DIYdiy projects

diy project: abigail’s cork trivet and coaster set

by Grace Bonney

ac and i are still unpacking and adjusting to being back in brooklyn so i wanted to kick off today with a slew of diy posts– some from the contest and some from our craft editors and one from well-known store owners. today we’re starting with abigail neal and her beautiful reclaimed wine cork trivets and coasters. abigail was one of our diy contest finalists and her cork trivet set was a big hit with several of my friends, many of whom have tried to replicate this on their own already. but thankfully today abigail is sharing her (simple!) instructions for finishing this great diy project. simple, sweet and eco-friendly, this is a great project to tackle if you’ve got leftover corks around the house and want to create something custom by recycling materials. click here for the full post or just click “read more” below. thanks abigail!

Reclaimed Cork Trivet and Coaster Set

What you’ll need:
-natural cork wine stoppers (10-12 to complete this project)
-a knife or cutting utensil to cut each cork into small slices
-needle (regular embroidery style)

This project is quite simple, all you need to do is:

1. Cut each cork into appx 5mm thick slices/discs; but be careful- cork can slip on counters easily.
(Each cork yields about 8-10 slices depending on length and it takes about 80 slices to make the trivet and two coasters.)

2. Stitch each cork together with two quick stitches. (try contrasting thread colors for more visual interest)

3. Arrange your stitched cork pieces together into a your desired geometric pattern and either leave loose or stitch closed to complete the circle. Abigail suggests choosing a geometric pattern that plays with negative space to keep the coasters/trivet light and flexible.

4. Place on the table and enjoy!

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  • I have been saving wine corks for months trying to find a use for them. I can’t wait to do this project this weekend!

  • I loved this one from day one.
    Very clever way of recycling.
    I would enjoy seeing more recycled-repurposed DIY projects like this one. Thanks for sharing.

  • This was my absolute favorite of the diy contest! My husband asked me why I save my wine corks, and now I can give him a valid reason…What a great project for this weekend.

  • The teapot is from Bodem. http://www.bodumusa.com I really love using it.

    One quick note on the instructions…. Make sure you use a non-plastic based thread (ie: not nylon) as the tread could melt when using the trivet w/hot pans. Enjoy!

  • How perfect, I love this project.

    and how amazing is it that I have those tea cups! I actually have the entire set that goes with them, all the dishes…. everything. I love the blue!

  • I like, love this idea! I have a whole vase full of corks – I think I’m going to make these!! Thanks so much for sharing.

  • abigail i love this project! so much so, that you got my vote in the contest. :) recycling a throw away material, & a clever beautiful design! i. love. it.

  • these are very cute, i really love them…now i have one more excuse to drink more wine.

  • have been saving wine corks for years, waiting to find a project like this! thanks very much for publishing this.

  • I love love love this project. It will make practical, stylish, and [somewhat] environmentally friendly gifts for birthdays and holidays! Of course, in an environmentally ideal world, corks made of cork would be eliminated… but at least in this case they’re being re-used!

  • That is SO cool! I’ve been saving corks for years for crafts, and I think this is the prettiest I’ve seen yet!

  • This is a super delayed post, but I’m working my way back through a bunch of your DIY posts and started with this one:). So much fun!! http://clarabellanyc.com/blog/?p=2083

    I still have to sew the second coaster and the trivet, but I’m well on my way. Thanks as always for such an awesome site!

  • This is so clever and really cool looking. I have one question though…how do you sew the corks together? Like do you use the same long piece of thread the whole time, or do you tie it off and use seperate thread for each cork? I don’t want the back to look a mess with a bunch of knots and thread going all over the place. Thanks!!

  • Has anyone actually done this? Sewing cork together is hard! Great idea, but not as easy as it looks. I’m not bashing, but could use some more helpful instructions.

  • Ciao a tutti!
    I’m trying to make it right now and I thought I would write down some tips.yes, sewing together is not the easiest task, so help yrself with a wooden base, where you put the corks’pieces, use a hammer if required to push the needle down through and to help you you can use also a needle-nose pliers! still a really meticulous job, but the result should be awesome. I’m still at the second circle so waaaay to go. I’m making a place-mat. ciao!

  • Couldn’t the corks just be super-glued together rather than sewn? Do you think that would work? Maybe I’ll give it a try…

  • I have several forms of cork trivets and coasters that I make and sell on Etsy. I’ve never thought of stitching them together. I’m worried this version would be very flimsy if picked up, I typically use a cork board backing on mine for stability.

  • i LOVE the look of these! one question–what method/tool did you all use for cutting the cork into slices like that? i tried a serrated knife and my cork crumbled and the cuts were not uniform. any tips?

    • Hi Teresa,
      I am new to this site but I have made cork boards for years and cut mine with a scroll saw. Not cheap but if you are going to do a lot of them it is worth it. Watch your fingers though!!!!!

  • I cut my corks on a band saw. Cutting them with a knife, even after soaking, was dangerous and they were crumbly. I made a jig to hold three corks in a ‘sleeve’ with a groove down the center. Load up three corks, send it through and you have six flat half corks in less than 10 seconds. Some days I just have a cork cutting day!

  • If you steam the corks in a veggie steamer basket on the stove for about 3 minutes, they slice very easily with a non-serrated knife!