How to Make Easy Trivets and Hot Plates From Rope

A coiled rope trivet makes a wonderful hostess gift or a simple way to add an inexpensive touch of nautical flair to your kitchen.

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Whip up a set of new trivets made from an unexpected material – basket-weaving coiling core – and customize it for use with your dining table this holiday season. Trivets are one thing that we always seem to be short on during our Thanksgiving feast, but these handmade (and custom dyed) trivet spirals come to the rescue, protecting the tabletop from hot dishes while at the same time looking really good.

How to make a coiled trivet.

How to make a coiled trivet.

A handmade, dyed coiled trivet on a table.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Coiling core is a material you should get to know. Intended by all accounts as a paper core used in basket making, it’s durable, inexpensive (only 60-cents a yard for 1/2” coiling core at my local craft shop), and absorbent but tightly bound and able to dry without losing form. It’ll last well beyond the holiday season unless clumsy Uncle Lou spills the gravy atop it. I used three yards to create a single 10” trivet. Its natural color all by itself is lovely, but it takes on dye very well too, as demonstrated below, making it an easy product to customize for a holiday or event, or to coordinate with your dinnerware.

Make an Easy Coiled Trivet

Make an Easy Coiled Trivet

Craft an easy, hand-dyed coiled trivet using basket making materials.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

There are a few approaches you may want to take if you’re going to dye coiling core. The first is to do a modified dip-dye technique, where instead of submerging one end of the product completely into the liquid dye, you make a shallow pool and allow the product to absorb it towards its inner core. I allowed the dye to absorb on the outer edge of the coil along threads and fibers so that it would leave dye-free areas on the inside coil. 

Make an Easy Coiled Trivet

Make an Easy Coiled Trivet

Craft an easy, hand-dyed coiled trivet using basket making materials.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

You can also use a misting sprayer to apply dye to lightly without over-saturating, and as you’ll see towards the end of this tutorial, you can also use an eye dropper to create effects with dye.

Once the dye has dried (when it’s easier to handle), you’re ready to coil your trivet. Plug in your hot-glue gun, and begin by tying a piece of string tightly around one end of the coiling core cord to prevent fraying, and then trim the end even using sharp scissors.

Make an Easy Coiled Trivet

Make an Easy Coiled Trivet

Craft an easy, hand-dyed coiled trivet using basket making materials.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Apply hot glue to the blunt end of the cord, and immediately coil the cord to establish the center of the trivet. 

Make an Easy Coiled Trivet
Emily Fazio
Make an Easy Coiled Trivet

Make an Easy Coiled Trivet

Craft an easy, hand-dyed coiled trivet using basket making materials.

Photo By: Emily Fazio

Make an Easy Coiled Trivet

Craft an easy, hand-dyed coiled trivet using basket making materials.

Work in three- to four-inch sections and continue to apply hot glue at points of contact and coil the cord tight. It’ll go very quickly, and the coiling core fibers hold very well to the hot glue.

Make an Easy Coiled Trivet
Emily Fazio
Make an Easy Coiled Trivet

Make an Easy Coiled Trivet

Craft an easy, hand-dyed coiled trivet using basket making materials.

Photo By: Emily Fazio

Make an Easy Coiled Trivet

Craft an easy, hand-dyed coiled trivet using basket making materials.

When you’ve reached the end of the coiling core, use scissors to trim the end at a sharp angle so that it is inclined to wrap flush with the trivet you’ve made. Apply glue to the cut end.

Make an Easy Coiled Trivet

Make an Easy Coiled Trivet

Craft an easy, hand-dyed coiled trivet using basket making materials.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Once the trivet was assembled, I used the eyedropper to apply beads of purple dye. Adding more colors at this point is optional, but the dye does take well to the coiling core at this stage using a tool for precise application.

Make an Easy Coiled Trivet

Make an Easy Coiled Trivet

Craft an easy, hand-dyed coiled trivet using basket making materials.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Allow the trivet to dry, and admire the dip dye/tie-dyed effect you created. Use the trivet to protect a table from hot surfaces, or as a decorative accessory on your tablescape.

Make an Easy Coiled Trivet

Make an Easy Coiled Trivet

Craft an easy, hand-dyed coiled trivet using basket making materials.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

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