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DIY: How to Make Adorable Recycled Wine Cork Planters for Under $10

When it comes to rapidly renewable resources, wine corks are up there at the top of the list – at least in my house. If your corks have been piling up too, here’s a delightful way to reuse them by turning them into cute little planters for succulents. These would make an adorable Mother’s Day gift as well if your mom is a plant lover, and the best part is that this whole DIY project costs less than $10 since the corks are free.

DIY Recycled Wine Cork Planters

Here’s what you’ll need to get started…
– wine corks (be sure to use real cork wine corks instead of plastic synthetic ones, which feel smooth to the touch)
– pen
– a small, sharp knife
– a slotted or flat-head screwdriver
– small succulent plants
– soil

Step 1:

Using a pen, draw a circle in the center of the top of your cork leaving about an 1/8th of an inch perimeter. You can skip this step if your cork already has a circle printed on it as part of the design!

Your cork might already have a circle printed on top of it, which will save you a step.

Step 2:

Next, take your sharp knife and very carefully begin cutting into your cork following the circle you just drew. The idea is to go in as deep as you can without cutting through the cork.

Step 3:

Once you have your circle cut out all the way around, use your knife to start popping out little chunks of the middle of the cork. If you’ve ever carved out parmesan from the center of a cheese wheel, this is a very similar process.

Step 4:

After you have an initial shallow well carved out, switch over to your flat-head screwdriver to begin hollowing out the inside of the cork using a twisting motion. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the blunt edge of the screwdriver is infinitely more effective at removing chunks of the cork than a sharp knife. You can stop once you are a little more than halfway down through the cork.

Step 5:

Next, scoop a little bit of soil into your hollowed out wine cork, leaving room for your plant.

Step 6:

Then pop your plant in and cover the roots with a little more soil.

Remember to put your new wine cork succulents in a place where they’ll get plenty of sun. They don’t need to be watered much, but when you do, you can use an eyedropper or a straw. And don’t throw your leftover cork shavings away! Reuse them as mulch for your plants to get even more value out of this recycling project.

Yuka Yoneda

Yuka Yoneda is a reporter, cheese fanatic and self-proclaimed JeDIY master from Queens, New York. She is the founder of Clossette.com and an editor at sustainable design website Inhabitat.com. Yuka also writes for Edible Magazine and Ecouterre.com, and has written for The Daily Green and The New York Times.

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