This post is poorly timed, and I’m sorry for that.
Better planning and more focus on the calendar would have had this up about a month ago for my Canadian readers to stand a chance of getting one made before Thanksgiving (tomorrow).
Not one to linger in clouds, I’m going to suggest a silver lining: to both my Canadian and American readers, enjoy the weekend. Enjoy it so much that you manage to accumulate about 50 wine corks. Not all at one sitting of course (unless you have lots of guests) and not before you drive anywhere. Everyone celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend with good friends, family and a LOT of wine.
Then, we can celebrate together AGAIN on the U.S. Thanksgiving with this adorable trivet!
Truthfully, I don’t even drink wine – tastes like rotten fruit to me – but my friend Kate found this DIY cork trivet at a craft show and brought one home for me to post on the blog:
This is 50 wine corks bundled into a metal worm drive clamp – more commonly known as “that clamp that holds the dryer vent on”.
The clamp tightens with a screwdriver and will hold all of the wine corks in place tightly.
You could paint the clamp before wrapping the corks, or follow up by wrapping a ribbon around the clamp for a prettier finish.
This DIY cork trivet is easy and cheap if you drink wine. The clamp is about $4 per, the wine (at a conservative $10 per bottle) comes to $500 and with a hangover to last a month. Alternatively, you could forego the alcohol poisoning and just buy a bag of recycled wine corks for about $15.
I love it – well, I love the idea and the recycling aspect of it, but I wasn’t so keen on the look of this particular DIY cork trivet; I opted to up the aesthetics a bit.
You could use 1×2’s to build this, but I still have scrap wood in the corner of my workshop, so I decided to use some of that up.
I cut a 1″ thick board (which really amounts to 3/4″ thick) so that it was 1 1/2″ wide – roughly the width of a 1×2. I set my mitre saw up for a 45 degree angle and cut two pieces of wood to 22 3/4″ long (the short side will be 20 1/8″ long). The angles will be opposite to each other.
I cut two more pieces, again at the 45 degree angle, to 6 5/8″ long (3 3/4″ on the short side).
The corks need to be taller than the wood, so using scrap 2×4 pieces won’t work. The finish on your wood will melt and your wood will scar. The corks need to be slightly taller to take the majority of the heat/moisture.
Once I had my pieces cut, I glued them together with wood glue and clamped tightly until dry.
While that was drying, I cut a piece of 1/4″ MDF to 21 1/2″ by 4 1/2″ – smaller than the DIY cork trivet frame, but large enough cover the centre opening with a slight overhang on each edge for finishing nails. You can see above I added a thin strip of wood glue before attaching with 1/2″ finishing nails.
You can skip this step if you like, but I wanted my corks to be slightly staggered, so I needed to cut one cork in half. PLEASE don’t do this with your fingers near a saw – use an exacto knife or, what I did, was stick two nails into a scrap piece of wood and push the cork onto them. Your nails need to be on either side of a centre line so the saw can cut down the middle without hitting metal. I used my mitre saw and got a perfect cut.
Once the glue was dry, I did use a couple of 1″ finishing nails to strengthen the corners of the frame.
Before going further, you’ll want to sand your piece down. Get all of your edges nice and smooth and ready for stain before taking the next step (or you’ll fill your base with sawdust). Sand the bottom as well and make sure that no finishing nails are sitting at or above the surface – these will scratch your table. Alternatively, or in addition to, you could add felt pads at the end for extra protection.
Slather the bottom with wood glue and line up your corks:
I started the second row ‘half-corked’ and finished that way as well – remember the staggering? (that made me laugh)
I left my DIY cork trivet to dry, under weights, over night. The added weight will ensure a strong adhesion.
All that’s left to do is stain the wood frame, add a coat or two of varnish/poly and set out ready to use!
What I love about this DIY cork trivet is that it’s long and can hold more than one hot pot at a time.
I could probably fit 3 small corning ware dishes on this guy, or two large ones. You could also use it to hold white wine, where it would easily hold 6 bottles, to keep the condensation off of your furniture.
You can see above how the corks sit just above the height of the wood, and that the corning ware isn’t actually touching the wood frame at all.
Plus, it looks nice left out even when not in use:
Top it with a floral centrepiece or several candles of different heights for an attractive table vignette.
I love this project!
Okay Canadians, can you forgive me my tardiness? We still have time to make a couple before Christmas, and this weekend could put a nice dent in the wine cork collection?
Happy Thanksgiving everyone – have a great one!