Do you keep your used wine bottle corks? Did you know they can be recycled? But what if you keep them for sentimental value? Or you’ve been saving them for a good DIY project?

Good news: You can reuse your wine corks and get new life out of them. In this article, we look at four DIY projects that give new life to your old wine corks.

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1. Make a Trivet

Trivets protect your table from hot bowls or pots — a necessity for any cook. You can make a trivet from used wine corks for a unique look. We got instructions from Rachel at Lines Across, who uses an embroidery hoop frame for her wine cork trivets.

wine cork trivet
Image: Rachel, Lines Across

What you need:

Basic steps:

  1. Arrange the corks inside the embroidery hoop so they fit snugly.
  2. Tighten the hoop.
  3. Glue a felt base on the bottom so it doesn’t slide.
  4. You could even paint or cover the hoop if you want to spice it up a bit.

2. Wine Charms

Wine glass charms come in handy at dinner and cocktail parties, helping guests keep track of their glasses. It’s the elegant alternative to taking a marker to a red Solo cup! We got the idea for these cork wine charms from Camilla Fabbri at Family Chic.

cork wine glass charms
Image: Camilla Fabbri, Family Chic

What you need:

Basic steps:

  1. Steam the corks on the stove for about 10 minutes. This helps soften them so they don’t crack when you cut them.
  2. With a sharp knife, cut the cork in 1/2-inch discs.
  3. After the cork has dried, use rubber stamps to mark each charm. Be sure to use a different stamp on each charm. You could use letters of the alphabet. Or different animals. Get creative!
  4. Screw a small eye screw into the side of the charm.
  5. Put twine, ribbon, or other material through the hole to tie the charm to the glass.

3. Garden Markers

Use corks as a cute, and durable, way to mark your garden herbs, veggies, and fruits! Lisa provides the instructions for these easy garden markers at Shine Your Light.

cork garden markers
Image: Lisa, Shine Your Light

What you need:

Basic steps:

  1. Put a skewer through one end of the cork.
  2. Write the fruit or veggie name on the side of the cork with a permanent marker.
  3. Stick the skewer into the soil next to each plant you want to mark!

4. Tiny Planters

This unique project can turn your refrigerator into a mini vertical garden. You can create little cork planters and attach magnets to them for your fridge. Get the complete instructions for these cute miniature cork planters from Linda at It All Started With Paint.

wine cork magnet miniature planters
Image: Linda, It All Started With Paint

What you need:

Basic steps:

  1. Carve out the center of the corks with a sharp knife. Stop carving about three-quarters of the way down.
  2. Hot glue the magnet to the cork. Note: Depending on the strength of the magnet, you may need more than one.
  3. Push soil into the hole you created. Put a stem of the succulent into the soil and pack with soil.

If you’re not interested in reusing your old corks, don’t throw them away! Use Earth911’s Recycling Search to find a recycling solution near you.

Do you have a favorite project for reusing wine corks?

Editor’s note: Originally published on August 13, 2015, this article was updated in February 2019.


By Luria Petrucci

Luria hosts both Earth911TV and GeeksLife. You can find her at the intersections of fun, green living, technology and the geeky lifestyle. She enjoys learning alongside you on how to make life better, easier, greener and more efficient!