Julia Child once said, “I enjoy cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food…” In this and many other things, I follow Julia’s lead unquestioningly. This means that I have amassed quite a collection of wine corks. The interwebs are filled with ideas of how to re-purpose them, but I recently came up with two unique projects I hadn’t seen anywhere else. One is a craft, one is more of a new use for an old thing. I know I am channeling my mother when I intone, “Never throw away a thing if it’s still got some use in it!” And remember, if worse comes to worse, you can always compost the corks – just make sure they are actually cork, not the plastic kind!
Now this is nothing new, but the design of this project is – and, it looks really cool hanging on the wall when you’re not using it! I’ve had several houseguests comment on what a good idea it is. Cork is a great material for trivets – it absorbs the heat perfectly.
What you need
- 41 wine corks (preferably 16 from red wine bottles, so their bottoms are a lovely maroon)
- 1 champagne cork
- glue of your choice – I used Elmer’s wood glue
1. Arrange the corks in whatever pattern you like; I made mine look like it was a bottle of red wine, so this is the pattern I used.
R = red wine cork
O= white wine cork
C = champagne cork
2. I found it easiest to glue them together in cubes of 4 corks each, then glue the cubes together. Rubber bands can hold the corks together while the glue dries.
3. Once the body of the “wine bottle” is glued together, add a champagne cork to the top, and you’re done! Hang on the wall when you’re not using.
And no, I do not have a problem with the glue melting when I put a hot pot on the trivet. I thought that might be an issue, but happy to report that’s not so.
On a recent trip home to visit family, I dug up some of my grandmother’s succulents, which for as long as I can remember have grown in an old tire off her front porch. I wanted to replant them in an old vase I had, but the vase was quite deep, and filling it all up with soil seemed silly, when the succulents roots are so shallow. Then the idea came to me to use wine corks in the bottom of the vase – not only would they decrease the amount of soil I needed, but they would also help with drainage. AND they’re biodegradable. Win-win! Simply line the bottom of the container in corks, packing them in as tightly as you can. Top with soil, nestle in your plants, and you’re done.
I have a few more wine cork projects on my list: drawer pulls, this wreath or this wreath, and maybe someday, if I amass a really impressive collection, a backsplash for my kitchen! What are YOUR favorite ways to upcycle wine corks?