The most sought after pieces of treasure in my family at the moment are the hand-crafted cork boards that my Grandpa Duchow makes. He and my Grandma Helen have had one of their own hanging on the pantry door in their kitchen for as long as I can remember. My grandma hangs her calendar from it, uses it to organize her coupons and they keep family phone numbers and other important information listed there. Theirs is large and takes up the top half of the door.
When I got married last year, Jon and I were gifted one of our very own. So we have tried to follow suit. We hung it in our kitchen and so far, we generally use it to hang up the latest engagement pictures and wedding announcements we receive from friends because we are definitely in that stage in life where someone is getting hitched every few months or so.
The gift was meaningful for two main reasons. The first one being that my grandpa made it. He said he couldn’t decide which was more fun: fashioning the corks and the frame together or drinking the wine needed to accumulate the corks. And yes, each cork is actually from a bottle of wine that him and my grandmother shared (sometimes with help), although it takes them a while to accumulate this many corks, also a reason that this gift is such a labor of love.
Secondly, my Grandpa Duchow was unable to attend my wedding. I got married in California and the trek from Washington can be a very long and strenous one seeing as you can’t fly directly into San Luis Obispo unless you’re willing to take out a loan from the bank to pay for the expensive tickets. So, the closest major airports are a good three to four hours away. I was sad he couldn’t be here to share in the day, but it was really special to receive such a meaningful gift from him. I think about him everytime I walk into my kitchen and glance at the cork board.
We hung it on one of the only blank spaces of wall in our kitchen. Living in a small apartment makes you prioritize your decor. There’s only enough room for your absolute favorite pieces.
Here’s the cork board undecorated. Really, it’s beautiful enough to hang it with nothing on it. However, like I said, small apartment, you gotta use what space you have.
I’m not sure exactly the process my grandpa used to make ours, however there are quite a few tutorials and step-by-steps online of how to make your own if any of you would like to try. Happy sipping!