I'm getting married this November and our reception is at a winery. And since wine is going to be an ongoing theme throughout our wedding (I know because she told me so), we're trying to incorporate some wine stuff in the decor.
For the place cards, we're using old wine corks as a base to hold the name cards so that our guests know where to sit.
Of course, these don't have to be for weddings. You can use these for any kind of event.
Step 1: Get Some Corks
First thing you need to do is acquire the proper amount of corks.
Now, all corks are not created equal. You have natural and synthetic corks. Natural corks are made out of cork wood while synthetic corks are made from some kind of compound. Natural corks work best for this kind of thing, but if you really want synthetic then go right ahead.
Also, I'm using wine corks in this instructable, not champagne corks. Of course, if you're having a party at a champagnery, feel free to adapt these instructions however you wish.
Where did I get all those corks? Believe it or not, I hate wine. So we had to get them from eBay. Do you drink a lot of wine, work at a restaurant or somehow have access to lots of corks? Sell them. Really. There's a little market for wine corks out there.
Of course, you could call local wineries or brewing suppliers and inquire about availability.
So do you have your corks? Good.
Step 2: A Little Tip
When making these things, I kept in mind that they would look nice if whatever logo that was on the cork faced towards the guest. It's a mundane detail that 99% of people wouldn't notice unless it wasn't done. Of course, I doubt anybody's going to be admiring my cork craftsmanship anyway.
Nonetheless, look at your cork and decide what way it looks most attractive. I prefer the writing facing out.
Step 3: Sanding the Base
Now, it wouldn't be appropriate for the corks to be rolling all around the place, so I sanded the bottoms flat.
Originally, I began by using an orbital sander, but the pad flew off and I discovered (by accident) an even quicker way.
I held the cork in and rubbed it back and forth on cement and then I rubbed it on what was left of the sandpaper.
The bottoms are nice and flat and even though I had to make over 100, I breezed right through it.
Step 4: Making the Cut
I made the cut with a utility knife using only the top 3/8 inch or so of the blade.
Cutting was pretty easy. I put the cork flat on the table, held it and got ready to make my cut. Now, bearing in mind that I have the logos facing a certain way from Step 2, I didn't want to make a slice right through the logo. So I didn't exactly cut down the center of the cork but more towards the back.
Anyhow, the first cut was pretty much a score with the blade so I could get my line straight. It is also important to hold the blade straight up and down. The card won't stand straight up and be balanced with a diagonal cut. If the card isn't balanced, the whole thing just falls over. Take the time and do it right.
Following the score, I made my second cut. And, I just kept re-cutting the line until the blade went all the way in.
Step 5: Prep the Corks
Once all my cuts were made, I took a plastic card out of my wallet and slid it down the cuts. This cleaned out all the little chunks and made it easier to slide a paper card into the cut. It's much easier this way.
Step 6: Finishing the Corks
A word of warning: Try to not use heavy paper or else they might get top heavy and fall.
And, they can even be reused further by reselling them after the event. Yes, people buy them already cut like this.
That's it. Now, slide some cards or pictures in and they're good to go.