Most people are doing a lot of cooking at home right now. These short cold days are the ideal time to enjoy steaming soup, warm roasted veggies and toasty bowls of comforting pasta. Newspaper is a good insulator, so why not turn it into a useful item that will protect your table from scorching dishes? (The reader Rhonda Fadum from Boulder, Colo., suggested this idea for a newspaper craft activity.)
Making these easy trivets is not only a fun activity for the afternoon, but it will also provide a tablescape conversation starter for months to come. Try the square version shown below, or get creative and make your own design.
Roll a full page of newspaper diagonally around a bamboo skewer from one corner to the other creating a long tube.
When almost finished rolling the tube, line the remaining paper with white glue and continue rolling until there is no excess paper. Wipe off any extra glue and remove the bamboo skewer. Repeat 8 more times so you have nine tubes.
Working with one tube at a time, roll one end tightly until it’s about the size of a dime. Keep rolling the tube, but begin forming 90-degree angles at the corners to create a rectangle.
Continue wrapping the tube tightly, squeezing into a rectangle as you go. Place glue on the end of the tube and wrap the rest of the way around, holding for a few seconds until it’s secure. Set aside to dry.
Repeat with the other tubes, creating nine rectangular newspaper pods.
Cut off approximately 18 inches of twine and thread your needle. Start with two pods; beginning underneath one pod and leaving an eight inch tail of twine, bring your needle up between the second and third rows from the outside.
Bring the needle down through the same spot in the second pod. Gently pull the thread to tighten and repeat the stitch a second time to secure.
With the bottom of the pods facing up, twist the thread once and turn it perpendicular to your previous stitch.
Wrap both strings around the front and then to the back again, much like you’d wrap a present with a ribbon. Tie a double knot and trim any excess string.
Use the same process to attach a third pod. This is one row of the trivet.
Repeat until you have three rows with three pods each.
Secure the three rows together with the same stitch and wrap technique. Now you’re ready for a hot pot.