If you’re like me and you enjoy the odd (or not so odd) bottle of wine at the end of a long workday, you probably end up with a lot of corks. Unless you’re drinking that cheap twist off stuff of course 😉 I hope you’re also like me and that you drop off your empty bottles of Bordeaux and Sancerre in the recycling bin. But what do you do with the corks? Did you know you can recycle them too?
Cork comes from trees and while it cannot actually be reused as a wine cork (something about bacterial concerns…), it can be recycled into lots of useful products from floors to shoes (how awesome are these Burberry Stour Suede Cork Wedge sandals? *want*). It can also be used in lots of DIY projects. Here are a few fun ones I found on Pinterest:
1) WINE CORK HERK MARKERS
Wine Cork Herb Markers from Tim Vidra on the blog AfterTaste.
Whip out some fun herbs markers for your planter or garden using Tim Vidra’s quick DIY guide. It seems pretty simple too, you basically just need some dowel rods, wine corks, a drill and a marker. Works for indoor planters or outdoor herb gardens too.
2) CORK TILE PLACEMAT
Creme de la Craft made a cute placement using her extra corks. Seems pretty simple too!
3) CABINET DOOR KNOBS
Do you really love wine? Let your house show that! Use champagne or wine cork stoppers as cabinet knobs.
Photo: Tria Giovan for Southern Living
4) CORK BACKSPLASH
If you are a more ambitious homemaker, and you have a *lot* of corks to use, try a cork backsplash!
Cork Backsplash from Houzz Cool House Tour by CG&S Design-Build
5) CORK BATHMAT
Cork is naturally waterproof so why not turn them into a bathmat? Craftynest shows you all the steps.
Spread some holiday spirit with a DIY wine cork Christmas wreath. WineFolly has a version that seems a little bit easier to make here. PS: I could totally see my DIY-wreath-genius-friend Bianca do this with her corks!
Also, you can easily make a non-Christmas wreath to keep on your door year-round:
7) WINE CORK JOURNALING
I think personally I will settle for something a little less ambitious…like keeping corks as mementos. Write down when you had that bottle of wine or have the person you enjoyed it with sign it for prosperity.
These would actually make a cute alternative to a guest book for a wedding too, with corks from bottles the bride and groom have enjoyed throughout their travels or lives together 😉
8) WEDDING (OR DINNER PARTY) PLACE CARDS
Speaking of weddings… I had a really hard time committing to a theme for my own wedding. One of them was champagne. Yes, one of *them.* I had a couple… and I got married WAY before Pinterest came to life… I can’t imagine what kind of pressure the site puts on ADD brides like I was 😉 We used large “silver” champagne buckets as vases for our purple roses and dark blue berries centerpieces as well as mini champagne buckets with candle votives on the tables. We didn’t manage to drink enough champagne to have individual champagne place setting cards for each of our 98 guests (though we tried very hard….) So we named each of the table after a French champagne house and made our own Champagne cork wedding place cards.
Details from my August 11, 2006 wedding at DAR in Washington, D.C.
I hope the one take-away from this post is that you shouldn’t toss you corks in the trash can. Hold on to them. You, or someone you know might put them to good use. And of course, the last option is to recycle your corks! But that’s not as much fun now is it? [For more information on recycling your corks in DC, check out this related post.)