DIY Wine Cork Board: Recycle and Upcycle




About: Pretty much all of my interests focus on applying everything that I learn to create usable crafts... usable things... plus learning from others is quite high on my to-do list.

Here is a quick guide on how to make your own cork board from discarded materials!  ...and no big power tools are required.

I got the corks from some one who posted an ad on and the plywood at a wood shop (they did not need it any more).  The other materials that you will need are:

- a ruler
- a pencil, pen or marker
- a steak knife (or any small serated knife) to cut the corks
- wood glue
- masking tape/painters tape
- some water base paint for the frame
- a small brush
- a hot glue gun and some sticks of glue
- some water base wood finish

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Step 1: Processing the Corks!

To get some of the smell off of the corks, you can soak them in a water + white vinegar mix for a couple of hours.  I have also read that just putting them outside on a sunny day will take most of the smell away... I have not tested that one.

Once you have soaked the corks, let them dry for an hour or so and get ready to cut them!

BE CAREFUL!!!  Cutting the corks on half longwise is a bit tricky yet it will double the amount of corks for the board plus it is easier to set them and glue them to the board.

While I was cutting the corks, I grouped them by colour and shape which proves helpful if you plan on making a specific design.

Step 2: Assembling the Frame

As I mentioned in the intro, I was given this piece of plywood at a wood shop... some times it is just a matter of asking and people are happy to give you materials that they had piled and ready to take to the dumpster.

MEASURE AND MARK:  After getting rough idea of the area that I was going to be able to cover with the corks, I marked the plywood.

CUT ALL OF THE PIECES:  First I cut the piece for the back (the full size for mine was 22" x 24") and then I marked and cut the pieces for the edge of the frame.  With the edges of the frame 1 inch wide, the inside part for the corks endeds up being 20" x 22" which is a pretty standard size if you want to align it on a wall later on with a store bought dry erase board, etc.

Once you have cut all of the pieces, sand them and clean them.  That will get them ready for the paint job after you glue the frame together.

GLUE THE PIECES TOGETHER:  To glue the frame together, use wood glue, it is surprisingly strong and the smell is quite minimal.  Put some weights and/or clamp the pieces together and leave over night to dry.  The next day, sand off any extra glue that oozed out from the seams.

PAINT THE FRAME:  I used water base black paint for this frame.  You do not need too much paint so either ask around if anybody has some left over paint, check on or for free paint offerings, or as a last resort, buy just a small tester container of paint at your local hardware store.

I first put tape on the base of the board so not to get too much (or any) paint on the surface where I was going to glue the corks.  Then, I painted the frame.  The is no need to paint the back of the board and two coats of paint should do the trick depending on the type and condition of plywood that you use.

Step 3: Time for the Glue!

Once the frame is dry and ready, it is time to glue in the corks!

I put in all of the corks in the pattern that I wanted and then just picked up each cork one at a time and glued them to the board.

Some people just start gluing the corks starting at the center and freehand their pattern.  This is a great way to do it yet you will have to have a lot of corks plus it will require for you to cut corks to fit into small gaps that may be left open close to the edges.  Nothing wrong with that yet I had a set number of corks and in the end, what I had ended up being exactly what I needed.

After I glued all of the corks to the board, I painted the corks with a water base wood finish to add a bit of shine (photo not included).

Step 4: Character and Presentation

Cork making and the graphics that are printed and/or burnt on them are a tradition that dates back... way back.  I decided to honour that tradition not just by reusing the corks but also by featuring one that said it all for me... "METHODE TRADITIONNELLE."


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    14 Discussions


    3 years ago

    This is a great craft idea! If anyone is interested, this website has other great cork applications you can try! -

    1 reply

    4 years ago on Introduction

    I think this is a great idea, and one of the nicest looking I've seen on Instructables (and I've seen a lot). Do you remember how many corks you used to cover that space? I'd like to make a board about 30inX40in, but I've no idea how many corks I'd need, so I figure I can extrapolate based on how many you used.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    sorry for the extremely late reply! i have been off some on line stuff for well, a long while. to answers your question, I cannot remember how many corks I used. However, the top photo on the "processing the corks" section show pretty much all of the corks I used prior to cutting them.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    What if you used the corks to make a dart board. you would cut them in half and arrange them in a circular pattern. Then paint them.

    1 reply

    yup, that would be awesome! it would be tricky yet quite possible to do. basically you could just cut all of the corks in an angle instead of a straight line long wise to get triangle shapes. that would make the circular shape easier to achieve. also, i would only use wine corks because the sparkling wine/champagne ones have a mushroom-like shape which would be harder to fit in. that's a great idea! i must collect more corks! : )


    6 years ago on Introduction

    so what is the purpose of this SquareInTheFrame?

    what to do with 1500 gallons of wine?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Neat! This reminds me if a project that a buddy if mine did (he runs a small recording studio and back line company), with some variation and insulation behind the cork he made combination sound diffusion/absorption panels. And I must say the acoustic treatment was cheap, effective, and a visual statement.

    1 reply

    thanks! yeah, it is neat to check out the designs and messages on the corks. i even found one that could be redeemed for a complimentary tasting at the winery.