With my business focusing on recycled materials, my home has become a veritable recycling center. I’ve learned to let things go, but my wise hubby knows to always check the value of an item with me before he relegates it to the recycling bin or trash. I give everything a serious once over before I let it go, but I’m also trying to create balance; last thing I want to be is featured in an episode of Hoarders…ick.
One of the things I’ve been saving for the past 6 months or so have been wine corks. I’m not a boozer by any means, but I certainly enjoy wine now and then and have collected a small assortment. My mother has been collecting them for me where she and the fellow imbibers in her peppy senior community drink lots, I mean LOTS of wine daily. Score. Problem is, I know they’re useful but I haven’t quite figured out what exactly to do with them, so I set out to do some research and here are my top 10 favorite uses:
- Use as placeholders – using an exacto knife/razor, cut a slit in the top of the cork and insert placecard for special events (i.e. Thanksgiving dinners, formal parties, weddings, etc.); you can also etch deeper and wider (on the long side of the cork) and use it to hold business cards
- Hold sharp objects – I’ve read that many people will use a cork to top off an especially sharp tool/knife/lone razor blade; you can also use one to stick earrings into
- Help to balance out furniture – you know when you find one leg of a table or chair that seems like a quarter inch off? Slice off a piece of cork according to size, glue to the bottom of the leg and consider it fixed
- Make a corkboard – you can glue corks standing up or lying down to a piece of wood or within a wooden frame to make an authentic and stylish corkboard
- Prevent scratches – slice pieces of cork and glue to the bottom of coasters, furniture, flowerpots, chairs to prevent scratches to the floors or tabletops; you can also take a small piece of tile and glue cork pieces to the bottom to create a tile trivet
- Make a trivet – in addition to the tile trivet idea listed above, you can also make a cork-specific trivet – either standing up or lying down by gluing (with hot glue gun) pieces together; or you can slice pieces and sew together in neat patterns like this creative crafter did:
- Helping things float – you can attach a cork to boat keys to help them float in case they go overboard or tie to a bag of mulling spices or bag of tea that you need to soak in a pan of water but don’t want to fully submerge
- Make a VERY cool bath mat – just look at this!
- Add flair to your gift wrap – keep your gift wrap natural with kraft paper, twine and a piece of cork added on top (with vines, ivy, greenery as embellisment)
- Carve to make your own stamps – this requires a steady hand for sure, but for simple shapes and with a very sharp knife, this can be done
I’ve read that you can also make a decorative bottle stopper when attached to crystal door knobs or other funky tops, make cool coffee table tops, etc. How you utilize your leftover wine corks is really up to your imagination.
Another Etsy seller who recently added my grape envelopes to her “treasury” – a member generated gallery of a small amount of items set around a certain theme – inspired this post. Her shop is called Corky Crafts and that’s precisely what she works with, and beautifully so. Please check out her gorgeous wreaths at her site: http://www.corkycrafts.etsy.com
As always, reduce, reuse then recycle!