Monday, January 10, 2011

Reuse ~ Repurpose: Week 1

Following Brandigirl's lead, I wanted to come up with something that I could blog on once a week, which would be interesting and creative. Possibly, at the end of the year, I could put all these ideas into a book format, also. This idea appeals to me, so this is what I've come up with.... and I hope I stick to it!

I'll be sharing my ideas with you on how to reuse or repurpose regular items, giving them a new lease on life, so they don't get thrown into the garbage bin! I've always had this horror of the growing mass of garbage in land fills, oceans, rivers, etc, that builds up due to our "throw-away" mentality in the US and other countries too, I imagine. Hoping that people will learn to see everyday things in a different way is important to me. Some ideas I share will be from me, and others will be contributed by friends, magazines, books or wherever I can find the inspiration.

So, for Week 1:

Wine corks! One of the things that I use old corks for is to make new little stamps...





They are quick and easy to carve with some wood-working or clay tools. I got my little set for about $10 at University Arts in San Jose, CA, a few years ago. I've seen them at Michael's for pretty cheap, too.




However, all you really need is an Exacto knife and some care. I've cut myself while making stamps because I wasn't paying attention! 

I use these stamps all the time in my journaling, as well as for art projects. They have a nice character, and each one is one-of-a-kind! 

If you're not into stamps, you can also use the corks within a frame, hot-glued into a nice pattern, to be used as a bulletin board. There are kits people buy to make these, but if you have a nice stash of corks (like some of us winos do) then you can just make it a Do-It-Yourself project and save the money! A friend of mine in Capitola, CA, took all her wine corks and used them to cover one side of the base of her kitchen island! She was quite the tenacious wine drinker and had loads of corks saved over the years, so when she remodeled the home with her husband, they used the corks as a decorative surface for the front of the island... it's ingenious and a major conversation piece!


A note about corks... more and more wine companies don't use real cork anymore because of debate on the best way to stopper wine. You've probably seen the fake corks and also screw caps used. But corks are being used as flooring more and more, I think because of its resiliency and softness under foot. It's also quite beautiful! So if you get some bottles of wine that have real cork stoppers, save those puppies and put them to use! I'm sure that you can think of even more interesting ways to use them!

9 comments:

MichelleW said...

Absolutely LOVE it - your whole 52 week theme is brilliant and such a great idea.

The corks are brilliant, I don't drink loads of wine and most of the bottles I do get have the fake plastic corks - which is a shame cos there's nothing like the fun of popping a real cork.

I'm so looking forward to following your posts cos reusing throw away items is one of my favourite things. I love your cork stamps, they must give a fantastic texture when they are inked up.

shari said...

Thanks, Shell!! I appreciate your support and I'm glad you agree that reusing is much better than tossing!

Yes, I love the way the cork stamps look when used... I should've posted a pic, but didn't think of that!

Shannon of ** Happiness Is...** said...

Such a fun little craft! I'm inspired to make some :) xo

Brandi said...

I'm inspired to drink wine now... :D

Super excited for your 52 Weeks project! I can't wait to see how it all develops!

shari said...

I bet they will turn out lovely, Shannon!

shari said...

Thanks, Brandi! I have loads of ideas, and I hope they inspire.... if I go off track, please let me know, okay?

Terriaw said...

I love this idea! What a great idea to use these corks to carve stamps. I've always thought to try carving stamps with erasers, but I don't have a pile of extra erasers lying around. I'm sure I can accumulate a couple corks. Do you use regular stamping pads? I think I could make good use of a nice set for my new art journaling project!

Orion Designs said...

Great project Shari!

shari said...

Yes, I use regular stamp pads... pigment pads, dye pads, any of them will work! You could even make your own set of alphabet stamps if you get motivated enough! Those are great for journaling... use for titles on pages, or to emphasize specific words...

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