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Many people throw their wine bottles away along with the wine corks once they’re done with their drinks. If you’re one of them, realize that you’re throwing away cash!
Worse still, you’re giving it away. Lots of people have discovered the power of the wine cork and use it to their advantage.
It’s never too late to start gathering them. Choose a place that you can easily remember for the gathering process. Every time you’re done with your wine, store the cork in that place. Keep it up until you’ve collected as many corks as possible.
Apart from raking in a couple of extra dollars, wine corks also serve lots of other purposes.
For instance, you could use them to make some personalized stamps. You could have an entertaining and extensive selection of numbers, shapes, and letters for your kids if you have any, or for yourself, if you’re into such.
You could also create a durable cork mat from them and use the mats as coasters or pot stands. Just find a durable material like old linoleum or shelf liner.
Then, arrange the corks in the pattern of your choice and glue them down. Cut the corks in half if necessary and there you go!
Finally, whenever you need to get the flames going faster, you can save on cash by using wine corks as fire igniters or starters. Not only are they a great size for fire starters, but they’re awesome heat conductors too.
The first step to making them is having a huge collection of corks. Soak them in a container that has alcohol then store them in a leak-proof jar for whenever you’ll need them.
If you’re more focused on making cash from them, here are ways on how to make money with wine corks:
1. Collect and Sell
Maybe you’re not a wine lover. Or, you want to get some fast cash from wine corks. The best way to achieve that is to collect as many wine corks as you can then sell them on eBay or any other online site.
Of course, there’s a procedure you must follow if you expect to attract plenty of buyers and benefit from the venture:
- Clean the corks
- Find out how much you’re willing to charge for the corks
- Take quality photographs of them
- Be professional when handling potential customers
- Always be honest
After the basics, get ready for the details. Here are some tips you can use to sell successfully without much effort:
Don’t Overdo the Specific Bit
Buyers love specifics because they make their task of identifying what they need easier. However, if you have wine corks from various wineries, you don’t have to go through the trouble of listing the names of all of them. That only works if your corks are from a similar winery or if you’ve got duplicates.
Sell Fakes and Reals Separately
There are markets for both synthetic and natural corks. If you have both types, identify the markets, and make your sale. You can do some research first if you’re having some difficulty.
Go First Class
The cheapest shipping option on eBay at the moment is First Class Mail. Its weight limit is 13 ounces, which shouldn’t be an issue for you unless your shipment is a large quantity. You’ll have to pay for tracking separately but it’s totally worth the extra green.
Throwing a wine cork into the compost bin is a neat way to conserve the environment. But before you toss that cork into the bin, consider this: natural corks are created from the cork oak a slow-growing tree.
As a result, there are plenty of companies that are willing to pay big for corks. One of them is TerraCycle that accepts both plastic and natural corks and rewards you for recycling.
Yemm & Hart Green Materials, also a leading cork recycler, pays for corks too. They require a minimum of 10-pounds of corks to be sent. They don’t accept plastic or synthetic corks. And, the current market value of cork determines their rate of payment
Another is ReCork America, which is the biggest cork recycler in North America. It takes corks and transforms them into yoga blocks, shoes, and many other items. Visit their site to find out where you should drop off corks.
Every company has different rules on the types of corks that they accept. Some even offer other rewards apart from cash.
Before choosing to drop off your corks to a specific recycling company, find out all you can about it to avoid disappointment.
You may have the idea of using that cork to seal a new wine bottle but it won’t work. Research shows that cork is a natural substance that contains microbes. These microbes become unpredictable when the original bottle is opened
If by any chance the cork has started drying out, it lets air into the bottle.
Recycling wine corks may not turn you into an overnight millionaire, but if you’re persistent, you’re sure to make a fortune in the long run.
3. Make and Sell a Wine Cork Trivet
Trivets are used in most kitchens to protect the counter from heat. A hot pan or other cooking material is placed on the trivet.
You can easily transform a collection of corks into a wine cork trivet. All you need is:
- A lot of wine bottle corks
- A permanent adhesive like a high-temperature hot glue gun
Tip: synthetic corks are a no-no for wine cork trivets. Use natural ones instead.
First, identify the design that you want to make. Then, arrange the corks on the corkboard as per your preferred design. Use the pen to trace the shape of the corks onto the board. Get the corks away from the board and cut out the base from the corkboard.
Second, use the pattern that you came up with in the beginning to fit the corks into place without using glue.
Lastly, glue the corks onto the corkboard neatly in a row and allow to dry. Don’t press the corks onto the board. Your trivet is now ready for use or sale.
This is the primary way to make a wine cork trivet. You can add a frame to your trivet to enhance its look.
