While the decorative elements of wine bottle stoppers can be made with any material, the components of the stopper base are much more strictly regulated to ensure the quality of the wine is not affected. Cork stopper bases are inexpensive and can be easily used for small-scale production of wine bottle stoppers. If using cork, purchase only high-quality cork stoppers from a reputable winery supplier. Buying inexpensive cork can save you a few dollars but increases the risk of cork taint, a phenomenon where the aroma and flavour of the wine are compromised by the presence of 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA) in the cork.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Food-safe glue
- Cork stopper
- Drawer pull
- Headless threaded fastener
Shape a piece of clay around the head of an uncoated screw into the desired design. Ensure the clay covers half of the length of the fastener.
Bake the clay with the screw attached in an oven, following the manufacturer's instructions for baking temperature and time.
Paint and glaze the clay piece with food-safe art supplies. Use materials that are specifically labelled as "food-safe" or suitable for "direct food contact." Do not paint the screw.
Cure for 48 hours.
Make a Topper
Examine the cork from the top--the larger circular face.
Mark the centre of the face with a craft knife.
Apply glue to the screw of the topper.
Drive the clay topper into the centre of the cork, rotating the piece so that the threads of the screw are driven into the cork.
Cure for 48 hours before use.
Assemble the Cork Stopper
Tips and warnings
- Use a draw pull or finial Instead of a handmade clay topper. With a pair of pliers, insert a headless, self-tapping, threaded fastener into the drawer pull so that the self-tapping, pointed end is exposed. Apply glue to the screw for a more secure attachment. Screw the topper into the cork stopper and cure.
- Instead of buying cork stoppers, carve your own stoppers from used bottle corks. Just shave off the outer layer of the stopper and increase the taper with a craft knife.
- Use screw-on metal spikes as alternatives to cork. Fit a food-safe rubber gasket onto the spike. Attach a headless fastener to the base of the spike and mould clay directly onto the other end of the fastener.
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