Cork Buoys

Cork Buoys

Want to make your Seaside Gnome House look a wee bit more coastal? Try adding a few cork buoys to give color and authenticity to your house!

cork buoys done 3 545wm

It’s hard to be on the Eastern Seaboard without seeing buildings decorated with buoys. Although Kristoff frees his lobster friends from these traps, Caleen thinks they are so pretty that she has added a few to their house. Made from recycled wine corks and coffee stirrers, these cork buoys are a breeze to make and add an authentic look to our Seaside Gnome House.

Cork Buoys Materials:

  • recycled wine corks (save your own or you can get inexpensive bags at Amazon.)
  • recycled wooden coffee stirrers (I bring home my sticks from Panaeras)
  • screw eyes (We got ours from Home Depot)
  • paint
  • twine

Cork Buoys Directions:

Using a dremel, shape your buoys. I shaped the top of the cork. Leave the bottom, the side that was in the wine, flat. FYI: I now use a cordless rotary tool from Dremel which can be found HERE. If you don’t have a dremel you can shape with a crafting knife and sand paper. Make sure you leave a flat area on top to insert the eye screw. Don’t worry about shaping them perfectly. Real buoys are rather crudely shaped!

cork buoys 1 545wm

Using utility scissors… not your good ones!… cut your coffee stirrers into 2″ to 3″ pieces. Cut a point on just one side of the stick.

cork buoys 3 545wm

cork buoys 4 545wm

cork buoys 5 545wm

If you are strong and brave you can push the stick into the cork. Tim wiggled the point in the flat side of the cork then CAREFULLY pushed it in by placing the flat end of the stick against a table and pushed. NOTE: If I was doing this myself I would have drilled a hole in the bottom, insert the stick and glue if necessary.

cork buoys 6 545wm

cork buoys 7 545wm

Using an emery board or sandpaper, round off the corners of the coffee stirrer.

cork buoys 8 545wm

Before painting your buoys, you may want to jump online and look at some traditional buoys. Here’s a photo from Visual Photos of many hanging on a wall for inspiration.


Gather your paints make each of the buoys unique!

cork buoys 9 545wm

While painting the corks and the sticks, don’t try to totally cover the writing on your cork. If some of the writing or design on the cork peeks through, I think it gives them a fun, “used” look.

cork buoys 10 545wm

When they are dry, screw an eye screw in the top of each buoy. FYI… this would actually be the bottom of the buoy that is submerged under water 🙂

cork buoys 12 545wm

The buoys are now ready to use as desired. I wanted mine to hang off our Seaside Gnome House. I began by marking 1 1/2″ on the edge of my work table.

cork buoys 13 545wm

Tie 2 pieces of twine together leaving a 2 1/2″ tail.

cork buoys 14 545wm

Tie a knot every 1 1/2″ using the tape as a guide. I planned to hang 4 buoys on each side of our Seaside Gnome House so I created 4 sections.

cork buoys 15 545wm

Drill small pilot holes near the top of your house, and screwed in 2 eye screws.

cork buoys 16 545wm

cork buoys 17 545wm

Tie the ends of your ropes to the 2 hooks.

cork buoys 18 545wm

Thread a piece of twine through the eye screw of a buoy.

cork buoys 19 545wm

Place an end of the twine between a knotted section of the rope attached to your house.

cork buoys 20 545wm

Tie the buoy to the rope.

cork buoys 21 545wm

cork buoys 22 545wm

Add the rest of the buoys to the sides of your house and you are done!

cork buoys done 2 545wm



  1. Sooooo cute!! I love them!!! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    1. Kimara

      You are very welcome. They were so much fun to make. After they are shaped and the sticks were put in, wee ones will love painting them, too. ~Kimara~

  2. I had to do a double take when I saw the picture of the Townsend Lobster Co. in Provincetown, I added the link to my pintrest pic taken at the same location (I think it’s my most re-pinned pin).

    I love your books and the projects you share on your blog <3
    Smiles, DianeM

    1. Kimara

      That must be a very common building to take photos of. I saw lots of them on line. It reminds me of the time I lived in New Hampshire and spent lots of time on the coast. In Rockport, MA there was a fishing shack that claims to be the most often painted building in America. It truly is picturesque. It’s a fun area of the country. Thanks for sharing the link to your photo and I am so glad you enjoy our site. ((hugs)) ~Kimara~

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *