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5 Sustainable Cork Crafts You’ll Love

Yes, I’m on a cork kick for a couple reasons. One being sustainability. This is interesting. Cork is considered a sustainable resource because it’s both biodegradable and renewable.  Cork comes from the cork oak tree (Quercus Suber), but instead of needing to cut down the tree to source the benefit of the raw material as is done with the majority of all other wood species, the bark (or outer skin) of the tree is peeled off, and the tree is left to regenerate.*

My next reason is that cork is a fun and useful material for DIY crafts.

Where to Buy Cork for Crafts

Unless you’ve gone hunting for cork, you’ve probably never noticed it in the places you shop. Good news is, it’s very easy to find at any craft store live Joann’s, Michaels or Hobby Lobby.

You can buy it as sheet or in a roll. I have a large roll that I’ve had for a while and have used for everything from pads under my tile coasters to a make-shift mouse pad. But, if you think that’s boring, hang on for some useful and unique cork craft projects that you will want to make.

5 Sustainable Cork Craft Projects

Use sustainable cork sheets as a DIY mat frame

Use sustainable cork sheets as a DIY mat frame

If you’ve ever shopped for frame mats you know how expensive they can be. And if you’ve ever framed a photo without a mat and have the photo permanently stick to the frame glass (ruined!) you know how necessary a frame mat is.

My son was given a vintage, 1967 aerial photo of the city of Buffalo. He asked if it could be framed for his room. This task was quick because I used cork sheet.

Here are a few benefits I found when using cork:

  • cork is easy to cut
  • cork is inexpensive
  • as I said before, it’s sustainable
  • and, for you crafty folk, cork is easy to decorate!

    Cork is an easy material for cross stitch and hand embroidery

    Cork is an easy material for cross stitch and hand embroidery

Because cork is easy to decorate, I took a little time to cross stitch “Buffalo” into the mat.

* * *

Decorate cork trivets with stencils and multi-surface paint

Jill at Being Spiffy took these IKEA cork trivets to a new level with a little multi-surface paint, and stencils from Handmade Charlotte. The beauty of this project it its simplicity. Click here for the full tutorial.

DIY Cork sheet ipad case

Natalie at Cremé de a Craft made this super cool iPad case from self adhesive cork. The self-adhesive is used for a fabric lining. So, if you don’t want yours fabric lined you can buy the plain cork by the sheet or roll. I do love the fabric lining, though. Guess what Natalie used – a recycled t-shirt! Click here for more great photos and the full tutorial.

Easy cork sheet canoe DIY craft

Easy cork sheet canoe DIY craft

I’m in love with this project! You may remember the popsicle stick canoe craft I did a while back. It’s a smashing hit with the kids. Well this kids craft project is just as simple and makes a great DIY souvenir for summer camp or a family vacation. This project comes from Katie Streuernagle from Apartment Therapy. Click here for the tutorial which includes the canoe template.

DIY Cork Sheet pencil box

This project from Micaela at Drifter and the Gypsy has functionality written all over it. Doesn’t it make so much sense to hold your pencils is something that will also display your most urgent reminders? In the spirit of recycling, I’d probably reuse an aluminum can and wrap it with the sheet cork.

And finally here is a link to a video tutorial I did for where I made “Green Dorm Art” using sheet cork.

* How is cork sustainable information taken from Sustainable Materials

Eve of Reduction Free Seasonal E-Newsletter; Extra tips and wit on Facebook; Reduction Beauty on Pinterest ; The debut DIY lifestyle book (includes 10 upcycling tutorials); and the guide to creative streams of income ebook (only $2.99)

I’m Cristin Frank (AKA Eve). I love all things frugal and crafty. My mindset is always on upcycling, repurposing, reducing waste and saving money – and Eve of Reduction is my roadmap. You might also want to check out my book, "Living Simple, Free & Happy."

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One Response to 5 Sustainable Cork Crafts You’ll Love

  1. Lucy Schmidt January 24, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

    I’ve only used cork sheets on trivets and DIY bulletin boards, but I made several hexagonal trivets from wine corks MANY years ago. All of them are still going strong and not a one of them has been given away or donated. It makes me happy to see them still in use. ;-)

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