Sarah on August 7, 2014 4 Comments Got a free afternoon and a bevy of wine corks, or got a free half hour and only a handful of corks? Here’s 5 charming cork projects that range from quick and easy to a bit more tedious but are all completely functional pieces when finished. 1. How to Make Magnets from Recycled Corks Have you been eager to do a unique cork project but can’t seem to remember to keep your corks? This is the perfect craft for you. All you need is a few corks, and if you happen to have a heap, you’ll have enough to gift as well. For as many corks as you use, you’ll have twice as many magnets when you finish. Here’s what you’ll need: Corks (real, not synthetic) A Sharp Knife Scissors Glue gun (or other strong adhesive) Magnet strips Here’s what you’ll do: Heat the glue gun. Using the sharp knife cut the corks in half lengthwise. If using a spool of magnets, use the scissors to cut the magnet to the length of the cork. Place adhesive to the non-magnetic side of the magnet. Attach to the flat side of the cork. Repeat for each cork half. That’s it! You’ll bring a one-of-a-kind flair to your refrigerator in no time at all. 2. How to Make Thumbtacks from Recycled Corks Another fun and functional cork project you can do with just a few corks is making thumbtacks. One cork makes 3 – 4 thumbtacks, so if you’ve got 4 corks, you’ll have at least 12 unique tacks once you’re done. Here’s what you’ll need: Corks (real, not synthetic) A sharp knife Glue gun (or other strong adhesive) Flat headed thumbtacks Here’s what you’ll do: Heat the glue gun. Using the sharp knife, cut the corks into small circles width-wise. A quarter of an inch to half of an inch is a good size, but no need to get too technical. Whatever width looks right to you. Place adhesive to the flat end of the thumbtack. Attach the cork piece to the thumbtack where you’ve placed the adhesive. Repeat for however many thumbtacks you’d like to make. Easy peasy, right? These are an instant update to your bland office or a charming addition to your cork board at home. 3. How to Make a Trivet from Recycled Corks If you happen to have more than a few corks in your possession, another craft that’s both easy and functional is making a cork trivet. It’ll add flare to your counter and tabletop or make the perfect handmade gift. Here’s what you’ll need: Corks (real or synthetic will work) Picture frame Glue (or other strong adhesive) A sharp knife (maybe) Here’s what you’ll do: Heat the glue gun. Remove the cardboard backing and glass from the frame. If there’s anything protruding from the cardboard backing, such as a kickstand for placing the frame upright, remove it. Glue the cardboard backing to the back of the frame. Flip the frame over. Arrange the corks within the frame, planning your pattern before you start to glue. (You may have to cut a cork or two to fill the frame.) Glue each cork to the backing. That’s all it takes to make an eclectic trivet. Place it on your table, and it’ll make for a great conversation starter at your next dinner party. 4. How to Make a Jewelry Holder from Recycled Champagne Corks This is one of the easiest cork projects you’ll ever encounter. After a night of toasting or a morning of mimosas, you should have plenty of champagne corks leftover for this project. Here’s what you’ll need: Champagne corks (real not plastic) Either a picture frame or wooden clock base If using a picture frame, you’ll want fabric or wrapping paper Glue gun (or other strong adhesive) Stapler Here’s what you’ll do: If using a picture frame: Heat the glue gun. Remove the glass and cardboard backing. Cover the cardboard insert with your chosen fabric or wrapping paper. (Fabric works best.) Pull tight and staple or glue the fabric (or paper) down. Insert the backing without inserting the glass. Arrange the champagne corks how you want them. (We recommend orienting the frame landscape and placing 3 corks equidistance from each other.) Glue the corks down. If using the wooden clock base: Side Note: In most craft stores, they have a section dedicated to making your own clock. In his section, you’ll find various wooden bases cut in various shapes and sizes. That’s where we found the perfect base for our cork jewelry holder. If you don’t want to use a picture frame or deal with fabric, this is where you should look for your base. Heat the glue gun. Arrange the champagne corks how you want them. Glue the corks down. The finished product becomes the perfect holder and display case for necklaces and bracelets. To store your earrings here, as well, simply stick the sharp end into the cork for secure placement and display. 5. How to Make Drawer Handles from Recycled Champagne Corks Still have a few champagne corks leftover after making your jewelry holder? Why not turn them into completely one-of-a-kind drawer holders? They work perfectly for desk drawers. Here’s what you’ll need: Champagne corks (real, not plastic) Long screws with a sharp pointed end (you’ll want to measure the length of the cork and the width of the drawer front and that is how long you want the screws to be) Small pliers Here’s what you’ll do: Remove your current knobs. If they are secured tightly, you’ll want to use the pliers. Place the screw through the hole left by the old knob, sharp end pointing outwards. Puncture the cork with the sharp end of the screw. Twist and push the cork onto the screw until it is tightly against the drawer front. Repeat for each drawer. That’s all it takes to add instant personality to an old desk or chest of drawers. Using recycled corks to create functional pieces of décor is a great way to channel your creativity and minimize waste. You’ll add a personal touch to whatever space you decide to use your new creations, or if you decide to give them to friends and family, your recipient will surely appreciate the time and thought you put into your gift. Not to mention the cost-effective nature of cork crafting and gifting. So don’t keep your corks or use this opportunity to open up another bottle, you’ve got crafting to do!