Once the cork is out of the wine bottle, it's easy to just throw it away. However, they can be used for a myriad of things, craft projects in particular. This is a guide about craft uses for corks.
Here is a self portrait I made of myself out of wine corks. It took me 4 years to complete. The smaller the image or the further back you are, the easier it is to see.
I made this collection of bracelets with slices of wine corks, garden twine, beads from my craft box, scrap findings and fine gauge copper wire. The only thing I had to buy in was the crimp beads, which are not expensive and save much time and fiddling around trying to tie little knots.
I was really pleased with the results and have already had great feedback and even some orders! I think this is a great craft for adults and teens to try.
Approximate Time: 1-2 hours for the three bracelets
Once you have all the supplies together, you will quickly come up with your own designs. Basically for the bronze charm bracelet, I threaded up large seed beads onto stretch beading thread them made the charms or, like the butterfly one, just used bits from my bead box.
The technique for embellishing the cork beads is to heat up the point of the needle then use it to pierce holes in the cork slices. You can then thread wire, beads, string through the holes. Crimp beads are used to secure the hanging loops and beading thread to the fasteners.
For the string bracelet (which is really just a variation on the friendship bracelet idea but much faster to make!) I just cut a long piece of string and threaded on larger glass beads and cork slices. For a more chunky feel, I used knots to secure everything and made a loop and bead catch.
I think the best thing about these designs is that they can be as simple or complex as the person making them can manage! (oh yes, and they are also very frugal too)
By Ayesha from Slovenia EU
I crafted these earrings and a charm from slices of wine corks and scraps from the bottom of my bead box. I think they are pretty good value for around 20 cents per pair!
Approximate Time: 15-30 minutes
These were quick, fun and very cheap to make.
By Ayesha from Sovenia, EU
Rubber wine corks make excellent erasers. Just cut one down the center and you have two useful erasers.
By Wiletta from England
A frugal, floating keyring made from wine corks and scrap is a great Christmas gift for any boat enthusiast or fisherman.
This simple leprechaun can be a cute addition to your table, place setting or in a centerpiece, or hide a few around the house and have the kids try to find him to claim a 'pot o gold'.
What do I do with wine bottles and corks, aside from the typical flower vase and trivet?
If you have a lot of wine bottles, perhaps you can give them to someone who makes homemade wine.
Here is Saskatchewan, we can return them to the depot for a deposit, just like pop and beer bottles. Perhaps you should lobby your local/state government to bring in a bottle deposit to encourage recycling. There are only so many crafts one can use bottles for, although I have seen people make fancy fences and walls out of them, cementing them in like bricks.
You can make Christmas ornaments out of corks, angels and reindeer. If you have a lot of corks, you could donate them to a school or day care or Sunday school for crafts.
What can be made with wine bottle corks?
By D. Archuleta
Just realized the photo example I inserted yesterday to show you what they look like didn't post so here it is:
Making a cork wreath is fun and uses up all those wine corks you and your friends have. I used a large wreath with greenery on it, hot glued over 300 corks and wine labels (shaped into rolls) to it. Put them close together for a really great look. You can get the corks/labels from your friends. They sort of want to get in on the fun, so share both willingly. Used this for hanging at pool side. Even in weather, it has lasted for almost ten years. Unique, cheap and fun. It is also pretty! Use any size/shape corks. PS: I actually received enough corks to do three wreaths. That's a lot of wine consumed to help with my project. LOL
By Misty from Hermanville, MS
What can I do with wine corks?
When I was a child we used to burn the end of a wine cork to make a black tip and use it to give ourselves moustaches and beards for fancy-dress parties.
I'm saving wine corks to make a bulletin board. Some of the ones that have been given to me are obviously cork and some of them look more like rubber. Does anyone know what these are made of? Are they processed cork, rubber, or plastic?
According to the site referenced below, Cork is basically a material that is a "prime-subset of bark tissue....from The Cork Oak" tree (also known as Quercus Suber)
(Interesting fact: "Once the trees are about 25 years old the cork is stripped from the trunks every ten years. The trees live for about 200 years. The first two harvests produce poorer quality cork.")
"As late as the mid-17th century, French vintners did not use cork stoppers, using oil-soaked rags stuffed into the necks of bottles instead.
Wine corks can be made of either a single piece of cork, or composed of particles, as in champagne corks; corks made of granular particles are called "technical corks".
Natural cork closures are used for about 80% of the 20 billion bottles of wine produced each year. After a decline in use as wine-stoppers due to the increase in the use of cheaper synthetic alternatives, cork wine-stoppers are making a comeback and currently represent approximately 60% of wine-stoppers today."
However, as far as synthetic corks are concerned, "Synthetic corks are made from plastic compounds designed to look and "pop" like natural cork, but without the risk of TCA contamination".
"Screw caps or "Stelvin caps" are closures made only from aluminium material that threads onto the bottleneck. They are the predominant closure used by New Zealand wineries."
" Vino-Seal, or Vino-Lok, is a plastic/glass closure released by Alcoa. Since its introduction into the European market in 2003, over 300 wineries have utilized Vino-Seal. Using a glass stopper with an inert o-ring, the Vino-Seal creates a hermetic seal that prevents oxidation and TCA contamination. A disadvantage with the Vino-Seal is the relatively high cost of each plug (70 cents each) and cost of manual bottling due to the lack of compatible bottling equipment outside of Europe."
Find out more information and where I got the above paragraph below!
I am interested in making wine cork crafts, either a wreath or trivet. I am looking for anything fairly simple and not too cutesy. Thanks.
By Pam from Oklahoma City, OK
Ever wondered what to do with all those wine corks that you have been saving for some reason? Well here is the answer to that problem: make a recycled cork-board.
Can wine corks be used for outdoor projects? Could you make an outdoor bar with wine corks? Will mold be an issue? Basically, are wine corks weatherproof and usable in outdoor settings.
Cork Fanatic from New Jersey
Because corks are porous, they can be a mold issue. Just make sure the water isn't standing on the corks for too long, or you could put a coat or two of polyrathane (the stuff found by the paints and stains at your local Home Depot of Lowes) on it. That will waterseal it and be completely clear. GOOD IDEA!