Where The Wild Cork Things Are!
My business is right next door to a wine shop and I love wine corks. The nice gentleman there always saves me the corks they have left from wine tastings, to use in my studio. I spend a lot of time thinking of ways to use them…boy, are there lots of fun things to do with corks! I had seen on one website that someone made cork gnomes that were really cute. But my mind immediately went to animals. My favorite animal is a giraffe and I am not alone in that opinion; lots of kids in my studio want to paint or craft these wonderful, long-neck creatures! I ran out of time before I could make him a lion friend or maybe a little squirrel buddy, but I did manage to make him a tree, for crafty grazing! This project is probably best for older children, maybe seven and up, but with guidance your younger kids can join in, too!
Here’s how to create your own wild things:
- For this project, you will need a few corks, toothpicks or bamboo skewers and some cards for the main pieces. Decide ahead of time what animals or scenery you want to make so you have the right colored paints on hand to make your animals extra cute!
- If you want to make a giraffe like mine, take two bamboo skewers and cut or break them into four pieces. You will need to start the holes in the cork used as a body before pushing the skewer legs in. I used a clay working tool, but a small screwdriver used for fixing eyeglasses, or a nail, will work, too. Get the hole started a little bit, then insert each leg. You can trim the legs if they seem uneven: My giraffe was slightly crooked, but I like him that way!
- Once your body is standing, you can put a dollop of glue on each foot and attach him to a playing card so he will stay balanced, but you don’t have to. For all crafting with kids, when you don’t want to use that dangerous glue gun, have that Aleene’s Tacky Glue from the previous craft handy!
- Take another skewer and trim about 1/4 off of it for the the giraffe’s neck. Prepare the hole in the cork for the head, then attach. Do the same to the body and attach the neck.
- For the ears, cut off two small pieces of bamboo and attach to the head. I cut two little pieces off of a cork to make the tops of the ears and stuck them on.
- For the tree base, take one full skewer and insert into the top of a cork. Make sure the cork has a nice smooth bottom, or you can glue it into a bottle cap, like I did. For the tree’s top, use the other half of the cork you cut for ears and affix it; this will give you something onto which you can glue the leaves.
- Next, take two playing cards and cover them with masking tape (if you didn’t try the craft above, you need to know that painting on waxy cards is hard!) Paint them green for the leaves of the tree, but leave one small area and paint it yellow, to make the giraffe’s tail.
- While you have the yellow paint out, you can begin painting your giraffe. I used brown for the spots, but be creative if you want and use any color you like. Paint your tree base while you are at it!
- Once your masking tape cards are dry, cut some leaves for tree top. I used another unpainted card and cut out coconuts, but you don’t have to. Again, to glue these, you’ll need the Aleene’s Tacky Glue or a hot glue gun.
- Out of the small patch of painted yellow, cut a tail for your giraffe and glue that on as well.
- For your giraffe’s eyes, you can glue on buttons or googly eyes or whatever small item you can find around the house!
- Don’t stop like I did. Try making a little pig or glue multiple corks together for the base of a hippo. I am sure those imaginative kids of yours will have plenty of ideas!
I think I gave you plenty of reasons to throw a card game at your house sometime soon. Make sure you have plenty of great friends and delicious snacks. Because the next day, you’ll have all you need to spend a few hours crafting with your kids or in my case, other people’s kids. (Use of left-over snack crumbs: optional!)
Tanya Alexis, www.originalKIDSbyta.com