How to Make Upcycled Cork Fairy Houses

2 painted fairy houses made from old corks

I’m not the only person who saves champagne or fizz wine corks am I? I just think they look like they are going to be perfect for making something with. Weirdly this is the first time I’ve ever actually made anything with them though! I keep them in a jar, give them away now and again if anyone mentions they are after some for a project and then start collecting again. We are not big champagne drinkers so it would take years to fill the jar, I’ve not managed it yet.

We did have 2 bottles this Christmas though, I had mine with orange juice as I am a lightweight and I do enjoy a bucks fizz and when I was clearing up the kitchen on Boxing Day morning I spotted the 2 corks on the kitchen windowsill where I had popped them the day before.

I’d been trying to decide what project I would do for this month’s Pinterest Challenge and the sight of those corks set my mind whirring. Now was the time to actually try a craft with old corks, whoop whoop!

The Pinterest Challenge has had a bit of a reboot for 2022 and is now the Sustainable Pinterest Challenge. Each month I join a group of creative bloggers and we select a pin or two to we feel inspired by and give it a go. Starting now in January 2022 the Pinterest Challenge has a sustainable, eco friendly twist to it. All the projects shared will have something about them that involves recycling, upcycling, a general ethos of reducing waste and using what we have. It’s not about beating ourselves with a stick, it’s just about giving thought to how we can make small changes in our lives just a little more sustainable and reduce our impact on the environment.


This month the theme is “shopping my stash” so I set about transforming those 2 old corks using my small stash of acrylic paints.

I found this pin from TTS group which takes you to a blog post with 15 fabulous cork craft ideas and decided at first to try painting a simple little mushroom.

I’m going to apologise upfront for the colour balance in these photos. It varies A LOT as it gets dark so early here in the UK at the moment so some of my crafting just has to be at night with artificial light. I’ve done my best to balance them but it’s not ideal. Hopefully it’s all clear enough for you to follow the steps though.

To make your own champagne cork fairy houses you will need:

  • Champagne or fizzy wine corks

  • Acrylic paint - I also used white chalk paint as I didn’t have any white acrylic, it was ok but needed 2 coats, the acrylic paint is better

  • a wooden skewer

  • A paint brush

  • A ball tool

  • A black fineliner pen

It’s really easy, Poke the wooden skewer into the cork to give you something to hold as you paint, then paint the rounded top red and the bottom white and leave it to dry thoroughly. Then use a cocktail stick or ball tool to blob on some white dots onto the red and use a fine paint brush to paint on some grass around the bottom.

You could stop here, having painted a cute mushroom. I was contemplating as I painted about how I could use my super cute mushrooms, I was thinking maybe I could varnish them somehow and them put them in the garden. “They would be really cute in a fairy garden” I thought. What a shame I didn’t think of this 15 years ago when our kids were kids and would have liked making a fairy garden. We made a fabulous dinosaur garden when they were little which was loads of fun, but never a fairy garden. Anyway, I digress! Thinking about fairy gardens made me want to up the cuteness dial on my project and change my mushroom into a fairy house.

Turns out switching it up is pretty simple. Paint some yellow circles for windows and an arched shape for a door and leave it to dry. Then take a black fine liner pen to do a little bit of outlining, draw in a door knob etc. I finished the mushroom fairy house with some coloured dots in the grass, done with the ball tool in the same way as the white dots on the roof, to look like flowers in the grass.

4 photos of a fairy house made from a champagne cork

I fell instantly in love with my mushroom fairy house. It reminded me of the printable colouring page I made back in March last year for the Pinterest challenge.


I decided to try and make the other cork look a little like the fairy house I drew for the colouring page.

I painted the whole thing brown - bit daft maybe as the cork was already brown but that’s what I did! Once that was dry I painted the places I wanted the doors and windows in white first and let that dry. Then I painted over them with yellow for the windows and red for the door. Painting the white undercoat just makes the yellow and red paints more vibrant on the darker brown background.

Next I painted some leaf shapes over the roof and back in green, with a bit of a stem to join them up. I added grass round the bottom the same as on the last cork.

When all this is dry you can add some detail with the black liner pen. Outline the window and door, add some “wood” effect stripes to the door, a door knob - so the fairies can get in of course - I gave the door a little bit of a surround effect too. I went over the leave shapes with some pen detail too and a few swirls as took my fancy. This fairy house was finished off with some dotty flowers in a mix of colours in the green grass as before but also around the door this time.

I love these little cork fairy houses, they really didn’t take long to do, they are not very big so it’s not a lot of painting! I definitely spent more time leaving them to dry between steps than actually working on them.

I’ve not made a fairy garden to put these houses in yet, I may still do. For now I’ve left them on their wooden skewers and have stuck them in my plant pots where they look super cute if I do say so myself!

A mushroom fairy house made from an old cork in a pot plant

If you like fairy toad stood houses you might also like to to make once from felt - the full tutorial and pattern is here: Felt Fairy Toadstool House

2 wine corks painted like fairy houses in a pot with a jade plant

Julie | Sum of their Stories

Gail | Purple Hues and Me

Terri | Our Good Life

Ann | The Apple Street Cottage

T’onna | Sew Crafty Crochet

Julie | Treasures Made from Yarn

Lydia | Life Beyond the Kitchen

Allyson | Southern Sunflowers

Now let’s take a look at what the other Sustainable Pinterest Challenge participants have made for their “Shopping my Stash” challenge.

Are you inspired to have a rummage through your stash of craft supplies and turn them into something fabulous?

Update: I have now sourced enough corks to make a few of these little cork houses to sell in my Etsy shop if you don’t want to make your own.


I’ll be sharing this idea at these link ups.