Recycle your used corks

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If your house is anything like ours, you are buried under mountains of wine corks. They look cool in clear vases, we have a big glass bowl on our coffee table that is full of them. Amy has made trivets, wreaths, and trays. She finds them in her purse, and I find them in pockets. They turn up behind the coffee maker, on the stairs, and even under the bed. They seem to multiply like wet gremlins having a midnight snack. Something must be done.

I don’t know what it is about corks, but they seem like miniature little works of art to me, and I just can’t bring myself to throw them away. That being the case, I have to look for uses for them or else the little bastards will end up taking over. This was my latest attempt at controlling the surplus population. I hope the use of extremely sharp and dangerous knives keeps this from venturing into Sandra ****ing Lee-ish territory.

My idea was to use corks as either card holders or (Lord, have mercy on my soul) place cards for a dinner party or family gathering. I grabbed my knife and attacked the first cork that I tripped over. This was the result of my first attempt, I’m sure that you can do better, as I hope that I will in the future as well.

cardholder from a wine cork

Here is a step-by-step guide to how I made them. It is actually very simple, but very sharp knives are recommended, as is sobriety and knowledge of where both your fingers and the blade are located at all times.. An x-acto knife would probably be better (and safer) than the Shun paring knife shown here.

Step One: Figure out what part of the cork that you want to be the front of the cardholder. Carefully, unlike the doofus shown here, slice off the bottom of the cork. Again, unlike the doofus, try and get as straight and flat of a cut as possible. This is the step where the most care needs to be taken as the cork is going to want to roll on the cutting board. After scoring it with a sharp knife, I switched to a serrated knife.

Wine Cork Place Holder

Step Two: Using the edge of the cutting board as a guide, slice a straight cut into the top of your cork. I then used a combination of guided and freehand cuts to make small v-shaped groove in the top. The finishing cut was just a deeper slice at the bottom of the groove.

Wine Cork Placeholder or Card Holder

Other than a little trial and error to get the cut deep enough to hold the card(s) well, that was all there is to it. If the aforementioned doofus can do it, how hard can it be? Speaking of the doofus, I can’t say for sure, but I suspect he may have been drinking, so I’m sure that yours will come out much better. Here is the finished product.

Finished Wine Cork Card Holder