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Easy vintage crafts: How to make wooden clothespin trivets & coasters

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Easy vintage crafts: How to make wooden clothespin trivets & coasters

Vintage crafts: Lickety-split clothespin trivets (1972)

Several different trivet designs

Scoop up a couple dozen clothespins — the flat, springless, wooden ones — and you’ve got the raw material for a really original trivet. These airy designs [shown above], by Richard Martin, consist of cut-to-length pins that are interlocked or butted together, glued and varnished.

You can repeat a pattern to make a tray-size trivet (ours is mounted on hardboard), add a dash of color, or leave the wood au naturel.

In any case, Operation Clothespin Trivet needs only a trifle of your time and energy.

See a few different clothespin craft instructions below


How to make cute wooden clothespin trivets (1977)

This super trivet — good for hot or cold dishes — is crafted from wooden clothespins. It’s a nice small gift and a good bazaar seller.

You can stain them dark or leave them natural. Or use your imagination and create new designs — even wall plaques.

You will need:

  • 22 flat wooden clothespins (a 50-count bag makes two trivets)
  • White glue
  • Oil based wood stain (optional)
  • Paintbrush
  • Old newspapers
  • Waxed paper
  • Clear varnish (spray can or paint-on liquid)
  • Rubber gloves (optional)
  • Can of enamel spray paint (optional)
  • Paint thinner or remover for oil-based products

Select 22 clothespins. If you plan to leave your trivet natural wood-toned, select clothespins for like color and wood grain.

Place newspaper on a flat surface and cover with a sheet of waxed paper.

Divide clothespins into two groups of 11. Set pins on waxed paper in a row in alternating positions, beginning with the top of the first clothespin pointing away from you, the second top pointing toward you, the third away from you, etc. Repeat this process with second group of 11.

It will be helpful to study the photo above of the finished trivet, to be sure you are placing pins correctly.

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Now, carefully set each clothespin up on one side, being careful to maintain their alternating positions.

Next, dab give-on top and bottom tip of end clothespin. Lay flat on waxed paper and apply glue to side of second clothespin. Lay flat against first clothespin, then dab glue on other side. Join third pin and continue until one group of 11 is joined.

Dab glue on the side and tip top of first clothespin in second group. Lay flat and press against end pin in already glued group. Apply glue to both sides and both bottom tips of second clothespin and press into place. Continue until second 11 clothespins are joined with first group.

Let glue dry. It will take about 12 to 24 hours.

Cover a well-ventilated work area with old newspapers. Following label directions, apply wood stain to both sides of the trivet. When dry, apply varnish according to the manufacturer’s suggestions.

If you are in a big hurry or want trivets to match a certain decor, spray them with enamel paint. It will take several coats to get a good finish.

If you have no place to set drying stained or varnished trivets, hang them on the clothesline with pipe cleaners or other flexible wire until dry.


Make some trivets from wooden clothespins (1972)


Easy ways to make wooden clothespin napkin holders & trivets (1974)

Wooden clothespins have many craft uses besides their practical, intended use. Two clever ideas are clothespin trivets and letter or napkin holders. Colors are obtained, quick and easy, by using dye solutions.

Supplies: Wooden clothespins (trivet requires 18 flat type clothespins, holder requires 12 spring type clothespins), liquid or powder Rit dye, white glue or all-purpose cement, 4-1/4 x 2 x 3/4-inch piece of wood for holder, and [heat-resistant] clear shellac or varnish.

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General craft directions

Remove metal spring clip from the clothespins. Decide on color combination to be used and prepare dye solutions. For each color, mix 1/4 cup of liquid dye, or 1/2 package powder dye, in one pint of hot tap water.

Divide clothespins or clothespin pieces and dye an equal number in each dye solution, stirring 5 to 10 minutes.

For the trivet, done in a red and blue color scheme, six clothespins were left undyed for natural color contrast.

Remove clothespins from dye solutions and rinse in cool water, then let dry thoroughly on paper towels. When clothespin creations are thoroughly dry, finish by coating with clear shellac or varnish, if desired.

Easy ways to make wooden clothespin trivets & napkin holders (1974)

Instructions to create clothespin trivet: Arrange clothespins in groups of three in the same color; place groups together to form a rectangular shape. Glue sides and tips of clothespins together where they touch and press into position. Allow to dry flat.

Instructions to create clothespin letter or napkin holder: Dye the wood block a color to match or coordinate with clothespin pieces to be used. Immerse the block into the dye solution or use a brush or sponge to apply the dye. If color appears too light after drying, reapply dye; allow to dry completely.

Apply glue to side edges of wood block and to bottom tip of flat side of clothespin pieces. Alternating colors, press 12 clothespin pieces onto each side of wood block; allow to dry thoroughly.

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