10 Wine Cork Crafts for Cute Ways to Recycle and Reduce Waste

We celebrated the winter holidays not long ago and you probably enjoyed a few bottles of wine and bubbly with your family and friends. But where did the wine corks end up? Hopefully, you didn’t just throw them away, seeing the many wine cork crafts available for you to try.

Apparently, estimates show that around 13 billion natural cork wine closures are sold into the world market annually. At present, a great majority of these corks end up in landfills, which is a massive waste of a resource. Cork is a material that’s renewable, biodegradable, somewhat sustainable, energy efficient and 100% natural.

Wine Cork Crafts

Even though many see cork as relatively common, it’s actually quite an interesting material. It is totally buoyant and basically indestructible, and it contains fire retardant properties. Cork comes from the bark of a tree – 80% of the world’s supply of cork originates in Portugal and Spain. Their favorable climates allow these trees to grow and flourish.

The amazing features of cork make it the ultimate material for bottle stoppers. Unsurprisingly, wine corks account for about 60 percent of the global cork production. So after they are done sealing a bottle of wine, what else can you do with a cork stopper? Wine lovers are often faced with the dilemma, but they still end up throwing out the cork.

But there are so much better things you could do with your old corks! In addition to sending them off to a recycling center (see how at the bottom of the article), you can also use them to get crafty. Below you’ll find 10 simple DIY projects that will help you turn your wine corks into amazing crafts. Pop the bottle and save the cork!

1. Chic Storage Design

Are you looking to redesign an old, tattered trunk? Simply paint it white and add a handcrafted top layer made of rows of corks. The result is a unique and cool-looking distressed coffee table. You will never need another coaster and you will stop worrying about smudge marks. The corks can handle just about anything you throw their way. You’ll need a hot glue gun, plenty of corks and an old tray (or an old window) to serve as your new tabletop.

See: Full tutorial

2. Upcycled Cork Placemat

If you’re a cork collector and you’re looking for something to do with all of those old wine corks, this DIY project is for you. You’ll need a utility knife, about 50 corks, and a hot glue gun to turn your discarded corks into this quirky placemat. If you don’t have that many corks in your collection, simply ask a local restaurant or a wine shop. Tip: Use several red wine corks to add some beautiful shades of red to your unique placemat.

See: Full tutorial

3. Upcycled Cork Pendants

Cool to wear and easy to make! To design these cute pendants, cut wine corks into slices at desired widths using a knife. Make sure you sand the cork slices to obtain that nice, flat surface. Ink or paint the flat surfaces however you like and allow them to dry fully. You can also stamp an image onto the front of the slice. Don’t worry if the image is larger than the cork you’re using; simply stamp partial images. Allow the cork pendants to dry fully before stamping over pattern. Done! Wear them whenever you feel particularly quirky.

See: Full tutorial

4. Cork Vase

This DIY craft is ideal whenever you want to redesign an old glass vase. If you don’t have any vase lying around, you can buy any cube or rectangular shaped glass vessel. Use a hot glue gun to glue the corks on one side of the vase. Make sure you add just a good dab of glue to the back side of the cork, because too much of the stuff will ooze out. Let one side of the vase to dry out completely before moving on to the next side. Use the thicker corks to cover the sides.

See: Full tutorial

5. Tradition Keeper

Wine corks can help you remember special and sometimes not-so-special occasions. Savor your favorite memories by writing the date and event on corks. Keep them all on display in a tall glass vase for a cute keepsake. Place the recipient on a bookshelf or on the kitchen counter. What a crafty way to count your blessings! You can use both new and old corks, depending on what you have in your collection.

See: Full tutorial

6. Place Settings

Why use boring place settings for the wedding when you can make good use of your cork collection? They make cute place card holders for dinner parties as well. All you have to do is cut the corks lengthways – but not all the way through. Then slot a card into the resulting gap and you’re done!

7. Cork Board

This artsy bulletin board can definitely add some charm to your entryway or kitchen. Wondering how to pull off this chic combination chalk and cork board together? It’s more of a complex project, if you’re making your own frame to suit your wall. Either way, you can check the tutorial to see if you’ve got the skills and the required items to create this type of wine cork crafts.

See: Full tutorial

8. State-Shaped Wall Art

For all of those who want to express their patriotic feelings into something more tangible, here’s a cool DIY idea. Easily recreate this project for any state, country or shape you like. Your creativity is the only limit here. You will be required to make your state template, use a hot glue gun and paint away in your favorite color. If you think you can handle all of this, what are you waiting for? Get your DIY on!

See: Full tutorial

9. Eco-friendly Bath Mat

Inspired by a bamboo bath mat, this lovely cork mat may be exactly what a tiny bathroom needs. An equally eco-friendly version, this mat uses non-adhesive shelf liner with a grip bottom, so you don’t have to worry it won’t stay in place. Arm yourself with a lot of patience (and the required tools) and get ready to step out of the shower and onto this comfortable cork surface.

See: Full tutorial

10. Tiny Wine Cork Succulents

These super sweet cork planters are not just easy to make, but they’re also some awesome fridge magnets. Why not make more and offer them as gifts to your plant lover friends? We think they also work great for your wine drinking partner. They’re easy to make and only require wine corks, some soil, magnets, and some very cute succulent clippings.

See: Full tutorial

Recycling Time

If you’re not quite interested in collecting corks until kingdom come (some of these ideas require up to 350 corks), you can simply drop yours off at a ReCork recycling location. Even good ol’ Whole Foods can help you: simply use one of their cork drop-off locations.

Worried about sulfites in wine? Check out our recent article in which we debunk some of the myths on the subject.

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William E. Eubanks

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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