Trying to figure out what to do with all of your old corks? There are may ways to repurpose wine corks into coasters however this is my favorite way as it showcases the stamped design on the side of the cork so you can cherish that special bottle again and again. Use this guide to create beautiful recycled coasters from your favorite wine corks.
Start with gathering your favorite corks; the more intricate and meaningful design, the better! There are three main type of wine corks out there: natural, agglomerated and synthetic. Synthetic corks are produced from plastics & other organic materials and are very effective wine closures for many reasons but very difficult to slice open. Agglomerated corks are cheaper to produce and made from cork bits, glue and synthetic materials and are popular among wines that need little aging and should be your second choice for this project. Finally, natural wine corks work best for this task as they are much easier to cut and are the most malleable.
1. Place wine corks in a double boiler and steam for at least 15 min. to soften them.
2. Place a whole cork on your cutting surface & begin cutting while turning the cork. You want to remove an even amount of "veneer" and keep the cut in one piece.
3. As the steam moisture evaporates from the cork as it cools, it will stiffen and harden. Now is a good time to place the pieces under a heavy book to flatten them.
4. Layout your coaster backing and cut to size. I used a nice piece of leather with a fabric obverse. Arrange the cork pieces so that they cover the entire surface.
5. Glue each piece into place with hot-glue or some other non-toxic adhesive. Trim excess cork veneer from the edge of your backing.
6. Place finished coaster under a heavy stack of books for a day or so to flatten.
These coasters are a great gift to your wine drinking buddy or a saving grace to your prized coffee table. You can even double the size and create some large trivets for bowls and platters to prevent heat damage. This is the perfect way to up-cycle your corks and showcase them for years to come.