wine cork

Why not reuse your leftover wine corks? After you pop open a bottle of vino, what do you do with the leftover cork? Save it? Toss it? (Please don’t say toss it!) If you’ve stored up a bunch of corks, there are plenty of ways to reuse them. We’ve got five easy wine cork projects for your home and garden.

1. Simple display

Want to know about the easiest wine cork project ever? Show off your corks by filling clear glass vases or jars with them. You get all of the cork-y cuteness without a lot of work. Place a few wine cork-filled vases on your dinner table, add some beeswax or soy candles, and you’ll have a fancy-looking display.

2. Seed labels

Never forget what plant you put in what pot again. You can make your own plant or seed markers using just wine corks and kabob skewers. Take your leftover corks and your skewers and pierce the corks onto the ends of the skewers marshmallow-style. And…done. Easy, schmeazy plant markers. Simply label your corks with the name of your herb, veggie or fruit using a marker or pen and you’ll always know that it was parsley not oregano in that pot. This is also a good project to use up those oddly shaped champagne corks.

3. Place card holders

place card
image: rae.m.wel

Transform a simple wine cork into a place card holder with just a few tweeks. Take a wine cork and slice it about halfway lengthwise with a serrated knife. Be careful not to cut your cork in half! The cut just needs to be deep enough to insert a small piece of paper. Next, level out the bottom of the cork by trimming off a small portion to make it flat. That way your place card holder won’t roll around everywhere. Then, use coarse sandpaper to smooth the surface. That’s it! (You can also check out our tutorial for more detailed instructions.) Use your new place card holders to reserve guests’ seats at a wedding reception or to hold nametags at a holiday dinner. These holders would also work great to display the names of dishes and foods on a buffet or party food table.

4. Coasters

Set your beverages on cushy cork coasters to keep your favorite furniture free of watermarks and stains. Simply hot glue four or five wine corks side by side and you’ll have a wine cork coaster. You could also chop your corks in half, so you have two chunky ends, and then hot glue a bunch of these ends side by side. It’s just another way to create a coaster. Coasters are always handy to have around the house, and these would also make great gifts. Unlike the many bulletin board and bath mat wine cork projects out there, this project doesn’t require a lot of corks. So, you can get started right away!

5. Compost

Still have leftover wine corks even after all of these projects? You can actually compost wine corks—it just takes a while for them to break down. All you have to do is grind up your corks into teeny pieces and then add them to your compost. And, make sure you don’t have any synthetic corks in the pile headed to the compost bin. Use those ones for projects instead!

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top image: derekGavey