Sarahracha rhymes with "Frère Jacques"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall on the coast

Took the dogs to Muir beach. Beautiful sunny fall weather

Friday, October 7, 2011


                               Here is how I make a cork doormat using wire and cork. You can make one too with a bunch of corks, some wire, wire cutters Pliers and some metal grommets or eyelets!

Step One : Collect corks. 286 corks total for this 20x30 doormat

I have a huge collection of corks. I ask for corks at wineries when we go wine tasting and I have several friends who save their corks. Most wineries will save them and donate them for free. Since I have started making doormats I have used thousands of corks and no I didn't drink all that wine.... and Yes that is the number one question

Step Two: lay out a pattern. I like to use cookie sheets to lay out a pattern. 12 corks in every row except for row one and row 24 which each have only 11 single holed corks in them. If you want to make a border using a cork you have a lot of this is the time to lay it out in a pattern you like.

You can even make a monogram. You can take the time to mark the side you want to put the holes in Look at your corks and decide if you want to see the images printed on them or the name of the wineries. Make the holes so the side you want to see will show. Don't drill on the sides with the images that you want to show. I think if the corks are special it is worth the extra time to decide where to drill the holes. Grabbing corks and drilling holes at random produces an equally interesting doormat.

You can use a hand drill or a drill press. My drill bit size of choice is 9/64

Step Three: Drill holes.

You need to drill one hole in the middle of 22 corks and 2 holes about a 1/4 inch in from the ends on 264 corks. Warm up your Take your time, take breaks, drink lots of  Wear protective glasses and a dust mask

.  If the corks are old and brittle soak them in water for 30 minutes before drilling the holes. You really only need to do this if they are very old. Use a vise to hold the corks if using a hand drill to drill your holes. I have found using a drill press saves time.

Step Four: wire them up

 Using a roll of 20 gauge galvanized wire, start lacing the corks directly onto the wire without cutting the wire from the spool. The first row of stringing will be alternating corks starting with a 2 holed cork and then a single holed cork.   There will be 23 corks on this row. 12 double holed corks and 11 single holed corks.  Double holed corks will be the first and last pieces in this row. This first wired row will actually become the first two rows to start the basket weave. You may need a pair of pliers to pull the wire through each cork. it can make your finger tips sore.

After lacing an entire row, place an eyelet into hole in the end cork to prevent the wire from cutting and slipping through the cork. using needle nosed pliers, make a complete loop a bit larger than the hole in the eyelet.

Then push the entire laced row of corks up against the loop you just made and careful not to let the corks fall off the wire, make a cut with wire cutters using one finger width to measure.

Make another securing loop

The next 21 rows will be made using 12 double holed corks in each row. Each one alternating with the corks from the previous row.  Continue until you get to the 23rd row.

The 24th row will be made using corks with one hole in it will tuck right up next to the last row just like rows one and two.

 After several hours, sometimes days, weeks, months, you will end up with a completed doormat

You can see above how the end row buts up right against the second row.
Here is a completed custom one I did.

Of course you may want to try something smaller first like a cork trivet.

I sell my cork doormats for $125.00 on etsy in both my shops.
Since all the corks I work with are donated to me by friends and wineries the cost to my customers is just my charge for labor.  I can also make doormats using your collection of corks. It costs about $10.00 more to ship me your corks.