How to Make Tile Hot Plate Trivets

Written by susan lundman
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How to Make Tile Hot Plate Trivets
Create your own designs or look in books and online for ideas. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Tile trivet designs range from charming creations by older children to sophisticated graphic designs by adults. Your trivets will brighten up your kitchen walls as hanging decorations when they are not in use, and they make wonderful gifts for friends and family. Buy ready-made tile squares or buy china plates at your local thrift store and break them at home for unique creations. For the trivet itself, choose the size you want and ask your local lumber yard to cut plywood squares to order.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Paper and coloured pencils or markers
  • Plywood square
  • Pencil
  • Newspaper
  • All purpose glue
  • Tiles in assorted colours
  • Tile cutter or hammer
  • Safety goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Tile grout
  • Plastic knife
  • Sponges
  • Hairdryer
  • Clean rags
  • Cotton swabs
  • Rubber or cork pads

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    Designing and Laying the Tiles

  1. 1

    Trace around your plywood square onto a piece of paper. Sketch or photocopy your design possibilities and ensure that the design fits in your space. Experiment with photocopy sizes to find the best fit, and then trace the design onto the trivet.

  2. 2

    Place tiles on the trivet square, experimenting with different colour schemes. Don't glue when you are just beginning to experiment. Allow yourself some time to let your creative juices start to flow.

  3. 3

    Cut the tiles as needed to fit into your design. Use tile cutters for clean cuts or wrap the tiles in rags and break them with a hammer for assorted shapes.

  4. 4

    Glue each tile onto the board with all-purpose glue. Let the trivet dry thoroughly for a day or two.

    Grouting and Finishing

  1. 1

    Prepare the grout as directed by the package so that it is the consistency of peanut butter. Lay out newspaper or towels to keep your workspace clean and wear rubber gloves to keep yourself clean.

  2. 2

    Spread the grout onto your trivet using a plastic knife or your hands. Ensure that the grout gets into all the spaces between the tiles, but remove excess grout to avoid bumps and build-up on the trivet.

  3. 3

    Wipe the trivet with a damp sponge to remove the grout from the tiles themselves. Repeat the cleaning process three or four times, rinsing and squeezing out the sponge between cleaning.

  4. 4

    Blow the trivet with a hairdryer just enough to dry the leftover grout on top of the tiles. Two or three minutes will normally be sufficient.

  5. 5

    Wipe off any grout dust from each tile with a clean dry rag. Clean individual tiles with a damp cotton swab if you have trouble removing the grout dust.

  6. 6

    Let the trivet dry for a day. Glue on cork or plastic trivet pads on all four corners

Tips and warnings

  • Turn trivets into a young child's craft by using one single tile decorated with glass or tile paints.
  • Always wear safety goggles when breaking or cutting tiles.
  • Be careful handling the tiles and rubbing the grout onto the trivet, because the tiles are glass and have sharp edges.

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