By Chris Wallace for Walnut Hollow
Start saving corks from wine bottles now! They are fun to use just as they are, or, in this case, I cut them down the center so I could adhere the flat side to each long edge of a Basswood Country Plank®. These Rustic Cork Trays would be perfect to use as a serving tray, tabletop display or to actually use for a buffet table filled with food.
I used a Basswood Country Plank, Medium for my project. It measures approximately 13” long and 10” or so wide. The Basswood Country Planks come in a variety of sizes, so choose the best for your project.
To stencil the design down the center of the Plank, use a pencil and ruler to mark the center and tape the stencil template in place. I used a DCWV 12” x 12” Stencil. It included a variety of stencil designs and I liked the arrows. I used a soft sponge to stencil arrows with DecoArt® Americana® Burnt Orange and Slate Grey. Notice that the Burnt Orange arrows go in one direction while the Slate Grey arrows go in the opposite direction.
The trick to successful stenciling is to use very little paint on the sponge. It’s always best to apply two light coats of paint rather than one heavy coat that might “leak” under the stencil surface.
Now for cutting the corks in half – following the manufacturer’s instructions on the outside and inside of the Creative Versa-Tool® packaging, tape the Tool Stand to your work surface. Use pliers to attach the Hot Knife Point in the tool and place the tool on the stand. Plug into an electric outlet and dial the Versa-Temp control to the Orange Zone. Let heat for 4-5 minutes.
Use the Hot Knife Point to slice down the center of each cork to cut it into2 sections. For a strong adhesion between the cork and Plank surface, use Tombow® MONO Multi Liquid Glue. It’s the best!
For a protective finish on the wood surface, it’s a good idea to varnish the Planks well with either 2-3 coats of spray or brush-on varnish.
If you plan to place food on the surface of the Plank, use paper doilies or some type of covering so the food doesn’t stain the wood.