Cool DIY Gift Idea for Plant, Wine Lovers: Plants Grow in Fridge Magnets, Recycled Corks

By Marieke Vos
Marieke Vos
Marieke Vos
November 4, 2013 Updated: November 24, 2013

Plants are said to create peace and harmony in your living space. Cork planter fridge magnets add a touch of green harmony to your fridge door’s “to-do and not-to-forget” lists.

Here’s how you upcycle cork wine stoppers with very little tools or materials.

1. Punch a hole in the corks with a screw driver.

2. Hollow the cork out halfway. Use a slim, sharp knife (like a pocket knife) to hollow cork wine stoppers about halfway.

3. Glue little magnets to the sides. Use a glue gun or any other glue that sticks wood and metal together.

4. Fill the corks with earth.

5. Plant succulent clippings or air plant spring-offs in your micro-garden, and that’s that.

Watering weekly with a sprayer should keep them alive thriving. In about half a year to a year, the plants can be clipped again so as to not outgrow their tiny, yet lofty, housing.

The idea for cork planters came from Upcycle That, a website dedicated to helping people upcycle—finding great uses for waste materials. Co-founder Judy Rom said she “draws inspiration from many places.”

“We love succulents and create many different types of upcycled planters for them. We have also made record bowls, for instance,” she said.

Homemade mini-plant fridge magnets could be a nice little gift for Christmas, especially for plant or wine lovers. They can spruce up the office, adding some life to your cubicle by growing on your filing cabinet or any similar, generally sterile-looking, metal surface.

Educational Project for Kids

You could also make your cork planters with your kids as a nature-education project.

While trying not to glue your fingers together, talk about how forest fires and plastic wine stopper substitutes threaten Portuguese cork forest landscapes.

Fascinating Nature of the Cork Industry

The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) explains that cork harvesting actually protects the cork trees: “Because cork is the bark of the cork oak tree (Quercus suber) which renews itself after harvesting, commercial exploitation is environmentally friendly, as not a single tree is cut down.

“Indeed it’s the best way to preserve the precious and beautiful woodlands that have uniquely clustered in the western Mediterranean for millennia.

“Increased market share for alternative wine stoppers could reduce the value of cork oak areas, leading to their conversion or abandonment, and possibly the complete loss of one of the finest examples of a system which perfectly balances the needs of both humans and nature.”

WWF has special programs to mitigate the decline of this slow-growing tree.

Cork harvesting is a highly skilled business in the western Mediterranean, where each generation has tutored the next in a continuous process from the time of the ancient Greeks.


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Marieke Vos