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Upcycling: Wine Cork Spa Bath Mat

Green decorating expert Danny Seo creates recycled crafts in his book Upcycling. Here, he makes a spa bath mat from wine corks.

Fri, 22 Jul 2011|

Hi. I'm Danny Seo, author of the book Upcycling. And today, I'm gonna show you how to upcycle or recycle your wine cork collection into something beautiful and super functional. If I teach you just one product that's my absolutely favorite, I'd have to say it is wine cork bath mat. It's also probably my favorite project that I did for Every Day with Rachael Ray. Now, the first step you need obviously is a huge collection of wine corks. You might be thinking like right here, this is 700 wine corks. You might be thinking that's a lot of corks, like I definitely don't have a kind of collection but here's my insider trick. If you come probably with local restaurants, wine bars, anywhere where they open a lot of bottles of wine, bring a big bag and ask them very nicely if they could save the corks for you. You'd be surprised how many restaurants be willing to do that. When you've met a large enough collection, then you wanna go to Michael's and get some kind of an unfinished wood box to be your wine cork surface. This is a great big one, uses a lot of corks but it's a great for a great big bathroom. But you can also get smaller ones. This is a lid from an earlier project that I did and I was thinking like if I just had four of these, one, two, three, four, I can create a really nice, long, wine cork bath mat. So many different sizes, so many different choices. Just visiting Michael's and you'll definitely find something that works just for you. And one thing I like to do is line the bottom of the wood box with some cork contact paper. And this stuff is so versatile and very easy to find. There's a nice adhesive on the back of the cork and this waxy paper just peels right off. The thing that I love the most, there's lines on the back. So, you can measure the inside of your box, get the exact dimensions, just copy it on the back of here, use some sharp scissors to cut it out and you've got a perfect cut every single time. After you've lined the bottom of cork, that's when you wanna fill it with your actual wine corks. Now, you might be thinking that's a lot of glue, it's a lot of process but what I've discovered is, if you just line them up, one by one, inside of the box, when you finally get to the end, the tension alone from all the corks pressing against each other is actually more than enough tension to keep all them upright in place, very sturdy. Here's the last one. And you've got yourself an instant wine cork bath mat. You know, one of the things I love about cork is that it's naturally antimicrobial and it's also very great for bathroom use because it absorbs the water of your feet. So, if you're worried about mold building and those kinds of concerns, you don't have to be with actual real cork. And the best part, not gluing them down. If one of the corks sort of shreds over time, needs to be replaced, instead of having the whole thing be ruined, you just have to take it out, replace it with a new cork and you got almost as good as new, a wine cork upcycled bath mat.