You can also design the corks into a hexagon by making them stand and, minus the frame and corkboard, glue them tightly together.
The shapes that you can use other than a hexagon are countless. Other examples are a heart shape and a circular pattern.
4. Make a Wine Cork Vase
At some point in time, flower fans put their precious plants in clay vases. Some still do. Then came the porcelain and glass vases that gave a whole new beautiful touch to flowers.
They’re soft to the touch and can serve as more than a container for holding flowers. When chosen correctly, they can be perfect decorations and can also highlight a person’s individuality.
The bummer with trends is once something’s in, almost everyone wants a piece of the trendy item. All the fun is sucked out since ‘everyone is doing it’ as the cool kids would say.
Sadly, that’s the case for vases too. Walk into any home and chances are you’ll find a glass vase or two in it.
Here’s where you need to think out of the box and create wine cork vases. They’re still pretty new in the market, are durable, and they are quite attractive.
Making one is a piece of cake and you won’t have to strain your budget on supplies unless you’re planning on turning your biz into a full-time gig.
- Heavy-duty craft glue
- Glass vases
- Wine corks that are similar in length
Arrange your corks on one side of the vase until you find a pattern that’s uniform in size. If necessary, neaten up the lengths with a knife.
Glue the corks on the vase by adding a dab of glue to the cork. Repeat this procedure until you cover the whole vase with corks.
For the sides of your vase, use thick corks.
Let the piece dry and voila! There’s your cork vase.
5. Make Some Cute Wine Cork Earrings
With wine corks, there’s almost no limit to the fun that you can have with them. Throw in some adjustments and you have a cute pair of wine cork earrings.
You could make the simple pair that requires a serrated knife, a wine cork, a hot glue gun, earring backs, and a permanent marker.
They’re easy to make and take a conveniently short time to create, but you won’t get much from them. Two cents a pair tops.
Alternatively, you could up your game and go for a fancier pair that’ll need:
- Metal wire
- Assorted beads
- Wine bottle cork
- Knife or scissors
- Fish hook earrings
- Jewelry pliers
The first step is to decide how long you want your dangles to be. Then, cut a few inches of the metal wire for both earrings.
Use the pliers to twist the bottom of each wire piece into itself so beads won’t fall out the other end when you put beads on it.
Cut two ¼ ’’ inch thin disks using the scissors or knife from the wine cork. You can cut out a different thickness depending on your choice.
Thread the cork piece and beads of your choice in an alternating pattern onto each wire. Leave roughly ¼ ’’ at the top of the wire to thread through the fish hook earring hooks.
Upon achieving the bead/cork decoration you had in mind, thread the upper part of the wire through the fish hook earring hook. Secure the wire around the entry hole in place using pliers.
For a stunning look, use whole corks, painted corks or colored corks plus the beads of your choice.
6. Make a Wine Cork Pendant
Breath-taking, beautiful, and creative are some terms to describe these works of art. To make a wine cork pendant, you must let your imagination run wild.
Check out some tips from professional wine cork pendant makers but don’t limit yourself to their ideas.
The supplies for the pendant are:
- Wine cork
- Paint or ink (optional)
- Small saw or knife
- Doily or bicycle stamp
- Eye screw
Cut the corks into thin slices using the small saw or knife. Take your time to avoid cutting yourself.
For a smooth and flat surface, sand the cork slices.
Ink or paint the flat surfaces if you want to. Don’t forget to get creative. Then, allow them to dry completely.
Stamp the image of your choice onto the front of the slice. It’s okay to use an image that’s larger than the slice.
You can also write something pretty on the slices instead of stamping. Or, for effect, carve a message with a strong, thin and pointed object and finish up with some bright colors.
Tip: Before stamping, add a pattern on the slice by painting onto a texture plate and pressing the cork slice onto a plate. Let them dry fully before stamping.
Also, press the slices into the stamp instead of stamping onto them since the corks are small.
For the final step, screw a 5mm eye screw into the upper part of both slices for hanging.
Consider coming up with various designs to maximize your chances of getting more customers.
7. DIY a Wine Cork Chandelier
Chandeliers add a touch of class to any space despite its size. The glass and crystals in them refract and reflect light.
This causes the light to be spread out through a room in various patterns. What’s more, their eye-catching presence can’t go unnoticed in any room.
If you’d love to have a chandelier of your own or the idea of making one appeal to you, guess what? Now you can! With these simple steps, you’ll be more than ready to make some money from your impressive work.
Before bringing the chandelier to life, you’ll need to get the supplies:
- Wine corks (800 or more)
- Hanging votives
- Small S-Hooks
- 3’’ sewing needles
- 2 packs of paper-source hemp cord
- Screw hooks
- 12 packets of Loctite Super Glue Gel
- Eye screws
Drill a hole in each of the corks then start stringing them.
