Wine Cork Place Names




Introduction: Wine Cork Place Names

About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first ...

My wife is hosting a party. She wanted me to make placeholders from wine corks. (She saw this idea somewhere, and will actually use them to label serving dishes filled with food.)

I thought about power tools and jigs I would need to be accurate and keep my fingers intact. I opted for a very low tech. means described in this Instructable.


  • Wine bottle corks (real cork or plastic)


  • Vise
  • Metal saw blade
  • Spacer piece

After publishing this I notice several others have published similar Instructables. At least my Instructable provides slightly different methods some may find more suitable to their situation.

Step 1: Put the Cork Into a Vise

I put a cork into my vise, but left the jaws loose enough that I could adjust how much of the cork rose above the top surface of the jaws. I used a spacer piece about 3/16 of an inch thick to get both ends fairly equal. Then I tightened the vise just a little to hold the cork firmly without distorting it.

Step 2: Saw a Slot

I wanted to saw a slot into the side of the cork. This slot will hold the card that identifies the food in a dish or the name of the person sitting at a particular place. I "eyeballed" the cut to keep it in line with the cork and to keep the cut as vertical as possible. I made light strokes with the saw until I could feel and hear that the teeth were in contact with the vise jaws. I am using a metal cutting blade because of its fine cut. Because it is a metal cutting blade, I do not need to worry much about damaging the teeth.

The saw I am using is what I made to replace my keyhole saw when the plastic handle broke after many years. I use blades from a reciprocating saw in it by making a hole in the end of the blade. A hacksaw or holding a blade from a reciprocating saw in one's hand would work, too.

Step 3: Turn the Cork

Loosen the vise. Turn the cork so the slot faces downward, more or less. Use the spacer piece to set the cork in the vise again. (Second photo)

Step 4: Slice Off a Side

Let the side of the metal cutting blade rest on the top of the vise jaws. Begin sawing gently to remove a slice from what will be the bottom of the place holder. See the second photo.

Step 5: Finished

All that remains is for you to print on your cards and insert them into the slots.

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    3 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Nice job, Phil.

    One of my ibles is about cutting wine corks using a band saw, which, I suspect, you have.

    If you had to make a bunch of these, it'd be a simple matter to drill a hole through a 2x about six or eight inches long. The hole would go all the way through and be big enough for the cork to, somewhat easily, drop in, or through.

    Using the band saw, you could cut the excess of the 2x into a handle, for pushing the 2x, at the point of the hole you drilled in the 2x, into the band saw blade.

    This not so complex jig should allow you to pump out ten of these in under a minute.


    4 years ago

    well done! Very fancy!

    Phil B
    Phil B

    Reply 4 years ago

    Thank you. I wanted fairly consistent results and a quick, safe way to get them. Using a fine tooth hand saw in combination with a spacer and a vise worked very well.