Cork Reindeer and Video Blogging

I know that the holiday season is rapidly approaching when my stats from Google searches start to show an overwhelming number of folks looking for cork reindeer.  Of course, those of you who are here for the wine are asking, wtf is a cork reindeer, and if I were sitting in your shoes three years ago I’d be asking the same thing.

This is a cork reindeer in the wild.

This is the mythical beast known as the cork reindeer. About three years ago, my mother purchased this ornament at a local craft fair, obviously designed by someone far more creative than I am. I mentioned it here on the wine blog at the time as something to do with old corks and promptly forgot about it. Until I started noticing a trickle of folks searching for “cork reindeer,” “cork ornament,” “cork reindeer ornament” and any number of other combinations and spellings.  Then the deluge came in September and didn’t let up again until after Christmas. I did a bit of Googling myself and realized no information about the wily cork reindeer seemed to exist, so I took pity on the Googlers and posted photos of it.

Now, people are still searching for it and for instructions on how to make it. In fact, the number of people searching for cork reindeer in the months of Sept-Dec is the most popular search term I get during that time.  So I’ve decided to be a nice wino and answer the demands of these crafty wayward readers and do a tutorial on how to make cork reindeer. Now my question for you is, would you like to see me do a video blog of it? Answer my poll and let me know your opinion!


Cork Reindeer Ornament

Last year I put up a post asking what to do with the neverending bag of corks that accumulates in my kitchen pantry. I mentioned some of the things I had done with them, place cards for our wedding, a cork board/dry erase board, and that my mom had purchased a cork reindeer ornament at a craft fair for me.

Since then, one of the search terms I see most often is some combination of “reindeer,” “cork,” and “ornament.” Sadly, I don’t think any other information exists on the internet about these things, and I feel bad for the people that keep ending up here looking for for instructions on how to make such a thing.

So this year, I took pictures for all those of you who arrive here looking for reindeer. This doesn’t look that hard to make if you are at all crafty and have a glue gun (this is how non-crafty I am, do people actually still use glue guns?), some corks, a bit of twine, ribbon, and googly eyes!

Have at it folks. If you make one, send me a picture and I’ll post your version up here. I’m thinking about going into the cork ornament reindeer business myself, but have no clue what I’d do with an army of cork reindeer.

The Finished Corkboard

I did eventually (actually rather quickly) get around to making that corkboard out of my bag of corks. Oddly enough, the bag itself doesn’t really look much emptier than when I started. And it really only took around 120 corks to finish. Really not that big of a dent in a bag that had nearly 400 corks in it…… 🙂 Perhaps I ought to get on mass producing cork reindeer (again, my apologies to the person who keeps searching for how to make one of these things, I don’t honestly know!).

Anyway, it probably took us around an hour and a half to make this thing. The hardest part was finding corks that were long enough to fit tightly. Ocassionally we had to sacrifice a pretty cork for a less pretty one just to be able to fit them all in so there were no gaps. I’m fairly pleased with how it came out, but less pleased with the quality of the product. The dry erase board won’t stay in like it is supposed to and the corner of the wood frame has already separated. Also, make sure you have your own container of wood glue around to glue in the corks. The little tub they provide is not nearly enough to put a “generous amount” of glue on each cork, nor does it want to come out of the tub all that easily. Now I just need to get to the hardware store to pick up some kind of a brace to hold the frame together while the glue dries so that I can finally hang the thing up.

Wine Cork Wreath

Thanks to Farley of Wine Outlook for the idea of a wine cork wreath. And to Roz of Beadimus for searching out this picture for me. This actually looks pretty cool and I think it will be my next wine cork project (considering it will probably take me until next Christmas to actually finish it…..). Plus, I think I will need quite a few corks to actually make this look good or else it might look a touch skimpy….I wonder what other things are out there that people have come up with to do with their corks? I’ve seen a table top, the standard corkboard kits, trivets and trays from Wine Enthusiast and of course the cork reindeer ornament my mom found this season. Not to mention my placecards of course. 🙂

The Bag of Corks

Now, I would hazard a guess that many an avid wine drinker finds themselves, at one time or another with a bag of corks. Or a box, or perhaps, as was the case in my last apartment, an entire drawer. For whatever the reason, I think many of us just don’t want to throw the corks away. This is a picture of our bag of corks. It currently resides on top of our wine fridge. At the moment, it is not as alarmingly full as it once was, since over the summer I did this to our corks in order to make placecards for our wedding. At the time, I wasn’t sure I would have enough. The joke was on me. After making over one hundred of these placecards for our wedding, I still had a bag of corks. And that bag has not gotten any smaller in size over the course of the fall. So today I went and bought this corkboard kit at the Curious Grape. I first saw one back in the day at the Williamsburg Winery and thought it was pretty darn nifty which is why I had all the corks in the first place. Then I thought it would be much more fun to use them at the wedding since they were all bottles we had consumed at one point or another over the previous 3 years. (I’m really not sure that says great things about our consumption habits, but hey, I was a law student at the time, does that give me a good enough excuse?) Personal touch and whatnot. Plus we put half bottles of wine in all the welcome bags at the hotel, so it was kind of going on a theme or something.

Which brings us to today’s purchase. The kit says you need around 200 corks. Which will probably leave me with around 200 extras. So what to do with the rest? I did see a creative idea this year. My mom sent me a reindeer ornament made of corks. It was quite cute, and clearly thought up by someone who has a creative gene I am missing. Oh well. Anyone need a cork trivet? Or twelve? And please, tell me I’m not the only nut that saves wine corks. And if I am, lie to me, I promise, I won’t hold it against you! I’ll take a picture of the finished product, hopefully I won’t hotglue a cork to myself.