Cut the cord in different lengths then make a loop at the top of each cord. Then, thread the needle and start stringing the corks.
Space out the corks once each of them is on each piece of cord. Leave some extra cord at the bottom of the streamer so you can tie an “S” hook on the end.
Put the streamers of corks on cardboard sheets and secure them with a dab of glue at the top and bottom of each cork.
Install screw hooks in the base of each box plus eye screws at the top of the box for hanging.
After the bases are complete and the screw hooks are in the right places, hang the streamers and decide which of them can contain a hanging votive.
Add the votives, light the candles and there you go!
8. Make a Wine Cork Bath Mat
Who wouldn’t want to feel pampered? It doesn’t matter if you’re from work or you’re just hanging at home. Wine corks leave a pleasantly smooth feel on the feet when you step on them.
They might cause you to slip, so don’t stand on them if they’re not joined together.
A number of people have come up with wine cork bathmats and the results are unbelievable. Among others, most bath mats are stylish, resistant to water, and are immune to bacteria and molds. Heck, wine cork mats will last for a couple of years if you care for them properly.
Depending on the size of the mat and your speed, the least time that you should take to make one is 3-4 hours.
You’ll need approximately 150-200 corks for the project. Ensure that they’re clean before using them. If not, clean them in warm soapy water.
Slice all the corks in half lengthwise. For safety reasons, lay a non-slip surface for the board and put on gloves. If possible, get a friend to help you cut the corks.
Next is providing a structure for the mat. You could use a solid choice such as water-resistant wood, preferably marine-ply or a plastic shelf liner for flexibility.
Get the size either by measuring the custom size of your choice or using another mat as a guide. Cut the plastic or wood using either a sharp knife or box cutter.
Arrange the cork halves on the mat or line. Before gluing them to the mat, lay all of them first to determine a pattern. This prevents you from getting stuck in the middle.
Allow the mat to dry before using it. Waterproof it by applying a coat of protective sealants such as cork sealant or polyurethane.
9. Create a Wine Cork Wine Charm
If you’re no stranger to wine parties, you’ve probably seen wine charms before. They are those small, cute decorations around the stems of wine glasses.
Some are made of plastic while others are made of colored glass. Apart from enabling a guest to keep up with their glass at a wine party when they set it down, they help round out a theme such as a themed party or wedding shower.
The best part about making charms out of wine corks is you’re in control of the materials. Additionally, you can add or do without a few details if you want and you don’t have to get so much done.
Here’s how you should go about making wine cork wine charms. The materials you’ll need are:
- Hoop earring notion
- Wine corks
- Small seashells (or any other decorative items)
- Cutting board
- Serrated knife
- Charms or beads (optional)
- Small picture frame eye hook
Place a cork on a cutting board and cut it into slices using the knife. The surface on which you place the board has to be firm.
Select a shell for each of the slices. The shells have to be different.
Glue the shells to the center of the slices.
Carefully screw a small picture frame eye hook at the upper part of each charm.
For the wow factor, use pliers to add a bead or charm to the slices.
Fix the hoop earring notion to the eye hook and your wine charm is complete.
10. Make a Wine Cork Ball
Wine cork balls are perfect for filling those empty spaces on bookshelves or counters. They also serve as lovely things to look at and hold.
Making them might seem hard, but on the contrary, it’s something that almost anyone can pull off. As for the supplies, don’t sweat.
You can easily find the materials at your local craft store at a friendly price.
To make the ball, you’ll need:
- A paintbrush
- Wine corks (the number varies depending on the size of the ball)
- 6 inch Styrofoam ball
- Sticks and a glue gun
- Brown acrylic paint
Paint the Styrofoam ball brown until no white is visible.
Spread the corks. If they are of different colors, ensure that they’re equal in number, so they are equally spread out all over the ball.
Apply glue on a single area of the cork and put it on the cork ball. Press firmly and hold for a few seconds. Keep adding the corks and see to it that they touch each other.
Allow the cork ball to dry and remove any clumps and glue strands.
Turn Trash to Cash
Wine corks are ideal for keeping your wine bottle shut. They don’t have to lose value once the wine is over.
From the points above, it’s clear that there’s so much you can do with wine corks. If you choose to get into wine cork crafts for cash, ensure that you have enough supplies for the project.
If you’ve just started the wine cork crafts business, it might take a while before you make any money. And that’s alright.
Treat your business as a hobby and you’ll notice how rarely you’ll think of sales.
Someone out there is waiting to buy your piece of wine cork art. Go for it, give it your all and wait for the cash.