Published on September 26th, 2011 | by Tom Chu17
8+ Ways to Upcycle Wine Corks Creatively
There is a bit of a toll on the environment when it comes to wine. The bottles are dark glass and so are easily recycled. But the corks are another story. What are you supposed to do with those strange little tops?
How about upcycling them? There are plenty of ideas online.
Here are seven cool ways to creatively use corks instead of throwing them away.
This cool idea is one I actually tried myself, with great success. But I didn’t do it as shown in the picture. I created a small board, but I painted the corks first.
Once they had dried, I glued them to a piece of cardboard cut in rectangular shape of about 11-by-8 inches. I found some cute butterfly and flower scrapbook pieces at my local craft store and attached them in a border. Then, I used a plastic hook with an adhesive backing for the wall and attached some scrap ribbon in a knot to the back of the board with masking tape. This let me hang it up easily.
2. Christmas Wreath
(Kudos for the idea which I found here)
In the run-up to the holidays, there can be a lot of wine consumption. Christmas parties are commonplace, as well as small gatherings of friends and family. Plus, you had Thanksgiving just a month before.
That is why you can make some creative – not to mention attractive – Christmas wreaths that are sure to turn heads. I like the natural look of the one featured in the picture – it has that rustic touch that I have always enjoyed in my Christmas ornaments.
This one made me laugh. I have always had trouble keeping track of my flash drives, which I need for backing up my work. I have gone through several because I forget them in my pocket when I run them through the wash or just lost them. So, when I saw this, I also saw an opportunity.
I made my own holder by carefully removing the center. Then, I washed and dried the bottle it had come with. I now keep the flash drive “corked” in the bottle on my desk. I look like an alcoholic, but in a glamorous, “I am a struggling writer” kind of way. It works for me.
4. Serving Tray
I have to admit that this one is not especially functional. Corks alone are not very sturdy, so they would not work to serve anything.
Therefore, you would need a tray to attach them to or a drawer to glue them into. That seems to defeat the purpose. However, if you want a quirky design idea, that is one option.
5. Bath Mat
This is one a friend of mine did ages ago, and I have always thought it was brilliant. Corks are amazingly absorbent, and so they make wonderful bath mats. But you have to make sure you use hot glue instead of superglue, as other adhesives will wash away. It needs to be waterproof and seal the gaps between.
Here is another cool example. If you are worrying about getting enough corks to do this, you can always ask a local bar or restaurant to save the corks for you. They should have dozens within a single weekend shift.
This is the craziest idea I have seen. If you have the ability to get a whole mess of corks, such as from local restaurants, friends, family and the neighborhood drunk, you can make an armchair! What is so amazing about this is that it actually looks kind of comfortable.
7. Gardening Tools
There are plenty of possible ways to use wine corks in (indoor) gardening. For example, you can use them to build a flower pot.
You can put corks on the bottom of your flower or vegetable pots/boxes to help oxygenate and moisturize your soil for healthier plants. It works just as well, or better, than the mats you buy at the store. Try cutting them in half so they are shorter and the dirt rests more easily. You can also use wine corks as fun plant markers:
You can even turn a wine cork into a fun tiny flower pot of its own!
8. Wine Corks Bird House
This bird house looks so neat and I am sure birds will feel warm and safe their during the nastiest days of the year!
As you can see, there are plenty of things you can do with your wine corks. All it takes is a little forethought, and you will be on your way!
Editor’s note: Stoked by the idea of putting those wine corks to good use? Check out sister site Crafting a Green World’s list of crafty reuse ideas for them.