Decorating with Wine Corks
If you're a fan of wines, you may well have accumulated a substantial collection of wine corks. While wine bottles can be repurposed as oil lamps or simply recycled with other household glass, corks are a practical way to preserve your memories of favorite wines. Even if you're not crafty, these cork projects are easy, require minimal supplies and make a lovely accent to your kitchen, bar area or dining room.

If you want to save wine corks for decorating projects, keep in mind that there are two distinct types of corks commonly used today. Traditional cork is appropriate for trivets and hot plates, and offers an absorbent, durable and heat-resistant surface. Modern alternatives work well for wine, but are not heat-resistant and should only be used for decorative projects rather than functional ones.

If you plan to use your corks for craft or home-decorating projects, remove them with extra care to avoid damaging them. Opt for a quality corkscrew, like RedEnvelope's Pink Ribbon Twist Wine Opener. Wipe the cork with a soft cloth and set it aside to dry fully before storing it for future projects. If you need to save the wine in the bottle, use a wine stopper rather than reusing the cork.

Holiday Decor
Integrate wine corks saved through the year in your family's holiday decor. Make a small or large wreath from wine corks by gluing or wiring them to a wire wreath form. Attach holiday ornaments, greenery or ribbon to your wreath, then hang it in the kitchen or on the front door. If you're a bit craftier, use wine corks as the head and body for a playful wire reindeer sculpture to decorate your holiday table or buffet at parties.

Trivets and Mats
Natural cork is ideal for hot plates, trivets and mats to protect your table. For a quick and easy project, purchase a frame at your local craft or discount store. Cover the cardboard backing with brown paper, then glue corks into place using hot glue or craft adhesive. If you'd like to make a larger mat, cut one-quarter-inch plywood to size, then glue corks into place, forming patterns if desired. Use a spray adhesive to adhere felt to the back of your trivet or mat.

Larger Projects
If you have a wine-themed kitchen or breakfast area, make a back splash, accent table or even an entire bar out of corks. If you don't have enough corks in your collection, a call to a favorite restaurant or bar can help add to your collection. Construct a backs plash as you would a mat, measuring carefully, and screw into place. Cover a tabletop with corks, then nail trim molding around the edges and top with glass for an accent table or bar that shows your love of wine.
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