Wine Corks Upcycling

I’ve been thinking about all of these upcycling projects I’ve been doing lately and realized something: I sure upcycle a lot of wine corks.

It’s not that I’m a heavy drinker or anything, but I think it’s one of those items we all have stashed in a drawer or bowl somewhere that we’re not quite sure what to do with it.     It’s like the broken computer in the closet; you can’t just throw it away and nobody wants to take a busted PC, so it sits there, lurking.

Anyway, here are some wine corks upcycling projects including a peek at one from the forthcoming Upcycling book.  

First up: wine cork trivets.   Just buy a hose clamp at the hardware store, fill with wine corks, tighten with screwdriver.  That’s it.

How about just slicing into the top of a champagne cork and slipping in a paint chip?  Then write whatever you want on the paint chip, like ID’ing items on a buffet, placemarkers or table assignments for a wedding.

Or, fill a shadwbox with hundreds of corks upright and use it as a bath mat.   Yes, folks…it really, truly works.

Here’s a tip: If you need hundreds of corks, don’t go on a Betty Ford-worthy binge: instead, ask a local restaurant or bar to save them for you.  They collect SO MANY corks on a busy weekend that you’ll have plenty in no time.

What are your ideas for upcycling wine corks?


  1. Hannah says:

    1. when potting a plant, put some at the bottom of the pot to aerate and help drain water. 2. carve little stamps, something simple like monograms or little hearts. i think the cork texture will be very homey. 3. paint and string corks in long strands and hang strands from a doorway, think 60′s hippie bead screens. 4. top a cork with a wooden dowel ball to make a head and paint white, add a face and wings for christmas angel ornaments or paint a pair for a wedding cake topper for the bride and groom. 5. trace a large monogram letter in a modern sans serif or a beautiful script font on to heavy chipboard, glue corks on top to pave the letter and mount on a wall (using 3M removable velcro strips haha) for custom wall art. so much to do with corks!

  2. Nancy says:

    Did anyone see the Re-nest post on using wine corks for cabinet knobs? Though I thought that champagne corks would make better knobs than plain corks.

  3. Lee says:

    Great ideas. My brother has made cork bulletin boards for years, to give as gifts, all sizes. I told him I can’t keep supplying the corks by myself, I have to work sometimes, too! These ideas are great, really like the “bath mat”, and I’ll remember about the plants, perfect!

  4. MARY says:

    I love the bathmat idea and had seen the trivet idea before but still need to make those, how easy!! I have been saving corks for years and have made some combo-cork-magnet-chalk boards. You can clue small magnets to the ends of corks too for easy and attractive magnets! I recently made a cork wreath that is going to be my interchangeable year-round wreath. I just add different ribbon and small accessories for each season!

  5. Renate says:

    In Charlottesville, VA we have Re-Cork Charlottesville a wine cork recycling effort started by a local flooring store. They have drop boxes set up in 6 counties to recycle and reduce the local carbon footprint.

  6. Cindy says:

    I drill holes lengthwise in my corks, use red wooden beeds as spacers and string Christmas garland. My tree garland is memory line of good meals and good times with friends. I’m made a number of these as gifts.

  7. Jim says:

    I really like this idea! You are so creative!

  8. Yoonji says:

    (I don’t know if this is a superfluous comment but) Beautiful :)

  9. [...] Seo shares his ideas for reusing his saved [...]

  10. MFTA says:

    Agree with everyone’s comments. Very creative and pretty :) I posted it on the MFTA blog- your ideas are great, I’ll look forward to your other posts