9 Ways to Use Cork Around the House

When you think of cork, your first thought might be of a bulletin board pinned with reminders, but cork's handiness knows no bounds. This renewable resource is actually one of the most versatile materials you can use around the house! Cork—which is bark from cork oak trees—is naturally so lightweight, pliable, resilient, and beautifully textured, it's no wonder it's being used in all sorts of domestic applications. From an entire accent wall to a simple vase, these 9 great ideas should provide you with ample inspiration for bringing cork into your home.

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  1. Trivet Upgrade


    Sure, cork works well enough on its own for holding a warm dish. But you can build up that basic cork trivet with a layer of stone for more personality and greater functionality. Flat black river pebbles bond to cork easily with craft adhesive, making for an easy project—and a lovely spot to rest your hot wares.

    Related:  10 Extras to DIY for Your Kitchen


  2. By the Book


    After seeing this DIY, we're ready to trade in all our leather-bound books for cork-wrapped ones! Pick up a cork journal premade or purchase some cork contact paper from a craft store to cover an existing book. Then, follow this tutorial from A Beautiful Mess to sponge-paint stenciled designs on the front cover.

    Related:  5 Things to Do with... Used Books


  3. Wrap It Up


    Don't toss those soup cans—they still have a job to do! Wrapped in cork, your used metal receptacles can be attractively upcycled into pencil holders, makeup caddies, or watertight vases. Paper & Stitch has the how-to.

    Related:  9 Creative Uses for Old Paint Cans


  4. Pop the Cork


    Accent walls really define a space, and a single wall covered in an unexpected material like cork will be sure to spark conversation the next time you're giving guests the grand tour. Re-create this look by using wall-mounted cork tiles, which are available in a wide variety of colors and textures. The finished display will bestow a personalized yet naturally peaceful style on any room.

    Related:  9 Wood Wall Treatments


  5. Sunglass Sleeve


    Whether stashed in the closet or on the go in a suitcase, this stylish cork case safely sheaths your shades. The key to this Instructables project is to really sand your cork contact paper well. A few minutes of work will produce a texture soft enough to store your glasses without scratching, and create a luxe finish. 

    Related:  Without a Stitch - 9 No-Sew Projects to Dress Up Any Room


  6. Cork Encounter


    For the same price as butcher block, you can have a countertop made of renewable cork. Nonporous high-density cork slabs are water, stain, and heat resistant—making them wonderfully suitable for the kitchen or bathroom.

    Related:  8 Countertops You'd Never Believe Were Handmade


  7. Board Reborn


    Cork plays a supporting role in this bulletin board, serving as the foundationrather than the finish. Take a cue from this pin board by Pavona Interiors—wrap a board in linen, then finish with fine details like pewter nail heads or a wooden frame.

    Related:  Weekend Projects - 5 Bulletin Boards to Organize Your Life


  8. A Quick Fix


    Wobbly tables have finally met their match! Save the day with ingenious levelers cut from a sheet of cork, or even sliced from a wine stopper. Even if your tabletop doesn't tip, you might consider adding one of these rounds to each of the feet to protect your wood floor from scratches!

    Related:  Brighten Your Home with 9 Colorful Furniture DIYs


  9. Cut and Click


    A soft sheet of cork not only makes a fine surface for maneuvering a computer mouse, it's also the perfect blank canvas to add personality to your desk. All you need are pair of scissors or an X-Acto knife to cut a custom cork creation—like this one from What Else Michelle—upon which you can paint whatever your heart desires.

    Related:  Under $50 - 10 Must-Haves for an Organized Desk


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