Just spare a moment to think about the fate of the humble wine cork.
You buy a bottle of wine and put it in storage. For weeks, months, or even years, the cork stands resolutely in place. It guards your wine from all of the contaminants that could ruin its quality.
Finally, the big day comes.
You take out the bottle and you ease the cork out. That familiar pop tells you that you’re about to enjoy a gorgeous glass of Italian wine. And the cork can rest easy knowing that it’s done its job.
…Then you throw it in the bin.
How could you!
…Okay, so that may be a little bit dramatic. But the point we’re making is that there’s a lot more life left in your old wine bottle corks than you may think. They certainly deserve a better fate than the bin, especially when there are so many ways that you can recycle them into useful and unique household knick-knacks.
That’s what this article is all about. We’re going to look at a few clever ideas that you can use to make the most out of your wine corks.
Idea #1 – Little Jewellery Holders
How many times have you open up your little jewellery draw only to find all of your necklaces and bracelets have tangled together. What should have been a quick job of picking a piece and putting it on suddenly becomes a big task. And we don’t even want to think about the damage that you might cause if you pull the wrong thing a little bit too hard.
That’s where corks can help. Nail a few into a piece of wood and you have a set of little jewellery hooks. And of course, you avoid all of the metal sharpness that makes actual hooks unsuitable for the task.
Idea #2 – Create Stamps
Kids are always looking for new ways to make a mess. And the great thing about cork is that it’s a soft material that you can manipulate pretty easily. Plus, it’s absorbent!
That means it’s ideal for creating little stamps.
You can even make a game of cutting out the cork to create designs that your kids will love. After that, it’s just a case of dipping the cork in pain and pressing it against the paper.
Just make sure you keep an eye on the kids while they play. We don’t want anybody blaming us for dozens of stamps that look a little too similar to corks suddenly appearing on the walls!
Idea #3 – Wall Art
Let’s be honest…you get through more than a few corks during the course of the year. If you collected them all, you may just find that you have plenty available to create a bit of wall art.
It’s really simple to do this. Just get a bit of card and start gluing corks onto it. Use the corks to create an attractive shape, such as a love heart, and then fit the card into a frame.
You have a unique piece of wall art that has an interesting 3D effect to boot. You can even spruce things up by adding a few splashes of paint into the mix.
Idea #4 – Pencil Holders
Okay, so an Italian wine cork isn’t the biggest of things. However, there’s just enough there for you to hollow the cork out so that you can slot a pencil or two inside it.
And the best part is that the flat end of the cork enables it to stand up on its own accord.
This makes corks a great little desk decoration that can actually serve a useful function. You may even want to glue a few together to make an even better pencil holder.
Idea #5 – Steadying the Wobbly Furniture
There’s always that one piece of furniture in the house.
Maybe it’s the table with the slightly wonky leg. Or it’s the chair that always seems to be on the brink of tottering over whenever you sit on it. Instead of getting rid of the offending piece, you work around it and try to avoid doing anything to attract the dreaded wobble.
Thanks to your corks, you don’t have to deal with that problem anymore.
All you need to do is slice off a thick enough sliver to fill the gap between wonky leg and floor. Glue it in place and you now have a stable piece of furniture.
Idea #6 – Cork Coasters
You’re going to bust out the glue again here. But you’re also going to need a knife so that you can slice through your cork.
This is a really simple idea. Just grab a few corks and slice them in half vertically. Glue them together with the newly flat sides on the bottom and you have the perfect coaster for your glass of Italian wine.
Idea #7 – The Cork Bathmat
Now, this one is a little more ambitious when it comes to size. But you’re really following the same technique as you do for creating your cork coaters. All you really need is more corks and a little more patience.
There’s actually a practical reason for using cork for a bathmat. It’s extremely absorbent stuff, which means it’ll mop up any stray water in not time. Plus, you may find yourself feeling a little surprised about just how good it feels when it’s underfoot.
Idea #8 – Fridge Magnets
Another really simple one here. Just buy a strip of magnets, which you should be able to find online, and slice the cork in half. Stick the magnet to the flat end and you have yourself a fridge magnet.
Of course, we always recommend trying to preserve any names or logos to give your cork magnet that added bit of appeal.
The Final Word
Those are eight ideas for recycling those trusty and hardworking Italian wine corks. And if you’re particularly crafty, we’re sure that you can come up with a few more of your own!
Now, you just need to get your hands on some corks. You’ll find plenty on offer in our bottles of Italian wine!