Monday, September 8

So. What to do with all these wine corks?

After taking pictures of the living room for the house tour post a few weeks back, I decided I really needed to do something about our corkboard.  We put in new cabinets six years ago and in the process eliminated an odd bar/counter thing that separated the dining area from the kitchen.  It was great as far as fixing the flow between one room and the other, but it did leave us with a bare side of a cabinet facing the living room.  I had already painted the short wall directly across from the cabinet, which also faces the living room, with chalkboard paint, so we thought it would be clever to cover the cabinet side with cork panels and use it as a cork board.

Well, flash forward a few years and the cork board has served us well-- great place to post cute cards and notes, school reports and awards, art projects and so on.  But I thought it looked sort of flat.  I mean, I wanted the cork board, but there had to be a way to make it better, right?

After much searching on Pinterest and pondering various craft sites, I decided to cover it in wine corks.  Now before you judge me harshly, I didn't drink all that wine (though we did contribute a few of our own).  Turns out it is rather cheap to buy recycled wine corks online.

We had to cut the corks in half lengthwise, both to secure them adequately to the original cork panels, and to prevent them from getting so heavy they could pull the cork panels off the side of the cabinet.  Another internet search led me to believe this could be done with an exacto knife but no, they were totally lying and I almost sliced my finger trying it.

The best way we found was a good ole fashion hack saw and a lot of patience.  A lot of patience.  Tucker's girlfriend Tanner (who is fantastic artist and crafter), Jeremy and I all chipped in at various time, but it still took several weeks to finish and a little less than 500 corks all told. I have a callous from the saw.  But it was worth it.

After cutting them all, we started hot gluing them to the existing cork board.  It works like a charm, those suckers are seriously stuck and not going anywhere.   I started out trying to stagger the seams, but found pretty quickly that since the corks weren't uniform in length, I really didn't need to do anything fancy to break up the lines.  I just started out the first row going left to right, then go right to left on the second row and so on.  We had to cut some of the corks to fill in the edges, but it wasn't difficult (and by shifting which side, right or left, I started the row, I avoided having all the short corks on one side). 
Once the board was covered, I slapped on a coat of a stain and polyurethane combo in light oak to seal the cork a bit and prevent them from absorbing all the kitchen odors.  

I think it was worth the trouble though.  I adds a nice texture to the cork board and a bit more interest, without looking too busy.  

Now all that said, I still have a bag of cork left over.  Have any of you stumbled across any interesting cork projects I can use 'em on?

post signature


  1. That is really cool! As you say, it adds great texture. Sounds like a lot of work. It's lucky you have some willing helpers. :)

  2. I have SO many wine corks, this is such a fun idea!

  3. Very cool! Your cork board really adds a lot to that corner of your room. Thanks for sharing your project with us at Make It Monday!

  4. Wow! This really looks great! It almost looks like little tiny bricks. Thanks so much for sharing at the Make it Monday Party! Hope to see you again next week.

    1. You were featured on Etcetorize this week! Stop by and grab a button. I hope you'll link up again tonight :)


Let me know what you think in the comments below-- and don't forget to leave a link back to your own blog or google+ page- I'd love to follow along on your adventures!