The Last Thing You Should Do with a Wine Cork

updated Mar 1, 2021
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Someone holding wine cork.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

My grandfather’s best friend, who was like a great uncle to me, was an artist. He painted and glazed tiles and then made them into wall hangings or tabletops. He also constructed similarly prized pieces out of wine corks. He made patterns with the cork and framed them, made tabletops of the meticulously aligned and sometimes delightfully wine-stained cylinders, and glued together trivets that breathed the story of glasses clinked together and sipped with friends. 

As inspiring as this devotion is, I’m not likely to be following in his footsteps. While I know plenty of people who save wine corks in jars or special holders (to remind them of all the special bottles they’ve enjoyed), I’m more likely to toss one or two, randomly, into a junk drawer, where they will roll around like forgotten collections. If you have a bunch or even just a few, I have an idea for you.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Use Wine Corks to Silence Your Cabinet Doors

If you want to put a wine cork or three to good use, consider using them to silence your cabinet doors and drawers. I know from personal experience how much quieting something in the kitchen can create peace. This is the case even if you think the noise doesn’t bother you. But trust me: When that noise is finally not there, you’ll appreciate it! As used to your slamming cabinets as you think you are, muffling the sound will do a lot to reduce your level of aggravation. And if the mere mention of cabinet door-slamming makes you cringe, I don’t need to explain how cutting back on that grating sound will calm your nerves. 

To use your cork to make cabinet-closing more pleasant, steam it to make it easier to cut without cracking or crumbling it. (If you don’t have a steamer, you can put a strainer or colander over a pot of boiling water and toss your corks in.) Next, using a serrated or sharp knife, slice the circular end of your cork into thin rounds, as close to a sixteenth of an inch as possible. Then, stick your cork circles onto the bottom corners of your cabinet doors with an all-purpose glue. Leave the doors open until the glue dries completely. Then enjoy the sound of softness as you close them — this time and every time.

Do you repurpose old wine corks? What do you do with them?