Making a Trivet from Upcycled Catalogs
When the Christmas catalogs kept coming and coming in November and December, I thought there must be some way to upcycle them. And indeed there was.
I decided to copy the design for the junk mail trivet that came up in my Pinterest feed. I’m wild about handmade trivets after all, having already made one from corks. My friend Rachel, who made the felted juggling balls, was game to try this project with me.
The design I used as inspiration is made by “artisans in Vietnam,” and after trying to figure out the technique, I am in total awe of their ability. This is no easy feat. But that shouldn’t stop you from doing it! I love the end result in spite of its, should we say, rustic quality. Here’s how I made one. If you try to do it and find some better techniques, let us know.
1. Open the catalogs and pull out the staples so you can use the longest width of the paper. You can use a paper cutter or just fold and tear the paper.
2. With the pages measuring about 4 inches in width, fold them in half and then in half again until you are happy with the final folded width.
3. Dilute Mod Podge with water (at about a 3:1 ratio of glue to water) and soak the folded pieces in the mixture so they adhere together and harden. We dunked them and rubbed the mixture in between the folds to make sure they’d glue together.
4. Hang them to dry.
5. Then, start rolling the paper strips into a coil, brushing the insides with more Mod Podge. I used a rubber band to hold the ends in place until the glue dried. Mod Podge dries clear, so you can use tons and it will only make the trivet more sturdy and impermeable to moisture.
6. My first attempt resulted in a wider trivet than I intended, so I decided to leave it small and call it a coaster.
7. The next one I made is not as wide and also has a bigger diameter. Voila, fewer annoying holiday catalogs and instead, a brandspanking new DIY junk mail trivet.