Back over Memorial Day weekend, my husband and I made our first-ever trip to IKEA….and it was incredible! Seriously, it was everything I hoped it would be. Pinterest is of course filled with all these amazing hacks and DIY projects using their basic products, so I was eager to give my own a try. Oh, and let’s not even start on those prices! #takemymoney
We didn’t get too carried away and buy an entire showroom (no, that’s coming when we move later this year….be prepared, Honey!), but we did snag a few items, one of which was a 3-pack of cork trivets.
I had first planned on painting them with some cute design that was TBD, but then I started worrying (because that’s what I do)….would the hot dishes cause problems for the paint, or would the paint cause problems for the dishes??? Either way, that would not be good. I mean we’re actually going to use these bad boys, so I want their upcycling design to have some staying power and also not wreck our kitchenware. Maybe craft paint and hot casseroles go together like peas and carrots, but I didn’t feel like testing it out here.
So I put on my thinking cap and started brainstorming ideas, then it hit me: BURN THE DESIGN! Yep, I’d been eyeing getting a wood burner for some time and giving it a go, and this project seemed like the perfect opportunity to test out this new crafty pursuit. Luckily, this skill is easy to master (at least with cork) and my DIY burned IKEA cork trivets proved to be a huge success!
DIY Burned IKEA Cork Trivets: A Cheap & Easy IKEA Hack!
Here’s a quick rundown of this project:
- 3-pack of IKEA HEAT 7″ cork trivets
- Wood burner with interchangeable tips and adjustable heat
- Contact paper stencil (or use paper/stickers to create a stencil, or just freehand the design)
- Silhouette Cameo (or you could just use scissors/Xacto knife)
- Pen or marker
The Cork Trivets
Here are the cork trivets we snagged at IKEA. They came as a 3-pack for I think $3.99, so like everything else at this land of enchantment and wonder….super affordable!
Creating the Stencils
Since I am completely obsessed with my Silhouette Cameo, I put it to good use and had it cut out the stencils for me. You of course don’t need a Silhouette for this task though (but I highly recommend picking one up because it is my most favorite crafting tool in the history of ever…just check out my Project Gallery to see why!).
A stencil can also be created with a pair of scissors, an Xacto knife, stickers, or even just free-handing the design on the cork….I’m not that brave though. #cantdrawastraightline
I created the designs for my three trivets in Silhouette Studio then cut them out of contact paper that I grabbed at the dollar store. This was my first time ever cutting this medium on my Silhouette, and it worked perfectly….and it’s way cheaper than using precious vinyl!
Once all three of my stencils were cut, I trimmed them and weeded (or removed) all the excess parts.
This particular pattern of contact paper was rather busy and made it somewhat difficult to see my final design, but holding it up to the light made it easier to double check that I had weeded everything that needed to go.
Applying the Stencils to the Cork Trivets
Next, it was time to apply all three stencils to their respective cork trivets. I first added some transfer tape over the stencils then used the fail-proof hinge method to apply them, which I talk about in more detail here, here, or here.
And here’s the stencil once applied (don’t worry, I smoothed out the inner portion of the “Y”….I know it looks all wonky in the photo):
Tracing the Design Onto the Cork Trivets
I then grabbed the closest writing utensil I could find which happened to be a pen, but a marker would work too. I started filling in all the elements of the design and then removed the stencil.
The Wood Burner
Like I mentioned, this was my very first time ever using a wood burning tool, so this was a pure experiment for me. I picked up this particular set that came with a bunch of different interchangeable tips as well as a handy dandy storage case. It also allows you to adjust the heat depending on what type of item you’re burning….I like having options.
This tool can be used on not only wood and cork, but also leather, paper crafts, or other home decor items like fake pumpkins…..guess what I’ll be trying out this fall!
Thanks to a little bit of serendipity, the dots on my design ended up being the same size as the flow (or round) tip on my burner, so I quickly burnt those by just pressing straight down for a couple seconds over each dot. I then let the burner cool down completely, removed the flow tip and replaced it with the calligraphy one (it’s sort of angled with both skinny and wide parts), then burned the rest of my design once the burner was preheated again. I found it was easier to complete all the thick, chunkier sections first, then go back and do all the thin lines.
The cork is obviously softer than wood, so I didn’t need to use very much pressure to get a nice sear. You can also change up your design and adjust not only the pressure you apply, but also the length of time you leave your tip in contact with the cork as well as the angle you apply it. It’s quite an amazing little tool.
There’s of course no erase button (nuts!), so I had to be focused at all times with just where and how I applied the wood burner tip to the cork, but it was rather easy to clean up the edges. I’ve also read that you can fix tiny mistakes when burning wood with just a little sanding….not sure if that will work with cork too, but it’s a handy tip.
The Completed DIY Burned IKEA Cork Trivets!
And here they are: all three of my DIY burned IKEA cork trivets! I cannot tell you how much I love these little suckers….they are just so cool, and I love that they’re still completely practical and functional. We’ll be putting them to good and regular use in no time.
I’m also quite proud of myself for making all three of them without any mistakes….or third-degree burns (see Hubs, I told ya I wouldn’t have to go to the hospital with this one!). ;)
One of the details that I especially love about these is that the designs are three-dimensional thanks to them being burnt *into* the cork. Yep, the wood burner provided great texture and character that you just can’t get with paint, vinyl, or a Sharpie.
I think using this technique to personalize trivets or coasters would be such a fun and unique (and still very practical) gift idea!
Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed my first IKEA hack! :)