Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Upcycled Wine Corks; Make Your Own Adorable Handcarved Stamps!

Tutorial: How to make your own handcarved stamps from upcycled wine corks

This month's Etsy Fort Worth Upcycle THIS! Craft Challenge object is wine corks. I've had these corks sitting on my craft desk for weeks, waiting for inspiration (and, let's be honest, to remind me about the impending deadline).

I had a few ideas, but nothing that really motivated me enough to actually get started on the project...until the other night, when I was working on a painting. I got the feeling that I was almost finished, but not quite; it just needed a little something else, some finishing touches. Then I thought it would be perfect if I could paint some lovely flowers all around the edges...but that seemed like it would take me hours to do. And well, I was feeling lazy.

So, naturally, I tried to think of a crafty little short cut, and the first thing that came to mind was to try and find a flower shaped stamp at a craft store...but since it was already 11pm and I wanted to finish the painting, that wasn't really an option. Glancing over at my desk and seeing the corks, it hit me! Carve a little flower in the end of one of the corks, dip in paint, stamp, repeat, and voilĂ !  The idea was born.

It was super easy!  I sketched a rough outline on the end of the cork with a sharpie, and used an X-acto craft knife to cut around the shape. I pressed it into the gold acrylic paint I was using, and used it like a stamp. This cork above was actually made of fake cork, from a bottle of Cupcake chardonnay (yum, and who the heck wouldn't try a wine called Cupcake??) and it worked great!

I loved the idea, and - don't judge me - I had plenty of other wine corks, so I decided to try something a little more complicated, like a word.  Now, don't forget, if you want to stamp a word, you have to carve the letters backwards. Yes, I made this mistake the first time. D'oh! :/

This time, I tried real the corks made with real cork, and they worked just as well!

Sadly, upon carving the 'O' I lost the heart inside of it to an unfortunate accident. Luckily, my supply of wine corks had still not been dented in the least by this project, so I was able to carve another little heart on its very own stamp.

I  LVE the way they turned out! This was such a quick and easy project; I don't think it took more than 20 minutes.  I had so much fun, I kept going :)

Here's how you can make some hand-carved stamps of your own using recycled wine corks!

~Choose the end of the cork with the smoothest texture, probably the end that was inside the wine bottle.  

~Draw a design using a marker, and remember that it's best not to be too intricate or have too many thin areas, for best results. 

~Using an X-acto or craft knife (- be sure that you use a very sharp blade -) cut around the edges of your pattern, using the tip of the blade and pushing straight down into the cork, about 1/4" deep. Instead of using a sawing motion, press the blade down and pull it straight up for each cut, and use lots of little straight cuts like this for curves instead of trying to make one long curved cut.

~Lay the cork on its side and cut around the circumference about 1/8" to 1/4" down from the end you carved, and about 1/4" deep so that all the cuts you made from the top will be cut free. Gently pull off the cut pieces of cork from the top, and go back and refine your design where needed.

~Use paint (I used acrylic) or an inked stamping pad in the color of your choice, and you're ready to get stampin'!

~Don't have a filthy wine-drinkin' cork-savin' habit like me?  Take one cork and cut it into three equal pieces, about 1/2 inch each.  You can cut about 1/4" inch deep and still have a 1/4" base, and now you have 3 times the number of stamps!!!

Please feel free to link up to your own posts or projects in the comments if you use this technique, and I'd certainly appreciate a link back on your own blog as well if you are inspired by this post ♥

I LOVE to be pinned on Pinterest :)  I hope you'll share with the world by pinning me if you like what you see here! 

Green Crafts Showcase


  1. Fun idea! I think my kids would love being able to design their own stamps (with me doing the cutting)

  2. Wow! I love this idea--soooo cute! Thanks so much for linking up to the Green Crafts Showcase! I'll have the features up next Friday (September 7) so be sure to check back!

    -Bonnie @ Crafting a Green World


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