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How to Make a Birdhouse Out of Old Wine Corks©
By Arlene Wright-Correll
I had been saving wine corks for almost a year and when I had 112 of them plus 1 champagne cork I thought I would make a bird house out of these corks. I wanted this to be a totally recycled birdhouse made out of anything I had left over in my art studio or in our stained glass studio.
I started with some old ª” foam board that was left over from the backing when framing some of my paintings. I cut 2 pieces 6.5″ x 7.5″ for the front and back and 2 pieces 6.5″ x 8.5″ for the sides. I cut a 1.5″ x 2″ rectangle in the front piece for an entry.
I also cut 2 pieces 7.5″ by 4″ into triangles for the front and rear peaks. I then cut 2 pieces of foam board 4″ by 8.5″ for each side of the roof.
I cut some Ω” by 4″ and 7″ for inside “reinforcing” braces out of the old foam board and two 1″ by 4″ pieces for my shutters.
I then cut a piece of old ª “birch panel into a 12 x 10” rectangle for a base for the birdhouse.
Using a glue gun, the first thing I did was to hot glue all the corks onto the each side and back and front. I tried to arrange these corks (and you must use stilled wine corks, not champagne) into some sort of design because 90% of these had the vineyards logos, designs, dates and names on them. Several had magic marker comments on them from our last Spain trip in 2005. I was almost finished when I discovered 112 corks were not enough. I needed another 10 or 12, so I went over to Bowling Green, KY to a liquor store that was having a wine tasting that afternoon and besides trying some lovely wine, they gave me the remaining corks I needed.
The next morning I again took up my task and when I finished gluing them on I then hot glued a front and side together and then hot glued in my reinforcing braces. I did the same to the back and a side. Then I hot glued all those pieces together to form a square. (I wished I had taken pictures of each of these steps. However, I did not.)
My next step was to find some old paint I had been using and paint the birch base. When that dried, I hot glued the corked rectangle to the base.
I discovered that this was just like building a house and oft times something goes a little amiss and that is why “trim” was invented. So I scrounged up some old hot dog roasting sticks (the long ones) and I was able to cut four 6.5″ pieces out of one of them and I painted them with some contrasting old paint. When they dried, I hot glued them unto each corner of the house.
I then painted my front and rear roof pitch and my two pieces of foam board that was to be used for the shutters and when dried, I took some black India ink and drew in a window with shutters on the rear one and then took white India ink and a fine paint brush and painted “Vino Aerie” onto the front pitch. Upon the two shutters, using black India ink, I inked in shutter lines. (Wash out both brush and pen immediately to keep them from stiffening or building up with ink.)
When the shutters were dry I hot glued one to each side of the bird house opening.
I found it easier to work from the ground up at this point, so I hot glued two flat colored stones to the front for a walk way and I scrounged up a bunch of old flowers (I rarely throw anything away) that had been sitting in a basket in my art studio and I hot glued them on the birch base, around the bottom of the bird house as my “landscaping.”
Under the opening, I hot glued a painted tooth pick for a foot grip for the bird in the event a bird ever even wanted to reside in this bird house.
At this point my front and back roof peaks were dried and I hot glued the front and one of the rooftops also hot gluing in some reinforcing braces. I then did the same to the back peak and one of the rooftops again hot gluing in some reinforcing braces. Then I put a line of hot glue underneath the whole length of the two rooftops and also hot glued in some reinforcing pieces of scrap foam board.
Next thing I did was to quickly put a big dab of hot glue on all 4 corners of the top of the building and on all four corners of the roof top, hold my breath and set the roof unto the building. It fit, but again I had some gaps that needed to be rectified with “trim”. Out came the sheet rock knife and I cut two æ ” x 6.5″ strips of foam board and I used my scissors to cut in v-shaped cuts to make front and rear trim which I hot glued on the front and rear, thus reinforcing the connection and hiding any gaps or glue.
Now it was decision time as to what to do to finish off the roof. In the stained glass studio were a lot of old bottoms cut from beer and wine bottles, so I scrounged some of them and hot glued them on in random pattern to the foam board rooftop. I had to hot glue around each one on the outside since the cuts were uneven. Then I found some old flat colored pebbles with rounded tops and I hot glued them into the spaces between the bottle bottoms.
The last thing I did was to hot glue on a champagne cork for a chimney.
“Vino Aerie” was finished! Completely made out of whatever I had around the studio and the old corks. The only thing I had to buy was 3 bags of glue sticks. I took a lot of hot glue. This project took a total of 5 hours to make even with the wine tasting break and was spread out over two days. One has to work fast with the glue gun. One has to plan out everything and when the paint was drying I was hot gluing!
Here it is sitting outside adding color to our little part of the world.
“Tread the Earth Lightly”and in the meantimeÖ may your day be filled withÖ.Peace, light and love,
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About the author,
Arlene Wright-Correll (1935-____) is mother of 5 and the grandmother of 8. For almost 40 years she was an International real estate consultant and during the last 20 years of her career traveled to many parts of the world. She has been a cancer and stroke survivor since 1992. While working and raising her children she had many hobbies including being a very serious home-vintner for approximately 14 years while residing in upstate New York in St. Lawrence County producing 2,000 to 3,000 bottles of wine a year. She was the president of the St. Lawrence County chapter of the American Wine Society in Potsdam, NY. During that time she wrote a Home Vintner column for the Courier Freeman and the Canton Plain Dealer. In 1975 her hearty burgundy won first place at the annual American Wine Society meeting in Toledo, Ohio. This home vintner created many formulas or recipes for not only still wine, but sparkling wine and beer. She enjoyed the friendship and fellowship that was created by working with other home vintners during those years. She is an avid gardener, an artist, and a free lance writer of many topics including, but not limited to “The ABCís of Making Wine and Beer©” by Arlene Wright-Correll this jam packed information CD includes 15 chapters on how to make your own wine and beer. This CD has loads of tried and true recipes, easy instructions, equipment identifying photos and it includes three bonus articles “How to Host a Wine Tasting Party”, “How to Build an Underground Wine Cellar” and includes “Everything You Wanted to Know about Wine, but Were Afraid to Ask”. This $19.95 value is on sale today for only $14.95 at http://www.cafepress.com/arlene_correll/1063470