Portugal produces about half the cork harvested annually in the world. So it’s not surprising that I came across field after field of strange looking trees while visiting this summer. I thought maybe Tim Burton had a hand in this, but it turns out these were cork oak trees whose trunks had been stripped of bark…which is the cork. It’s harvested every nine years giving it enough time to grow a new layer, and continues for about 125 years, the life of your average cork oak tree!
While cork has many uses, keeping our wine bottles happily sealed is what it’s best known for. So what to do with all th0se corks? Make hairy little people of course.
- wine corks
- wool roving
- pipe cleaners
- googly eyes
- double sided tape
- white glue
- paper clips
- wire cutters
- odds and ends to decorate like beads etc.
- piece of wood, nails, hammer
1. I used an old piece of wood and hammered a few nails through it so they poked through the other side by about a 1/4″. Corks were then placed on top of each nail. This not only provided a great support for working on the corks, but also a neat way to display them afterwards.
2. Wool roving is perfect to use for making hairstyles for your cork people. It comes in wonderful colours and is so easy to manipulate. It’s easy to find in knitting stores like Romni Wools in Toronto and looks like this. You can twist long, thin sections around pieces of wire, give it a crazy shape, and poke the bottom into the cork. You can also attach tufts of wool using paper clips cut into u shapes.
3. Pipe cleaners are also great for styling your corks. They poke into the surface easily and can be twisted around a pencil, kept straight, or decorated with beads.
4. When the mad hairstylist in you is satisfied, attach googly eyes with small pieces of double sided tape, or with white glue if you prefer. The wooden base can always be painted to display your fabulous hairy cork people.
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