Create a Heat Trivet from Balsa Wood Slats
Ever wanted to rest your drink or mug on a harder surface when you’re kicking back and watching a movie? Instead of bringing a large tray or table to rest your drinks on, consider making this simple trivet, made from craft wood. This can be another easy, personalized gift for a special someone, and not to mention, it’s very functional. You can make this craft with a few wood sticks and glue.
Head over to your local craft store and pick up a small package of balsa wood sticks. Initially, I was going to head to the hardware store to pick up a few plywood slats and cut them down, until I saw a pack of pre-cut wood at the craft store. This pack ran for about $10, and even had a few different sizes to choose from. For this DIY you’ll need 10-12 slats- about 1 foot long and an inch wide. You’ll also need a heavy-duty glue, such as 527 or E-6000, some felt, scissors, a ruler and a pencil or pen. For a colorful twist, also add a bright acrylic paint.
To begin, lay the felt on a flat surface and line the wood slats in a row next to each other. This is to determine how much felt you need for the project. One 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of felt should be enough, with room glue down 11 slats. Laying the wood out first ensures that you have enough pieces and also helps determine how far apart to lay them down before permanently gluing them on.
Be sure to line the very edge of the wood with the edge of the felt. If you felt sheet is larger than the length of the wood, you’ll need to cut it down. Lay a ruler above the slats on the felt, and then remove the slats. Trace a line right underneath the ruler. With sharp scissors, cut the excess felt off, on that drawn line. You should now have the perfect sized sheet for the base of the trivet.
If the ends of the wood have frayed tips or are sharp, use a fine grit sandpaper or a nail file to smooth it. This makes it easier to paint.
For a pop of added color, paint the bottom and sides of the wood slats. I found a sponge brush worked well for painting, as it helps the paint get into the smaller cracks of the wood. Choose a bright color that’s subtle, but pops off of the felt and the neutral tan color of the wood. The acrylic should only take about 15 minutes to dry.
Glue down the slats to the felt, with the same distance between them as you had before. They should sit about 1/8″ apart. Let the glue dry and cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In about an hour I was able to use the trivet. Be sure not to use a hot glue gun. The hot glue may melt a second time if you put a hot plate on the trivet in the end.
And that’s it! Drape the trivet over the arm of a sofa or chair for an instant straight surface to put your glasses or mugs. This can also be used as a heat trivet for those hot plates in the kitchen. This is a simple DIY that can add a modern feel to your home.