DIYdiy projects

diy project: brittni’s cork containers

by Grace Bonney

one of my favorite things about running d*s is hearing from readers who’ve made the projects we post, or who have been inspired to create something based on a past project. so i was happy to hear from brittni at papernstitch last week about a great project she did inspired by kate’s cork lamp tutorial from 2008. brittni decided to run with the theme and create some really beautiful cork vases and containers using inexpensive materials like cans and spray paint. i thought the finished result was so great i had to share them here. thanks so much to brittni for sharing her project with us! click here to check out the full post on brittni’s site.

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!

Cork Vase/Container How-To from PapernStitch

Materials: Soup/ Vegetable Cans, Spray paint (any color), roll of cork (you can find it at many local craft stores or order online here), heavy duty craft glue, scissors, ruler, extra pins or clothespins to clamp cork while drying


1. Grab some cans (soup, vegetable, etc) from the recycling bin and make sure they are washed out thoroughly. Peel off labels and clean off an sticky areas. Allow to dry fully.

2. Spray paint the inside of each can, as well as the outside rim. This may take multiple coats. Let dry fully again.

3. Roll out your cork, and place the bottom of your can at the end of the roll. Mark off the width of the can with a pencil and use a ruler to create a long straight line. I recommend cutting the length twice as long as you need. Then you can wrap the cork around twice to make it thicker for sticking pins in, etc.

4. At the end of the cut roll of cork, run a thick bead of heavy duty craft glue. Attach to can and begin rolling, adding more glue as you go.

5. At the end of your roll, add another thick bead of glue and then pin or clamp down with clothespins until dry.

6. Once dry, you are ready to add flowers, pencils, plants, or anything you can dream up. If you are using your containers as vases, I would recommend putting a glass that is slightly smaller inside the container to avoid leaks.

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  • I had tried making a cork-covered pencil cup for my desk awhile ago but I couldn’t get any push pins to actually stay in the cork. Maybe it was too thin.

    It looks cool though!

    • sarah

      the key is the type of pins you use. these super skinny lightweight ones in the picture are great, as are those super flat pins. but regular pins with the plastic tip are just too heavy to stick with only like 3/32 of an inch to stick to.


  • This is SO cool! I need to make one to place by my computer. It will work perfect to pin all these little notes I have lying around my desk!

  • Thank you so much Grace for sharing this with your readers. And Marie, that is exactly what I use mine for…I had so many post-its on my computer. But now most of them are pinned to the vase, so I can still see them, but they’re a bit more out of the way.

  • These are great. I just so happen to have a bunch of extra cork (from redoing our floors). What a great way to use up all the pieces.

  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE these! Am going to try to make – I can’t wait to have them on my desk! Thanks for the wonderful idea.

  • why didn’t i think of that?

    oh, that’s right, i’m not a genius.

    great project will give it shot this weekend!


  • Perfect timing as always – I’m getting ready to revamp my home office space this weekend and this will be a great way for me to add more “surface area” since I don’t have too much wall space. Genius! I’m corking everything …

  • First comment on the website… I just love it. I leave in Paris and i’ve been visiting this site almost everyday as a “daily dose of beauty and happiness”. Just as I read the note on readers making the DIY projects or being inspired by them, i just recognised myself. I just redid my kitchen (2 square meters…. I live in Paris!) after a post, and created a small “tree” with branches glueing little bird of origami paper on it. Too clumsy and too shy to send pics, i just wanted to send you a HUGE thank you from a little french girl in Paris. Bisoux à tous, je vous adore!

  • Seattle Artchitects- Yes, you can paint the cork (I’ve tried it on another project), but the paint absorbs VERY quickly into the cork, so the color would be faint. Unless you used some kind of sealant first.