If you are like my wife and I, you have a substantial collection of wine corks that you are saving for something, but not really sure what. Heck, maybe someday you will learn that the price of corks has gone up 10 fold and your collection is now worth thousands of dollars; not. I don’t know what it is about them, but we cannot seem to throw them out and have been stockpiling them for quite some time. I guess the memories of summer nights sipping wine with friends or trying new and different wines inspire you, no, command you to keep the corks. In any case, the idea of keeping them was to eventually make something out of these little fellas (even though neither of us have had a clue as to what lol).
So lately I have done much research on the subject and have found out a few things: 1. there are many people out in the world that have been saving their wine corks as we have, 2. there are many people out there that are wondering also what the hell to do with them, and 3. there are so many sites and blogs that offer good ideas, but while helpful, many offer the same info over and over again, i.e. trivets will be on every site/blog you visit. In addition you may see some ideas that are just too impracticle such as gluing thousands to your truck (really!) or making a ridiculous chair out of them. Don’t worry, if you click the pictures below you will see what I am talking about. You have to really search long and hard to find all of the good ideas. After hours of research I have compiled the best information I found and have listed here for easy reference. Believe you me, within the next few months I will be making something with these darn things (and will post my creations)! I linked each picture shown to the original website so if you click on any of the pictures it should bring you to the web address where I found it, if not my apologies to the owner of said pic. Cheers to you for reading and enjoy…
2. Cork wall art
3. A cork table
4. Simply displaying your corks in a beautiful vase or basket.
5. A cork art display; I am picturing the initial of my last name in the center in lieu of Pop.
6. Use a slice of a cork and glue to the bottom of furniture or flower pots to keep from scratching a wood floor or deck. Or maybe to stabilize a wobbly chair/table leg??
7. A little bizarre, but how about as a beaded necklace or a bracelet?
8. How about a cork lamp.
9. A chalkboard made of cork – I really like this one…
10. Pour spouts – use a cork to control pouring of a bottle of olive oil. Just puncture a small hole all the way through and insert into bottle opening.
11. Create a cork bulletin board.
or try this one!
12. Pin holder – use a cork as a pin or thumb tack holder or better yet, a place to store your sewing pins.
13. Tie a string around and use to entertain your feline friend.
14. Create a cork lamp.
16. Fishing bobber – insert a fishing line through the center of your cork and presto.
17. Cork baseboard or a chair rail- I love this design. Hmmm, ideas, ideas.
18. Cork wreath!
19. Garden mulch – grind these bad boys up (not the synthetic ones) and put in your garden to retain moisture.
20. Cork bead curtain – put a string through many of corks and hang through the ceiling. Create many of these to create a hanging wall of cork beads.
21. Mulling spice bags – give as a decorative gift!
22. Collector frame – save the corks from your favorite wines and create a one-of-a kind picture frame with them.
23. Make some awesome cork stamps…
24. As soil – fill up a plant pot with corks and these will retain moisture better than rocks.
25. A bath mat.
26. Create some cool cork art…
27. Guess what? Trivets…
28. Knife sheath – They are great for your sharp knives. Glue the corks together in a vertical line and then slice one side of the corks for your knives to rest in.
29. Use to create a picture shelf or just a cool looking wall sculpture.
30. Christmas tree crafts.
32. How about making some people??
33. How about cork jewlery
34. My most favorite – wine glass charms. A great idea is to use the letter idea below to spell CABERNET with 8 glass or MERLOT with 6, etc.
35. Cork key chains
37. Cork magnets
38. To keep your pictures straight – cut a wine cork in 1/4″ slices. Glue on the back of the bottom right and left sides of picture frames to keep them balanced and straight.
39. Sow a seed – use a cork to create the holes in your garden soil to plant your seeds. To be more efficient, you can glue a bunch on a stick spaced apart as you wish. Then use this to create your seed holes.
40. Create an awesome chessboard
41. Use as bingo markers – cut into 1/4″ slices and use as bingo markers.
42. Make a topiary
43. Plate charges for a wedding
44. Start a fire – Wikihow.com suggests that you keep old corks in a sealed jar filled with alcohol. When you are ready to light a fire, place a cork or two underneath your kindling and newspaper and light them with a match.
45. Sign stands
46. Cork and key holder
As a final statement, if you cannot figure out a use from above or think up one on your own, there are some recycling plants available that you can send your corks to when you finally tame the necessity of keeping all of these corks and finally succumb to getting rid of them:
Yemm & Hart Ltd is one of the better known cork recyclers; accepting donations of cork by mail to make adhesive cork tiles for flooring or other household applications. And, if you can collect and send at least 10 pounds of pure cork, they’ll even pay you for it! What a great way to make a few extra dollars…the Wise Bread way.
Korks 4 Kids is another program that recycles corks into flooring and construction materials. All of their profits go to charity, and as a charity themselves, your cost of shipping the corks is tax deductible.
Terracycle, a company that recycles any number of items including yoghurt cups and energy bar wrappers, also has a cork program. If you collect 200 or more corks, they’ll pay for your shipping costs too. This is a great company to become involved with, because in some cases depending on what you are collecting, they’ll make a donation on your behalf (example: 2 cents per item) to a non-profit organization of your choice.
How about Ebay! I have seen people selling about 100 corks from between $10 and $15.
As a final thought, hopefully you are also not stockpiling the wine bottles along with the corks, but if you are or you want to save the next few of them, check this bad boy out (click on pic to go to website for the instructions):