DIY Wine Cork Bathmat

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  September 28, 2011 — 16 Comments

297 corks

4 hot glue gun burns

one laceration

a whole lotta hot glue

Y’all, I finally made the wine cork bath mat that I’ve been talking about for months. My friend Jen works at a fancy schmancy restaurant in New Orleans (where they apparently pop a lotta bottles of wine) and gave me a HUGE paper bag full of corks last time I saw her. Seeing as I’ve only managed to accrue about six corks on my own in the months I’ve been collecting them, Jen’s donation was a major boon to the project.

I gathered my supplies: a gripping rug pad, my bag of corks, my hot glue gun, and glue sticks.

I’d been cooped up inside all day working on the wing chairs, so I chose to tackle this project on the porch. I needed some fresh air.

Look at all those corks!

I started at one end of the rug pad and just started testing out different ways to arrange the corks.

Once I was happy with the look, I glued it down cork by cork, then starting laying out the next row.

Then another. I didn’t have a set pattern, I just sort of winged it as I went.

And another, and another, and another…this was sort of a repetitive project. Dachshund present for scale.

You know what’s kind of crazy? Every row came out to be exactly 21 corks, no matter how I arranged it. Except for one that was a little wonky-that one only had 20.

Eventually I got tired of the definitely-not-fall temperature outside and moved the whole operation to the living room. But it looks like my hot glue was bleeding through the rug pad and onto the porch floor. I had to pull pretty hard to get it up, and a little bit of the rug pad was left behind. Inside I worked on a piece of cardboard and reached under the rug to loosen it every row or two, before the glue could completely dry.

And about an hour later, ta-da! I ran out of corks before I got to the end of the 2×3 rug pad. Can you believe it? 300 corks and still not enough.

I walked away for a little while midway through this project and by the time I came back Pistachio had dislodged four of the wine corks for her personal pleasure. Looks like this thing needed some cat-proofing. I went back over the entire rug and glued each cork to the ones around it. You may want to do this even if you don’t have pets, as it made the whole thing a lot more sturdy.

You’ve been foiled, Hitler cat.

There were a few gaps, so I used a sharp knife to slice a few corks up into smaller pieces to jam in wherever needed.

If you know me well you will not be at all surprised to hear that I thought I didn’t need a cutting board to cut my corks, I could just carefully hold them as I sliced. Then I sliced my thumb. I took a picture, but my friend Lauren told me people might not like to see a picture of my bloody thumb. So just imagine. And don’t worry, I’m fine.

l wasn’t a big fan of the pieces-jammed-in look, so I used them sparingly and only when really needed. But now that I have the rug in my bathroom I notice that I can’t even find the spots where I filled holes, but the remaining empty spaces are glaringly obvious to me. So I’ll probably be going back and stuffing some more little cork pieces in there.

I cut off the excess rug pad and carefully moved the rug to the bathroom. It’s very stiff and really doesn’t transport very well. It kind of snapped in half while I was carrying it, but when I laid it down flat it looked perfectly fine.

See how obvious the empty areas are? I’m definitely going to go back and fill them in.

I’m muy happy with how it looks in the room.

Next up: ruffling up a little more ribbon and permanently attaching it to the shower curtain, since it’s all still held on with pins (read about that project here). Also, replacing those towels with something more colorful to contrast the all black and white space. I got those towels from my wedding registry. At the time Nick and I were in a rental house and had no idea what the bathroom situation would be once we got our own place, so it seemed smart to go neutral. I’m really glad I did that because our upstairs bathroom A) is tiny and B) has red walls, so towels with a lot of color or pattern would probably just be too much in there. Since this bathroom is bigger and a lot more neutral, I can have a little more fun with it. Plus, since this is a guest bathroom slash someday maybe kids’ bathroom, it’s nice to bring in a little more punch and personality.

How adorable are these (from Anthro)?


But of course they’re pricey. Maybe I could just get the hand towels ($18 each) and then get some more reasonably priced bath towels that coordinate? Simple, clean, white bath towels are always a good bet and easy to come by. Fun, poppy hand towels and clean white bath towels and wash cloths? What do you think?


Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap


16 responses to DIY Wine Cork Bathmat

  1. Love the bathmat! I totally want to make it, but 300 corks is a lot! Who knew?

    • Charlotte | livingwellonthecheap September 28, 2011 at 8:01 am

      I know! I was thinking I’d have a bunch left over to use as vase filler. I was SHOCKED to discover I no longer had enough to do another row! Maybe try sourcing yours from a restaurant or bar, like I did?

  2. britt@knewlywifed September 28, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Girl! I love that! I can’t believe it took that many corks. That’s crazy! I’d say it’s a good idea to add the extra glue around. My hot glue never seems to stay very long :(

  3. I love that rug! I’m thinking of making a cork board similar to that for the kitchen. Looks like I need to start saving up the corks.

    • Charlotte | livingwellonthecheap September 28, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks, Lauren! I’ve seen the message boards made of wine corks and it looks amazing! Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  4. The Stucco Bungalow September 29, 2011 at 2:14 am

    LOVE the pattern & texture!

  5. Super cute! How does it feel on your feet though?

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap February 6, 2013 at 9:22 am

      Eh, it’s alright. It’s a guest bath and where we bathe the baby, so I don’t step on it too often (I’m usually perched on the side of the tub). It’s also kind of delicate for everyday use. If you step on the edge it’s easy for the corks to break off.

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