough circle shape is made, use the painted bullseye on the dartboard to shape the circle to exact proportions. Once the circle is made, cross the ends of the wires, leaving around a half inch of wire on each side.
  4. Using the pliers, twist the end of the top wire under the border of the circle (Image A). Then, pull the wire towards you and twist it back along the border of the circle. Continue this until the excess wire has been completely twisted along the edge of the circle. Repeat for the other side. To eliminate sharp edges, use the pliers to clamp the end of the wire flush to the border of the circle. You have now created the circle for the bullseye!

Step 7: Creating the Wire Lines for the Board

  1. For the lines of the board, cut 16 6 inch segments of wire. Using two wires, align one of the wires along a ruler and place a mark at 1/2 inch. Place the second wire so that the top of the second wire is even with the 1/2 inch mark. Hold the top of the second wire aligned with the first wire with the pair of pliers.
  2. Using the same twisting technique explained in 7, twist the wires together. However after twisting the wires together, there should be a ½ inch gap between the top of the first and second wire. To make the wires as straight as possible, continue to work with the wire and straighten any kinks. The wire can be flattened against a table to aid in making the wire level.
  3. Place the pliers at the top of the first wire, and slowly bend the wire in a clockwise motion to create a hook at the top of the wire. Do not close this circle completely.
  4. Hook the wire onto the circle so that it will create 8 equal sections. Grasp the end of the hook and pull the wire to close the circle. To eliminate sharp edges, use the pliers to clamp the end of the wire flush to the rest of the wire.
  5. Create the first two wire lines so that they create a horizontal line on the circle, as demonstrated by the green line in the image above.

Step 8: Creating the Circle Border for the Dartboard.

  1. Creating the circle border will be completed in two sections- two half circles of twisted wire. Twist 15 inches of wire in the same manner as mentioned in section 8. However on both ends of the wire, leave a ½ difference between the end of the wire and the end of the 2nd wire. This may require cutting the second wire to make this difference.
  2. After the wire has been twisted, shape the wire into a half circle that aligns with the painted circle on the dartboard. Following the same steps from 7, create a hook on both sides of the wire and attach it to the end of horizontal lines of the dartboard
  3. After doing so, the wire outline should look similar to photo above
  4. Create another half circle using the instructions above, and attach it to the wire outline. The wire should look like the photo above when this step is completed.
  5. Attach the six remaining 6 inch wire segments to the circle (from step 8a) to finish the wire outlines of the dartboard sections, represented by the green lines in the image below.

Step 9: Attaching the Wire to the Dartboard

  1. Using dots of super glue, glue the circle outlining the bulls eye to the board.
  2. Ensure that all the wire line segments align with the black and white divisions of the dartboard. If the segments do not align, reopen the hook attached to the circle and place the wire to align with the line. After doing so, bend the excess wire at the end of the wire segment into a right angle so that the end of the wire is flush with the wire circle outline. Cut excess off the right angle if necessary to make sure the wire lays flat against the corks, and poke the wire into the corks. Repeat for all wire segments.
  3. Place super glue dots on top of the wire to glue the wire to the cork board.
  4. Remove the board from the cake pan once all of the glue is dry. You are now ready to use your dartboard. Enjoy!

Step 10: Paint Corks

Paint the design on the dartboard according to the sketched draft. Be careful to create sharp lines, and follow the sketched lines as a guide. Applying a thick layer of paint will result in the board taking longer to dry. To ensure quick drying, apply a thin layer of paint.