I realised I was missing a trivet from my life and really needed somewhere to place hot things in the kitchen. I like self-referential objects, and "hot stuff" is a bit of an inside joke between my girlfriend and me, so I set out to make this word art trivet. The actual making process is pretty simple if you have access to the right tools (a CNC router ideally, or a saw capable of detail work) so this is going to be more of a look into how I turned the text into the shape of the object in Inkscape.
Step 1: Write text
Open up Inkscape, set your document to use the units you want, create a text box and type in the text you want to use. I spent a while playing around with fonts at this point to find one that looked good. Ideally you want a fairly chunky bold font to end up with a solid object that isn't too spindly. Serif fonts tend to be more legible in the finished article because the serifs make the end points of the letters more visible, and fonts with a "natural" curve tend to look better than very geometric ones, but this is largely a matter of personal choice and the limitations of the material you are working with.
If you're using more than a couple of words, you'll want to think about word placement at this stage too. You can always change it later, but it's good to start with the layout you want because it makes the next steps easier.
Step 2: Convert to path
We're going to be editing the words as a path, so once you are happy with the font and placement of words, select the text and click Path -> Object to Path. Select the new path and press Ctrl-Shift-G to ungroup it into individual letters. Once you've done this you should see each letter surrounded by a dotted outline box.