As I was taking pictures for my last post, I came to the realization that I have a ton of corks in my house.
And I have several uses for them.
It all started when I purchased a side table from IKEA. The table is clear with a removable tray top. I liked that I could fill the table with interesting things. Sort of an extra art piece in the room.
My husband and I decided to fill the table with corks.
In order to fill the table with corks, we had to start collecting them. This, admittedly, took a little while. While we enjoy the occasional glass of red wine, we don’t drink enough to amass the amount of corks we needed to fill the table up quickly.
So, we started to ask people to keep their corks for us instead of throwing them away. We also started to ask our server at restaurants for corks. Soon, we had people giving us handfuls of corks. And we had our table filled.
It didn’t stop there, though, because people were getting used to giving us their corks, and we got used to keeping ours.
So, we found alternate uses for our corks.
Creative Uses for Corks: Toys, Centerpieces, Trivets and More
With two young boys, we found corks to be fairly versatile toys. They are pretty soft (i.e., not too dangerous when thrown or put in the mouth) and texturally interesting. We like to use them while playing cook. My kids have a little chef hat and apron along with cups, bowls and various kitchen utensils.
Corks become all kinds of different food. The boys love to spoon them and pour them and make lots of pretend gourmet masterpieces. And when that doesn’t work, we set up the bowls and cups across the room and see who can get the most corks in the “buckets.”
I save the really cool corks to fill three cylindrical glass vases on my dining table. These are the corks that are colorful, smooth and just a little bit different. I put them on a black bamboo-like placemat, add a few candles around them, and I get a funky centerpiece.
Another cool use for corks is to arrange them in a simple metal pipe fastener and use it as a trivet. You can buy the fastener at your local home improvement store in the plumbing section. Buy a big one to use as a hot pad and a few small ones as modern napkin holders. (I stole this idea from a restaurant in Bar Harbor, ME.) The result is simple, functional and a conversation piece.
Of course, you can also go the obvious route and make your own corkboard with your collected corks. I have yet to do this, but I’ve seen others do it. It looks pretty good.
Maybe that’ll be my next project. I am in the middle of decorating my newly painted office…