If you are a living, breathing human over the age of 18 in the year 2020, chances are you have used empty wine, liquor, or beer bottles as decorations in at least one dorm, apartment, or house. No paint, frills, or bells: just the bottle that seemed too sentimental at the time to throw away -- ahem, we’re sure it has nothing to do with having consumed the bottle’s entire contents. A dusty catalog of all of the alcohol you’ve consumed over the years seems like a pretty weird addition to the top of a kitchen cabinet or unused mantle, but there they sit in the homes of almost every person under 45 I know (including myself).
If you’ve since tossed your stash of bottles, corks, and beer caps in a loud, clanging farewell and moved on to more “sophisticated” decor, we commend you! Let us know how adulthood feels. But if you still have some spare bottles on the cabinets or corks rattling around in the junk drawer, consider bridging the gap between hoodlum and homemaker with these easy DIY crafts made from old wine corks.
From furniture to gifts to wall decor to kitchenware, wine corks can finally live on past that rosé and Netflix night so many moons ago.
Using an old window frame and that dusty collection of corks sitting in your drawer, you can make a durable and unique coffee table topper that will extend the life of your furniture and provide a splash of bohemian texture to your living room. If you’re more into champagne and have a growing collection of bulbous corks, try making a funky rounded table topper with this Youtube tutorial by Guidecentral.
For the hostess with the mostess: a cork hot dish trivet. After countless dinner and wine parties, join those two worlds together by creating a unique and insulated serving platter for the next get-together. The trivets can be tightly arranged or linked together in a loose lattice. Think of it as the best kind of circle of life: the more dinner parties with wine you host, the more trivets you can make, the more food you can serve, the more dinner parties with wine you can host…
Speaking of circles of life, can we all take a moment to appreciate the irony of making a bathmat out of the things that often led to many a-night laying on the bathmat, worshipping the porcelain god? Ah, growing up. Take those old corks and create a boho-chic bathmat to complete the rustic farmhouse bathroom of your dreams.
Not all utensils and utensil holders are made equally, but by creating your very own out of old wine corks, you can ensure that all of your go-to kitchen tools can be in the same place within arm’s reach. These handy-dandy cork utensil holders also make amazing gifts -- and they’re easy enough to make while enjoying a nice glass of red!
If wine brunches (or lunches or dinners) are a normal thing in your household, consider putting those corks to good use by creating cork glass markers before your next Chardonnay shindig. A subtle -- but definitely appreciated -- addition to any get-together where wine glasses overfloweth.
Perfect for the home office, the kitchen, or the laundry room, these easy-to-make cork pinboards help your life stay organized and on-track way better than they did when they were being pulled out of that bottle of White Zin. Keep it small and square for a perfect Post-it display, or experiment with abstract shapes for a bold way to keep up with day-to-day going-ons.
Protect your furniture and add a splash of unique texture and color to your tabletops with these cheap, easy-to-make cork coasters. By the time you can say “I finished my bottle of wine!” you’ll have a set for yourself, your siblings, and your parents.
If you’ve recently started collecting permanent roommates in the form of spider plants, ferns, and succulents, tailor-made vases are a rustic, bohemian, and easy way to display your flora friends without searching high and low for a container big or small enough for each one. If you’re gifting a bouquet or new plant to someone else, making your own cork vase is an excellent way to add an additional personal touch that they’ll be able to use long after the flowers have died (and once they do, point them to this how-to for how to dry and utilize your dead flowers).
Cold, rainy weather is just around the corner, and with that comes wet boots piled by the front door in a cold, muddy mess. Save your socks from being welcomed home by an ice-cold puddle with this convenient boot tray placed by the front door. Your wine cork collection will finally have a permanent home, and your floor can stay dry and toasty.
A much cozier aspect of cold weather returning is the resurgence of bonfires and toasty nights in front of the fireplace. By placing leftover corks in a mason jar and soaking with rubbing alcohol for a few weeks, you can create a handy container of fire starters to get your fire pit or fireplace roaring in no time. And of course, be careful when handling the corks once lit! The alcohol-soaked corks should always be handled with a fireproof set of tongs and placed carefully into the center of the fire -- never handled by hand or thrown after lit.
Improperly storing your necklaces, bracelets, and chokers can result in tightly tangled knots of chain that require an eye magnifying glass a la that old guy from Toy Story to actually undo. Skip the hassle of unlocking the puzzle that is a tangled necklace chain and store your jewelry on this easy-to-make wine cork necklace rack. Not only do your chains stay tangle-free and ready-to-wear, but they also double as an eye-catching wall decoration while they’re waiting to be worn.
Backsplashes are the unsung heroes of the modern kitchen, protecting the wall behind the sink from, well, splashes, food stains, and other messy mishaps. Tucked away behind faucets and dish soap bottles, it can often be overlooked -- but the right backsplash can tie an entire kitchen together, and if you’re a wine-lover, this rustic wine cork backsplash is the perfect way to do it.
Things are cuter when they’re tinier. We didn’t make the rules, we just play by them, and that is a fact of life. If you’re a crazy plant lady (or are looking for a gift for someone who is), consider making these ultra-tiny, absolutely precious magnetic succulent planters out of a single wine cork. Forget magnetic souvenirs from dime-a-dozen gift shops. Preserve your memories of travel and special occasions by repurposing the corks you collected on the way to house a baby succulent.
There’s no doubt that wine bottles often accompany momentous occasions in our lives: weddings, anniversaries, job promotions, birthdays, the list goes on and on. The memories of those celebratory glasses of wine are hardly remembered with the corks sitting in a drawer collecting dust. So brush off those bad boys and make a memory shadowbox, forever preserving the most special moments in your life in a unique and creative way.
For just a brief, simple moment in my life, my biggest dilemma was figuring out how to convince my parents to let me get a plastic beaded curtain from dELIA’s for my own room. I considered these curtains to be the epitome of cool, the literal peak of interior decorating style. Now, I look at them and laugh about how long it would take my cats to absolutely destroy it. However, if you don’t share a house with creatures that will hunt anything and everything that wiggles in the wind, these wine cork curtains are an eccentric addition to your home with loads of potential for customization so you can create your 100% one-of-a-kind, even-better-than-dELIA’s curtains.