Two simple steps to upcycle wine corks into name card holders for a wedding or special event.
As with most of my projects, I made it Techshop!
Step 1: Sanding a flat surface
The corks need a flat surface to keep them upright. Given that I was
sanding 200 corks, I wanted something quicker than hand sanding, which certainly seems like a good option if you don't have access to a belt sander. The belt sander worked beautifully and I cranked through about 200 corks in ~45 minutes, which took a little bit longer since I was lining up the names of the wineries to face the front of the display.
Before sanding, I sketched what I thought the end result would be like and thought a bit about how I was going to hold the corks in place to sand the bottom surface flat. I had envisioned a jig with a registration pin that I would use to cradle the corks and keep them in place while I pushed against the belt sander. In the end, I used the pliers (see the photo) which were wide enough to comfortably hold the cork from wiggling side-to-side. The bottom handle served as a flat push guide to keep the cork steady against the sander and I was able to line up the text on the cork facing away from me to become the main display when the card is sitting in each one. Much faster and no prep work, but I'm glad I thought through a few options before taking a crack at it.