Leftover Wine Corks Can Give Your Boring Candle Holder A Rustic Vibe

If you're a sentimental person, there's a very good chance you have a stash of wine and champagne corks collecting dust in a cupboard. After all, it's lovely to remember each anniversary dinner, graduation party, and promotion celebration with a small memento. But keeping a plastic bag of them is hardly a way to display them, and a vase full of corks can give off bachelor pad vibes. Instead, use those wine corks in a craft to create a one-of-a-kind, wonderfully rustic candle holder. 

You'll need a glass duo-compartment candle holder, meaning that there is a separate walled-off holder for the candle and an additional glass perimeter. If you don't have one, you can just stack a smaller cylindrical votive inside a bigger one for the same effect. The compartments must be separate because you don't want the flame or hot wax in direct contact with the corks, which is a major fire hazard. On top of that, you'll need lots and lots of corks, so either get drinking or put that collection to use. Then, it's time to assemble your customized candle votive. 

Fill up your votives

Now, it's time to add the corks to the outer perimeter of the candle holder. How you choose to do this totally depends on your personal style — you can just toss them in for a really informal design, take time to stack them so they have a fluted effect, or even trim and paste them into place if you want to try your hand at cork masonry. Just make sure that they reach near the top of the votive or vase, because, in addition to adding a fun design element to your basic glass candle holder, the cork actually softens the light coming off of the flame, giving it a warmer, more diffused appearance. 

Keep in mind what effect you'd like the corks to have in this respect, because more space between corks means more light, whereas a tighter fit means less. Also, if your smaller cylindrical vase is too short compared to the larger one, build a bed of corks for it to rest on before filling the sides. 

Corks add warmth and character to décor

Cork is a warm and organic material that can soften plain or generic décor elements. And if you enjoy the occasional bottle of wine, you've likely got an abundance of the material just waiting to be used in crafts. And they lend themselves beautifully to a rustic, cozy aesthetic thanks to their organic material and natural coloring. 

To complement the wine cork candle holder on the dinner table, try making some other cork dining accessories, such as coasters. Cork is water-resistant, which is why you often see pressed cork on the underside of decorative coasters, so this is a match made in heaven. To make coasters, just cut the corks down into coins of the same size; you don't want these to be too tall, as that will make the glassware unstable, so try to keep it at about 3/4"-1/2". Use hot glue to stick them together. You can wrap the perimeter in twine for an extra rustic touch, or leave it as is. You can use a similar method to make placemats, table runners, trivets, and so on.