Crafting can be the perfect way to cap off your St. Patrick's Day celebration!
March 17, 2009 4:04 PM   Subscribe

For St. Patrick's Day, rather than show you how to knit your own leprechaun or make a hat out of a ice cream container (because who the hell wants to do that), I'm going to help you with your after party cleanup. You'll have lots of bottle caps and wine corks lying about afterwards, so here are some ideas on what to do with them.

Bottle caps lend themselves to making interesting jewelry: resin necklaces, bracelets, small pins and brooches, beads, or rings. Here are some tips on how to make bottle cap jewelry. You can also make a purse, hairbows, keychains, magnets or mini pin cushions. You can make a trivet to suit your taste: plain, covered in plain crochet, or covered in whimsical crochet. You can decorate a picture frame simply or elaborately, or decorate your kitchen cabinets or table tops. You can make Christmas decorations. Or you can avoid paying to have the car repainted. You can create tiny artwork, or like artist John T. Unger make mermaid or fish mosaics. You can make a dragon mosaic, or just embellish mosaics made from other materials, or make portraits like artist Molly B. Right. See this article for some other ideas on how to use bottle caps.

If you favour wine over Guinness, you have options for what to do with the corks. You can make earrings, or stampers, trivets and coasters, place-card holders, or bulletin boards. You can decorate a mirror frame. You might make some Bacchanalian wreaths, or a garland. For Christmastime reminders of festivities past, you can make a miniature Christmas tree, or decorations for your full-size tree: clowns, snowmen, Santas, or reindeer. You can make a mural, or a self-portrait. You can make a lamp, a table top, or a chair. You can use wine corks as baseboards, or as the wall. You can make a birdhouse, or mulch plants. Again, there’s really no need to pay to have the car repainted. If none of these ideas pop your cork, see this thread for more suggestions on how to use them.

And if you really have enough bottle caps and wine corks lying around to make more than a few of these projects, next year I would like to be invited to your St. Patrick’s Day party.
posted by orange swan (15 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Somehow when the topic of many corks comes up I know I'm going to see my friend Jan Elftmann make the scene.
posted by nanojath at 4:45 PM on March 17, 2009

It so happens that I have pretty huge collections of both of these items. I've suddenly gone from too few ideas about what to do with them to way, way too many. Thanks!
posted by gurple at 4:45 PM on March 17, 2009

Don't forget the lagerphone.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:04 PM on March 17, 2009

I was trying to make a crafty thread for today, but I felt I was doing it all wrong, so I stopped seeing the best I could come up with was some St. Patrick's Day origami and a terra cota pot leprechaun, though I really wanted to snark on unimpressive kids crafts. Thank you for doing this properly, and giving me an outlet for my 2.5 links.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:13 PM on March 17, 2009

And if you happen to find yourself drinking something from a plastic bottle, you could always weave yourself a vase.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:15 PM on March 17, 2009

Oh, goodness. Filthy light thief, this kid's craft is particularly despicable.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:21 PM on March 17, 2009

When I'm researching these posts I always wind up sifting through some really crappy kids' crafts (or, what is much worse, horribly kitschy and amateurish adult crafts) to find the well-designed and well-made examples of what can be done with whatever material I'm featuring. I figure it's not really recycling if you use the recycled material plus some new craft supplies to make a piece of crap that can only be thrown out. Though hopefully there are always at least a few crafts in each of my posts that are simple enough to be done by a child or by someone who has never made anything before.
posted by orange swan at 5:37 PM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

and wine

Wine? WINE? "Lace Curtain Irish!" (as mom would say).
posted by R. Mutt at 6:01 PM on March 17, 2009

ocherdraco, I saw some of those hats at the day care center when I picked up my kid today. I wish I were kidding.
posted by onhazier at 6:07 PM on March 17, 2009

this kid's craft is particularly despicable.

Try wearing that and marching in the parade!

Orange Swan, this post is all kinds of excellent. Thanks for putting all the work into it!
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:07 PM on March 17, 2009

Man, Scots just get Bagpipes and William Wallace as cultural touchstones, which is a bit like being ugly but having a really wicked scar.
posted by The Whelk at 8:09 PM on March 17, 2009

I went out to our local St. Pat's celebration on Saturday and saw several middle aged ladies wearing what looked like tiaras or crowns made out of wine corks. I'm pretty sure they were halfway through getting enough supplies for another crown.
posted by chiababe at 8:46 PM on March 17, 2009

Man, Scots just get Bagpipes and William Wallace as cultural touchstones

I suppose I should have done a Robbie Burns' day post on fun things to do with old kilts and bagpipes.
posted by orange swan at 9:04 PM on March 17, 2009

ocherdraco, I was thinking that, too. But I think that part of the suffering comes from the expression on the poor girl.

Orange Swan - have you ever thought of making a website compiling the good crafty projects you find for teachers? Because some really need help elevating kids crafts from construction paper and glue to something really interesting.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:16 AM on March 18, 2009

There are so, so many excellent craft blogs out there. I'm not really sure what I could do that would bring something new and unique and worthwhile to the table. There are lots of excellent kids' crafts out there for teachers who have the time and inclination to search them out. And if they don't have that... they wouldn't find a blog I was doing either.
posted by orange swan at 10:34 AM on March 19, 2009

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