As any lover of fine wines (or cheap ones) knows, it’s easy to amass a pile of wine corks in a short amount of time. Instead of throwing away the corks after your next dinner party, try saving them in a designated box. After a hectic day of wedding planning, after all, collecting corks is a nice excuse to relax and unwind with a glass of your favorite vintage. Ask your friends to save a few corks in your honor, too–that’s one wedding chore where you’ll find no shortage of happy helpers.
Wine cork decorations go best with a wedding that is already vineyard-themed. If you’re using a winery as a wedding venue, ask whether the winemakers have a stockpile of corks they aren’t using. You may find yourself given more than you can handle.
Place Card Holders
Your guests can locate their seats in style with wine cork place card holders. These make easy DIY projects even for self-proclaimed “not artists.” Using a sharp, straight knife, cut a slit lengthwise down the cork. Only cut about halfway through the diameter of the cork. This slit gives you room to insert each place card.
The only other thing you need to do is to cut a sliver off of the bottom of the cork (on the opposite side from the side where you made the slit). This is so the cork has a flat base and does not roll away. For this project, you’ll need as many corks as you have guests.
Believe it or not, wine corks make great, very tiny planters. Drill a small hole down the center of each cork, taking care to stop before you drill all the way through. Tiny sprigs of succulent plants work best for this project, since succulents are hearty and require little attention from you in order to look their best.
Break off a small sprig of a succulent plant (you can find these in many varieties at nurseries). Look for an attractive piece with no wilted leaves. Break the leaves off of the bottom of the stem, giving yourself a clean stem to insert into the hole in the wine cork. It’s really that simple. The plants should stay fresh for at least a day or two. If you need to make them well in advance of your wedding, just drip a few drops of water into each wine cork once a day to keep the plants happy.
Once you’ve amassed a collection of wine corks and tiny plants, it’s time to turn them into a proper decoration. Loop each cork with something to hang it by (fishing line, fine craft wire, or clear thread work well) and suspend them at different heights under a light. This adds a delightfully earthy accent to chandeliers. The cork planters also make delicate borders for mirrors. They can be looped with thread and tied to decorative tacks to spruce up plain sections of wall. You can even present them on tiered platters for charming tabletop décor. They make fun favors, too!
Do you have a surface that looks a little plain? How about the surface of your reception bar? The top of your buffet table? Your wedding cake serving platter? No matter the surface, wine corks can be arranged to cover it and give it new life. Depending on the surface material, different methods can be used to affix the corks. For many surfaces, something as simple as hot glue will keep the corks in place.
The important part is fitting the corks tightly together. Arrange them end-to-end and side-to-side, completely filling the space with tessellated wine corks. When you get to the edges, simply slice the corks (using a very sharp knife and even sharper caution) to match the shape of the surface. Giving multiple surfaces matching layers of wine corks gives your décor a cohesive look. It’s an affordable and attractive way of making sure your reception venue is entirely on-theme.
With a supply of wine corks and a bit of imagination, there’s no limit to the amount of creative projects you can undertake. String them for bead curtains. Carve shapes in the bottom and turn them into custom stamps so you can personalize your thank-you notes. Sear your initials into the sides and dangle them from keychain loops as wedding favors. Band them around the base of your dessert platters or table centerpieces as added decorative notes. Most importantly, have fun. Grab a glass of red, white, or rosé and start collecting corks!
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.