A Trivet is used to protect your table from hot dishes. With a few handfuls of corks, some wood and a load of hot glue you can make your own trivet in next to no time.
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Step 1: Acquire Corks
You'll need a load of corks of roughly the same size. I got a massive bag from Freecycle, but if you ask any restaurant they should be able to help you out.
For a drinks coaster sized mat you'll need 8 corks, for a 19cm x 19cm mat like the one I made you'll need 64 corks.
Step 2: Base and Frame
You could just glue all the corks together but it would be weak, not flat and would probably break.
You'll need to lay out all your corks, measure the overall size and work out how big you need the wood.
A nice wooden frame around the corks will protect the corks from getting bashed off and looks good too, take this in to account when making your base board.
I recommend thin plywood. I also think having adhesive pads on the bottom are a great idea.
Step 3: Glue on Corks
Hot glue dries really fast so glue on corks one-by-one. Lots of corks will have interesting writing or pictures on so try and make these point up.
Hold down each cork for 5 or so seconds to ensure a tight hold.
Step 4: Finished
That's it, all done!
Step 5: Different Designs
Why not try some different shapes. Here I drew a heard on to some wood, cut it out and glued corks on end-up.
I also cut all corks in half so it wouldn't be too tall.