Hello friends, I’m back from my eldest son’s destination wedding in Highlands, NC! Although I’m still regrouping, I wanted to share a quick post on how I made champagne cork wedding party figures.
In lieu of a reception dinner for the immediate family and wedding attendants, hubby and I hosted all ninety guests at a welcome party. After all, they had all traveled for the three-day, Labor Day weekend event. Most of the bride’s family and bridesmaids flew from CA. And one of my son’s high school friends came all the way from South Korea!
To kickoff the wedding weekend, we invited everyone to Flat Mountain Farm, a 28-acre luxury micro-resort and historic rhododendron farm. It was a magnificent setting! See a recap of the set-up, DIY decorations, food and beverages in, Unique Rustic Barn Wedding Welcome Party Decor.
The welcome party was held in Flat Mountain’s antique, Scandinavian-style black barn. It had been relocated all the way from Pennsylvania and renovated with a long back porch, restrooms, commercial kitchen, and stone fireplace.
To compliment the setting, I wanted a rustic but sophisticated style for the party decor. So I choose a theme that incorporated wine bottles, corks and wood slices into the centerpieces and other decorations. And, to personalize each place setting for members of the wedding party, I hand-painted and embellished a champagne cork.
Popping the Cork
Making the champagne cork wedding party figures was the last project I completed to decorate the place settings. The idea was inspired by an image that “popped” up in my Pinterest feed — probably because I had searched for wine cork wedding decorations previously.
Initially, most linked to Etsy shops for purchase. I also found several tutorials for making your own. Check out Something Turquoise and Instructables for more decorating ideas and their step-by-step instructions.
As usual, I combined aspects I liked from numerous sources to create my own champagne cork figures.
All the paint and embellishments came from my craft stash. Here’s what you need:
- Champagne Corks
- Paint & Brushes
- Lace, Netting, Pearls, Ribbon, Mini Flowers & Beads
- Sharpie or Paint Pens
- Hot Glue Gun & Sticks, or other Glue
- Pictures of the Wedding Party
- Appetizer Pick/Toothpicks or Rings (optional)
Paint with Brush & Pen
Start with champagne rather than regular wine corks for your wedding party figures. The top of the champagne cork becomes the head of each.
For the paint, I used acrylics leftover from other projects like; DIY Hand Painted Glasses & Champagne Flutes, and DIY Spooky Dollar Tree Halloween Glasses. All the colors required two coats of paint. Allow plenty of time for the paint to fully dry before adding another coat or color. Otherwise — when handling the small corks — you’ll smear or transfer the color to other parts of the figure.
Begin with a recent photo of each member of wedding party so that the painted champagne cork resembles them. Pay attention to hair color, cut and style, as well as facial hair, and if they wear eyeglasses.
When I made the cork figures I hadn’t yet met most of the bridesmaids. So, I copied those details from the pictures the engaged couple had used on their wedding website.
Here’s my younger son, D, who was the best man. I painted the groomsmen dressed to resemble the classic black tuxes they wore. For a little flourish, I added a pocket square in the light blue shade of the bridesmaids’ dresses.
Eyes, brows, nose and mouth details were done last, using fine-tip paint pens. I tried to mix up facial expressions for variety. When adding the facial details, I placed a forefinger on the head, and my thumb on the bottom of the cork to hold steady. A slipup here would be hard to remedy!
One of the bridesmaids works at wine festivals, and she generously sent me about 500 of the roughly 750 corks used for the various Welcome Party decorations.
Over the next few weeks, I plan to share how I used them to make garlands, large initials of the bride and groom, table number stands, and to fill lantern centerpieces.
Embellish & Personalize
In the center, the groom has a white pocket square, pearl buttons and a white flower boutonniere. Note the different hair styles/colors and facial hair of the male members of the wedding party. One is wearing gold rim eyeglasses.
Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of the bridal party that I can share with you yet — to compare with their champagne cork avatars.
The bridesmaids wore beautiful long dress with pale blue liners covered by a sheer embroidered floral layer. So, I painted the dresses blue and glued tiny light and medium green beads to represent the sage color leaves and stems in the embroidery.
For the bride and bridesmaids mouths, I used a red paint pen to create lips. Lastly, I glued light or grey-blue flowers in the center front to serve as bouquets.
In actuality, the bride and girls carried these gorgeous multi-colored bouquets with peach, pink, purple and blue shades.
Here Comes the Champagne Cork Bride!
To embellish the bride, I took a short length of lace and glued it around the cork figure’s waist. Next, I added a white rose bouquet. For the veil, I used a piece of scrap netting on the top of her head. It was leftover from when I Crafted Fun to Fabulous Floral Fascinators.
Finally, I added little pearls on top of the veil that match the groom’s buttons.
Often, personalized champagne cork bride and groom are used as cake toppers. But, they’d be awfully tiny! All you have to do is insert an appetizer pick or toothpick into the bottom.
I’m adding little rings on a short needle-like stems at the top. That way, the couple can hang their figures on a Christmas tree. I think they’ll make a cute keepsake.
At the Welcome party, I placed the appropriate champagne cork wedding figure adjacent to that person’s placecard.
I purchased a package of templates with wood slice art to make the place cards, table numbers and seating chart. In the background you can see part of the wood slice charger anchoring the centerpiece.
To personalize the bride and groom place settings at the Sweetheart Table, I added a special napkin fold. Here is the tuxedo fold for my son. Rather than rent cloth napkins, I purchased the linen-like paper ones recommended by the venue manager. They come in many colors (see Amazon below).
None of the 25 Napkin Folds for All Seasons, Holidays & Occasions I’ve used for other tablescapes and parties fit the bill. However, I found at least five different dress option napkin folds online. In the end, I chose this one for the bride’s place setting. Primarily an easy accordion fold, I used another piece of the same lace as the champagne cork, rather than a napkin ring.
I can’t wait to share actual pictures of the bride and groom! It’s a bit of a challenge because I didn’t take any myself. I didn’t have my phone with me in my bag until we reached the wedding reception. Even then, there were two professional photographers and guests taking pictures and videos at both the welcome party and the wedding.
I wanted to be present in the moment and not from behind a camera.
More Wine Cork Ideas
A great use of wine corks from an engagement party, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, and wedding reception is to incorporate them into a Wine Cork Wreath. It’d make a lovely gift for the newlyweds too!
Learn how to make one yourself by following my detailed tutorial. It’s one of my all-time most popular and pinned posts.
Or pour yourself a glass of vino and take a virtual tour of Paso Robles: Wine Tasting & Field of Lights. Soon, hubby and I will be wine tasting in Provence and Burgundy France, where we’ll be celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary!
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