I have loved champagne corks since I was a little girl. I thought they were so exotic and foreign and happily used them as furniture in my homemade dollhouses.
As an adult, I still like them, for they represent moments of supreme happiness and celebration, but they serve a different purpose now.
Around the Home
I set aside a jar or box to collect used corks so that they’re all in one place when I need them.
If those little felt protectors on the bottoms of chair or table legs fall off, simply slice up a champagne cork and use it as a handy replacement. Those cork slices also work dandy for muffling the slam of cupboard doors or leveling a wobbly piece of furniture.
Champagne corks are helpful when simmering herbs in a soup stock or spices in a mulled wine. Fill a small muslin bag with the spices or herbs you want to use then tie it to a champagne cork and toss it into the liquid. Instead of fishing about for woody bits of cloves or rosemary when the dish is done cooking, you can just spoon out the cork and toss the bag in the trash.
If you have a lot of leftover champagne corks, cut them in half lengthwise and glue them flat side down onto a piece of wood for a clever bulletin board.
For Toys and Crafts
If you’re a crafty sort, turn a champagne cork into a ridiculously cute mushroom pin cushion with a few dollops of glue and some bits of fabric and beads. You can also turn them into rustic stamps by carving a design such as a star or heart on the flat end. Simply press one onto an ink pad and create a folksy design on note cards or wrapping paper.
For the kids in your life, stop beloved toys from sinking during playtime in the bathtub by tying that toy car or plastic figurine to a buoyant champagne cork. Or string a few corks together to make an unsinkable toy raft. You can also turn one into a tiny doll by painting a face onto the large end and inserting pipe cleaners for arms and legs into the narrow “body” of the cork. Yarn makes great hair and scraps of cloth can be turned into basic clothing.
If it’s close to Christmas, turn corks into unique decorations by topping them with sprigs of berries, holly, or evergreen, a curl of ribbon, and a tinkling bell. I’ve even seen folks turn a large collection of champagne corks into a cork version of a 70s style beaded curtain by threading them onto lengths of string and hanging them in a doorway.
At your next dinner party, create elegantly simple name card holders by cutting a slit in the bulbous end of the champagne cork. Cut any knobbly bits off the base so that it sits securely and doesn’t topple over unceremoniously during the meal.
So drink that champagne! And don’t forget to save the corks.
Photo Credits: woolly fabulous, coontoonstudios.