• Kim Kimbrough

Hostess Tip

Re-purpose items to save time and money


Like many early-twenty-something-year-olds I had a habit of saving my wine bottle corks. I displayed them in a cheap, jeweled iron cage (you know the one I'm talking about) to show off how "refined" I had become (college kids save liquor bottles, hip twenty-somethings save corks), but at the end of the day, they had no real purpose. Being the pack rat that I am, my Ziploc bags full of corks survived a decade of moves, attic dwellings, spring cleanings, and the loss of at least 3 pairs of good sunglasses. They resurfaced once more when I moved into the new house, almost 2 years ago, and I felt I was finally ready to part ways with them. But alas, a light bulb went off and finally the corks had a card holders!

None of my previous residences were ever large enough for a proper dinner party, but things were different now. Granted, it would take some time before we got things in order and I could host my first one, but this meant I could shove the bags back in the cabinet and not feel bad about wasting kitchen space. Naturally, I forgot about them over the months and my first dinner party came and went with no cork name card holders.When I happened upon them on accident one day I promised myself I would use them before the year was over. A few months later my family decided they would spend Christmas in Charleston and I started my list of holiday planning (in August mind you) and decided the cork name card holders would perfectly compliment Italian night.

Fast forward to December 26, 2019 - Dad was breading and frying pounds of eggplant for eggplant Parmesan, Grandma was adjusting the seasonings in her famous gravy ( /ˈɡrāvē/: red sauce with chicken, pepperoni, meatballs, short ribs and sausage, cooked at least two days in advance then simmered all day before serving) and a large pan of pesto lasagna was sitting in the fridge, waiting for it's turn in the oven. I grabbed my sister-in-law and we got to work crafting the cork name card holders. It only took us about 15 minutes to build them, and no fingers were sliced in the making - win/win!

What you'll need


-Chef's knife

-Cardstock cut into 4"x2" cards

-Gold paint pen (and decent handwriting)

Step 1: Make a 1/2" cut on top of each cork

Step 2: Write names on cards

Step 3: Slide name card into sliced cork

Name cards are a great way to elevate your tablescape and can even help mitigate family drama! Whatever your reasoning, pull out those corks you have hiding (you thought I didn't know you were a hoarder too) and get to crafting. Hopefully we'll be back to dinner parties and social events sooner rather than later.



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