Natural wine corks come from cork trees that grow in Spain and Portugal. Some wine corks are a single piece of cut cork while others are made from many small pieces of cork held together with glue. Natural cork is too dense for composting and cannot be recycled with other organic waste. But there are many other uses for those old wine corks.
Benefits of Cork
In addition to keeping cork out of the landfill, crafting with cork is easy and useful. Cork adheres well with white glue or hot glue, but reacts equally well with nails and screws. Cork is also a natural insulator. It keeps extremes of both hot and cold from the inside of the birdhouse. Cork is also natural. So it is safe if the bird or nestlings ingest any of the material. Wine corks are also plentiful. If you don’t have enough of your own, or need large numbers of corks for a group project, check with a local restaurant or bar and ask to reuse their old corks.
Full-Size Cork Birdhouse
You can construct the walls of a birdhouse out of cork. This works equally well for square or round birdhouses. For square birdhouses, line up the corks on their sides on a piece of thin wood. Glue the corks down and nail the four sides of the birdhouse together. Use a rotary tool to cut or grind a hole in one side for the birds to enter. For a round birdhouse, like up the corks on a flexible substance such as mesh screen. Cut slices of the cork to create small round shingles for the roof.
Corks are a good size to make miniature birdhouses for dollhouses or dioramas. Cut the cork diagonally at the top to create two sloping sides. Cut small pieces of cardboard or very thin wood to fit the top of the cork. Glue the pieces on top of the cork to create the peaked roof. Grind a small hole in the bottom of the cork with a rotary tool. Insert a 1/4-inch dowel for the stand. Add a miniature bird to the house to complete the illusion.
Cork Birdhouse Centerpiece
Cut two rectangles and two pentagrams out of foamcore board or thin wood. Glue the sides and the ends of the birdhouse together with hot glue. Glue the corks onto the form like bricks on a house. Cut two additional pieces of board for the roof. Slice remaining cork for roofing shingles. Grind a hole in one side with a rotary tool. Add artificial flowers and bird models to the form and to hide any additional pieces of foamcore board.