A wine cork Christmas tree

As the winter season progresses, it is soon time to decorate the Christmas tree – but do not panic! Today we will be sharing a kind of ritual that has been present in our lives since we were children, and it involves a very special signature decorative component… wine corks! The tradition in our family suggests that the lunch on December 8th is followed by a creative recycling project that has become even more enjoyable once we had the children of our own join us on this adventure.

Truth be told, we have always had the raw material in abundance! However, one thing to remember is that to achieve the best results, you will specifically need to prepare the wine bottle corks and not the sparkling wine ones as they come in a traditional mushroom shape. The sparkling wine corks can be transformed into Christmas Angels instead: all you need to do is draw a smile on the top part, stick a golden bow in place of wings and decorate them further using your imagination.

“Today we will be sharing a kind of ritual that has been present in our lives since we were children, and it involves a very special signature decorative component… wine corks!”.

On this exciting journey, you will also need a polystyrene cone. If you wish to make more than one Christmas tree, we suggest you get several cones in a selection of sizes so that they could stand side by side, which will create beautiful decorative scenery. To give you a rough idea, you will need about 60 wine corks to cover a 30 cm tall cone. The cones are not challenging to find: these can usually be picked up in variety store chains across the country, especially during the winter holiday season. Another equally important tool you will need is a glue gun: it will ensure the strongest hold. Once all the components have been prepared, you may begin with the making process. Firstly, stick the initial round of vertically placed corks around the base of the cone – these need to be sitting closely together, showing no gaps between one another. No need to worry should the corks not perfectly match up towards the close of the circle: all the imperfections can be treated as the back of the tree and turned away from the critical eye. You may then build the rows up towards the top of the cone, staggering them slightly to create some texture and movement.

Once the final row of corks is glued down, take a toothpick, and break it into two parts: one should be shorter than the other. Using the pointy ends of the broken toothpick, sink them into the top and bottom ends of the last remaining cork. The longer side of the stick can be inserted into the tip of the cone, while the shorter end could be glued to a golden star to top the tree off. Naturally, you may use any other type of decoration as long as it’s lightweight.

The tree is now almost finished. The final step would be dressing it in decor: all the classics such as baubles, stars, felt angels, and ribbons work really well, not to mention that they also hide the flaws of the making process! You may be interested to know how we hang all the decorations, and the answer is simple: we tie a string to every cork level and use it as a base for all the little trinkets. We, for example, once decorated our Cork Christmas Tree in notes our children wrote to Santa Clause that year. We mean to say that once the base is done, you can flex your creativity and make the tree your own.

Good luck with the making and have fun along the way!

Barbara De Zan and Caterina De Zan
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