Sarahracha rhymes with "Frère Jacques"

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.


Kevin said...

Could you please elaborate on how you terminate the wire at the end of the row? A shot of the end of a finished row would be very helpful.

Sally said...

I use round needle nose pliers and make a loop with the end of the wire, like a question mark but closed. You want the loop to be a touch larger than the hole the grommet, or eyelet is in so it wont slip back through. I will take a pic next time I make one.

Anonymous said...

Wow! That is neat. How long did it take you to make one?

Sally said...

The first one took me several days. Now I can make one in about 5 hours. The hardest part is drinking all that wine! ; )

Anonymous said...

just stopping by to say hey

Unknown said...

This is amazing! Thank you for sharing instructions.

Now, like you said, to drink some wine! :-D

Unknown said...

This is amazing! Thanks for sharing instructions.

Now, like you said, off to drink some wine!

Unknown said...

I have lots of corks and would love to have you make me a cork doormat!! How do I go about contacting you?


Sally said...

You can request a custom doormat through my etsy shop. It takes almost 300 corks and I charge $125.00

HandyMin said...

I'm uncertain about how eyelets are sold...would I be looking for a package that are the same measurements as the drill bit, or is there a universal eyelet size numbering system? Thanks!

Sally said...

Regarding the eyelets, I have found them at Joanns. The ones I use are the smaller ones Made by Dritz 5/32 of an inch and come in packages of 100.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for sharing, my husband made one for his sister in one day. Wish I could send you a picture. He said you're not charging enough!

Sally said...

Thanks! I get faster at making them each time.

Unknown said...

Hi! I just checked out your easy page and see that you switched from wire to nylon. Can you explain the changes? I'm assuming it's due to rusting of the wire after a while? Thank you!

Unknown said...

Hi! I just checked out your easy and see that you are now making them with nylon instead of the wire. Could you explain the differences and why you changed courses? I love this idea. Thank you!

Sally said...

i switched to the nylon cord based on a few things. The first doormat I ever made was out of nylon cord and it is still on my front porch and it's been six or seven years so it has lasted much longer than expected. Another reason was a comment from my brother who always has loved my doormats but he said he wasn't thrilled with the grommets and the wire finish. He suggested I think of another way to finish them. I couldn't come up with anything that didn't change my price point. Another reason is the wire which is galvanized which doesn't rust is lightly covered with an oil and the package warns that the oil is a known carcinogen. I wash my hands constantly when making the doormats but thought I should find something that isn't a known carcinogen. I had a spool of nylon cord left over from when my daughter was in Girl Scouts. It was used to make lanyards. The stuff is industructable. I gave it a try and found the process to be easier. It still takes my many hours to make one but I don't swear as often. Lol . I use a long needle and find the process of making the doormats more along the lines of textile work which is my main area of artistic interest. I will update my blog with directions for making one with the nylon cord. Eventually. I post about once a the hardes part is using one very long piece and pulling it through but it's worth it. The finish is cleaner and the mats themselves are not as stiff.

DenG said...

On the cord, can u post the info of the type of cord u use. Is it fishing line type cord. Also, how do u connect it? Do u still use the eyelets? Hoping y post the cord instructions. Really appreciate ur info. Can hardly wait to start!!

Sally said...

I have used two different types of cord and when I use the cord I don't use the eyelets as the cord being softer than wire doesn't dig into the cork. I have used the nylon cord used for making lanyards. It's flat and very difficult to pull to the breaking point. Recently I made a cork doormat using all synthetic corks and I used a nylon twisted twine used in construction. The difficulty of using cord is threading it . It's best to use one single piece of cord and you need about 14 yards. Pulling 14 yards through almost three hundred corks will fray a natural fiber. I tried cotton and hemp and they were not strong enough. Fishing line is too thin although I have seen others do it. I feel it lacks the thickness to make the doormat feel strong. Thanks for asking me to do an updated tutorial on making a doormat with cord. , it's been a long time since I posted on my blog.

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lo said...

When you use the nylon cord - Do you tie a knot for the 2 ends? How do you finish it?

lo said...

When you use the Nylon cord - How do you start and end the "ends". For the wire you made a loop. Do you tie a knot for the nylon?

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