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How To Make Cork Fire Starters

Seeing as my Cork Creativity board on Pinterest is the most followed of all my boards, and that my two top blog posts of all time involve corks (Wine Cork Herb Markers and Wine Cork Tray), I’m pretty certain that 1) I have a lot of vino-drinking readers and friends and 2) you all like creative uses for discarded items! I thought it would be fun to explore some other great ideas using wine corks. I love the idea of turning trash into something useful, don’t you?

Today’s easy peasy craft for the uncrafty:

Other people preserve strawberries or pickle cucumbers; we marinate wine corks in this house!

You’ll need:
A collection of corks
A glass bottle
Rubbing alcohol

Save a glass bottle and it’s lid from your recycle bin. In a sink filled with hot water and a bit of liquid dish soap, soak the jars for a half hour or so, until the labels peel off easily.

I was going to use Goof Off to remove the adhesive left after the labels came off, but anything that smells that vile just cannot be good for you! Instead, I tried scrubbing the adhesive with a nylon scrubbing pad and liquid soap and it came right off. So, goodbye, Goof Off.

Fill up the bottle with corks and cover with rubbing alcohol. Then, allow to fester for a few weeks before using. You may want to write the date that you bottled the corks on the bottom of the bottle to remind yourself of when they should be good to go.

See this bottle below? The corks on the bottom have been in marinating for a month or so. The one on the top was just added and is not mature enough to be lighting anyone’s fire. *wink wink*

To use, place corks under kindling and light with a long-necked lighter.
*This goes without saying but I’m going to say it anyway:  keep your bottle away from heat and flame as it’s highly flammable. Derrrr, obviously.

I made a bunch of marinated fire starters as hostess gifts for our pyromaniac friends and family.

They’re perfect for anyone who uses their fireplace frequently (like us) or has a fire pit outside. With these I gave the lids a quick spray paint to jazz them up a bit. I just threw them into a cardboard box and gave them a quick coat out on my deck of whatever spraypaint I had on hand.

Mark suggests gifting the fire starters with a tong so the user doesn’t have to fish down into the bottom of the bottle to get a cork, spaz out and accidently pour rubbing alcohol all over the floor (not that we would know anything about that!!!)  I found these inexpensive tongs on Amazon.

The labels are from a really lovely site called The Wedding Chicks, which offers free printable invitations, place cards and the like. I added the text to the file, which you can save and print if you’d like, or save the original file without text from The Wedding Chicks.

And there you have it – a very inexpensive and unique gift!

Don’t forget that tomorrow, 3/2 is the link up of March Before Projects!! I’m looking forward to seeing what you’re looking to accomplish in March, friends!

Shine Your Light

I’m linking up to these wonderful parties!


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Michelle @ Ten June

Tuesday 6th of March 2012

Oh my gosh I love this idea!! You're totally right, WHAT to do with all of those vino corks when you're done... how about making them into a fabulous hostess gift? Seriously, great idea, Lisa!!

Lisa - A Room with A View

Friday 2nd of March 2012

Never have seen this done before. Love the whole concept. You sure have been collecting all the wine corks. Wish I had started early. Very pretty labels. Thanks for sharing, Lisa.

Carrie @ Hazardous Design

Thursday 1st of March 2012

Fun gift idea and a great way to use a cork that might otherwise get thrown away.


Thursday 1st of March 2012

This is such a great idea! Simple, but favorite.

pam {simple details}

Thursday 1st of March 2012

You are one clever cookie! :)