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How-Tuesday: Embroidered Cork Jewelry

Apr 3, 2012

by sewella handmade and vintage goods

Pop open a bottle of wine and have a jewelry party with us! Macedonia-based artist Maya Kuzman, a.k.a sewella, shows us how to make textural jewelry with cork and embroidery floss in this week’s How-Tuesday post. You will never look at a wine cork the same way.

I’m incurably in love with crafts. I’m always elbow-deep in craft projects, mostly crochet, to satisfy the everlasting urge to capture the beauty in nature and bring it home. I’m the creative mind behind the blog Little Treasures, and the fruits of my brainstorming, whims and imagination can often be found in my Etsy shop.

To mark the advent of spring and show awareness of our beloved Earth, I have prepared a cute recycling project consisting of cork embroidered discs.  When embroidered, the cork gains an enriched and amazing appearance. The jewelry created with the little corks is extraordinary and truly unique.  So without further ado, find some used wine corks and let’s begin!

Materials Needed:
Embroidery thread
Embroidery needle


1. Types of Cork: Let me introduce you to the varieties of cork you may encounter. I have come across 4 types, and only one of these can be used for the project.

As you can see, they are all different. The one most suitable for embroidering is number 3. See how it is nicely defined with the little cell-like structure? That’s the kind you’re looking for.

The outer surface of the cork does not reveal the inside, so cut a thin slice to see if it is the type you need. Next, mark the cork for cutting. In my experience, the best width  is 0.2” / 5mm. Thinner slices will break; any thicker, and you will hurt yourself.

2. Cut the slices of cork.

3. Thread a needle and tie a knot. You need a long, thin needle so that the cork stays intact while you work it. Insert the needle for the first stitch. Do not go too near the edge because the cork might break.

4. Make your first stitch. When you stitch, always keep the thread tense with your thumb for a neat job. Stitch close to the stitch you made before, unless you aim at a more “dispersed” look.

5. When I embroider, I most often use a wave pattern because I really like the way it transforms the cork. Stagger the stitches for this look.

6. When you get to the end, tie a knot and hide it beneath the thread by inserting the needle through the layers at the back.

                              back                                                                           front

7. Cut off excess thread, and you are done. Isn’t it beautiful?

8. For the back, you may leave it as is, cover it by stitching the bare part, or glue a felt piece over it.

Below are some of the pieces I have made. I hope you get inspired to make some for yourself!

Thank you to Maya Kuzman for sharing this project with us. Be sure to check out the post she wrote on making organic seed jewelry, too! If you make your own cork jewelry, share a photo with us in the Etsy Labs Flickr group.

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