wine corks
Photo: Antonis Achilleos
Lightweight and rot-resistant, corks can do a lot more than just plug up your favorite bottle of vino. Start saving them for a few handy projects.

1. Create baseboard. Glue corks side by side onto a base of 1/4-inch MDF and cut along the long ends with a saw to an even height. Attach strips of 3/4-inch molding to the top and bottom, and nail the strip of corks to the base of your walls.

2. Scrub a knife. To avoid scratching high-carbon kitchen knives, use a dab of cleanser and scrub the knife with a cork instead of an abrasive cleaning pad.

3. Make Some Mulch. Chop or grind corks and use the bits as moisture-retaining mulch.

4. Make a tiny sanding block. Wrap a piece of sandpaper around a cork. Use the curved surface for touch-ups on molding and other detailed items.

5. Keep artwork on an even keel. Cut a cork lengthwise into thin strips and glue them to the corners of hanging artworks. The cork will prevent them from tipping off-center.

6. Protect your blades. Glue several corks together side by side and place the strip in a drawer. Rest knife blades in the crevices to keep them sharp and protected.

7. Make a doorstop. Slice along the length of a cork at an angle and push the cork under a door to keep it from slamming shut.

8. Hush up your cabinets. Slice a cork into thin circles and glue the pieces to the inside corners of cabinet doors to quiet them when closing.

9. Safeguard your tools. Drill a hole halfway through the length of a cork. Fit the cork over the end of a pointed tool to prevent damage to it (and yourself).

10. Start a fire. Soak old corks in a jar of rubbing alcohol, then put a few in a fireplace underneath logs and newspaper. Light the corks with a long-handled starter to get the flames dancing quickly.
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