How to Make a Cork Ball

I recently did a cork wreath project and it got me inspired to do other craft projects with my corks.  Next up, cork ball.  What’s that?  A decorative sphere that can be placed anywhere and is comprised of corks.  I decided I wanted two cork balls of varying sizes.  The one featured here is an 8″ cork ball and starts with a 4″ styrofoam ball.  The other size I decided to make was a 10″ cork ball (6″ styrofoam ball).  The basics are the same, you will just need more glue sticks and more corks for the larger cork ball accordingly.  So it was back to the craft store for me!

Items Needed to Make Cork Ball

Items For (One) Cork Ball:

  • Glue Gun
  • Glue Sticks
  • Brown Acrylic Paint
  • Small Paint Brush (I used 1/2)
  • 4″ Styrofoam Ball
  • Approx 70 corks (approx 120 for 6″ styrofoam ball)
  • Newspaper (to cover the work surface)
  • Plastic Bag (for painting the styrofoam ball)

I only used 5 mini glue sticks (.27 diameter) for this project so if you have some left over from a previous project, you should be covered.

The acrylic paint is used to cover the base of the styrofoam ball and blend in the corks, so any small gaps from the uncovered area the cork is brown and not white.  It is not noticed when you look at the ball up close as the brown color blends in.  Very little paint gets used, so if you have a leftover acrylic paint you want to use that is not brown, go for it.  Note, if it is a more vibrant color, it can be more noticeable.

I used a mix of corks from white and red varietals because I wanted a variety of logos, texture and colors.  Select your corks for this project accordingly.

OberBargain Tip: Plan the project in advance so you can take advantage of the 40% or 50% off regular price coupons and get all your items at a discount.  I was able to capitalize on sale items and coupons to that for two cork balls (not including glue guns, glue sticks or corks) I was able to purchase everything for $10!

 

Directions:

PAINTING THE BASE

A few things to note about acrylic paint, it is a quick drying paint and washes off with soap and water (including the paint brush).  The key here is to not let it get dry.  If the paint dries on the brush, it will not come out.

Painting Base for Cork Ball

First you will need to paint the base (styrofoam ball).  If this know what you are doing here, please, skip ahead.  For me, this was a new experience and I discovered some techniques that I want to share.

I made a stand from a plastic container and made a small hole in the top.  I placed a pencil in the hole so it slightly protrudes, then cut the sides of plastic bag so it covered my your work surface.  I dabbed a little paint onto the corner of the plastic bag and used that as my palette.  I first painted the area around the small hole in the styrofoam ball.  (So when you place it on the stand, the area is already painted.)  Overall, I found it easier to paint the ball while holding it first and then place it on the stand to finish the places my fingers were.

The painting does not have to be perfect or uniform in thickness of color.  It is just to cover the area so the white no longer is visible.

Once done, let dry.

 

ADDING THE CORKS

Applying the First Cork to Base

Your works surface is covered, your glue gun in plugged in and the base is dry.  Now lets glue!

Apply glue to the flat end of the cork and place onto the styrofoam ball.  (I like to place the first cork over the existing hole so there is no possibility of it showing.)  Continue adding corks while trying to keep the bottom of the corks on the base as close together as possible.  Some good things to keep in mind as you add the corks:

  • Use the flat end of the cork that has the wine opener mark as the end that gets glued.  (This way, you a featuring the ‘clean side’ and not the messy side with the wine opener mark.)
  • Make sure the flat side is flat, so it glues properly.  If the wine opener lifted up a little of the cork, try and level it or pick it out so that it is flat.  The corks will lay symmetrically this way.
  • Space out where you feature the corks with designs, dates or the ones with red wine stains so they are not clustered in one area.

When you have a small area (six or so corks) away from completing the ball.  Try and determine the four corks that would fit the space and minimize any gaps in between corks.  Clean up any glue strands (if you haven’t already) and your cork ball is ready to be displayed!

Finished Cork Ball

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2 Responses to “How to Make a Cork Ball”

  1. […] price coupons and get all your items at a discount.  I had leftover brown acrylic paint from the cork ball project and had some clear sheet protects so I did not need to purchase these items, but even if I did, I […]

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