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DIY Burned IKEA Cork Trivets: Cheap & Easy IKEA Hack!

Learn how easy it is to use a wood burner and burn any design into some inexpensive IKEA cork trivets! They make great personalized gifts or home decor!

DIY Burned IKEA Cork Trivets for a Cheap & Easy IKEA Hack!

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 IKEA 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, 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:





The IKEA Cork Trivets

Here are the cork trivets we snagged at IKEA:

3-pack of IKEA HEAT cork trivets.


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, plus it’s way cheaper than using precious vinyl.

Silhouette Cameo cutting contact paper.


Once all three of my stencils were cut, I trimmed them and weeded (or removed) all the excess parts.

DIY Burned IKEA Cork Trivets: Cheap & Easy IKEA Hack!


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.

Stencil cut out of contact paper with Silhouette Cameo.


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.

Stencil being applied to IKEA cork trivet using hinge method.


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):

Contact paper stencil applied to IKEA cork trivet.


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.

All the elements of the design were filled in and then I removed the stencil.

Collage showing filling in contact paper stencil onto IKEA cork trivet.


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!

Wood burning tool, accessories, and case.


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.

Hands holding a wood burning tool and burning a drawn design into cork.


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. ;)

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!

Three designs burnt into IKEA cork trivets.

Three designs burnt into IKEA cork trivets that say "Yum!", "nom nom nom", and "Let's Eat!".

DIY Burned IKEA Cork Trivets.

DIY Burned IKEA Cork Trivets: Cheap & Easy IKEA Hack!

DIY Burned IKEA Cork Trivets: Cheap & Easy IKEA Hack!

DIY Burned IKEA Cork Trivets.

DIY Burned IKEA Cork Trivets: Cheap & Easy IKEA Hack!


Other IKEA Hacks

Here are a couple other IKEA hacks I’ve undertaken!

The Super Easy Way to Add Legs to an IKEA Kallax Shelf | Where The Smiles Have Been


Personalized Lazy Susan IKEA Hack! | Where The Smiles Have Been #Ikea


If You Enjoyed This…

Make sure you check out my Project Gallery for all of my other crafty creations, tutorials, and freebies, like these!

Pretty Foaming Soap Dispensers with Etched Glass Vinyl + FREE Silhouette & SVG Cut Files! | #Silhouette #Cricut #soapdispenser #freecutfile


How to Repaint a Porch with Rollable Stone Coating | Where The Smiles Have Been #DIY #homeimprovement #porch #backporch #repaintaporch #howto #video #videotutorial #RollerRock #howtorepaintaporch


How to Add LED Backlighting to Any TV in Five Minutes! | Where The Smiles Have Been #TV #LED #TVbacklighting #home #homedecor #homeimprovement


Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed my first IKEA hack! :)

Where The Smiles Have Been | Crafts. DIY. Home. Mom Life.


Sunday 27th of October 2019

Do you put anything on the design area to prevent the charred area from rubbing off?


Sunday 27th of October 2019

Nope! And nothing really comes off since the design is pushed into the cork. It's pretty solid, even all these years later! They look as good as the day I made them, and we use them pretty frequently for hot dishes.


Wednesday 13th of February 2019

I've never heard of the Silhouette. Is the software used on your computer and as user friendly as Publisher?


Thursday 29th of November 2018

Good thing I came across your post! this is helpful! been looking for DIY cork burning technique ;) Thank youuuu!!!!! this would be a great present this coming holiday! :)


Friday 5th of January 2018

Love this idea! Is your template available for purchase?


Thursday 17th of August 2017

I've been toying with the idea of getting into wood burning and you just solidified that decision with this adorable DIY! And IKEA?? That just makes me love them even more! I'd love to know what kind of burner you got and where. Love your blog!