Most people do a lot of home cooking these days. Those short, cold days are a great time to enjoy steaming soup, hot roasted vegetables and toasted bowls of comforting pasta. Newspaper is a good insulator, so why not make it a useful item that will protect your table from hot dishes? (Reader Rhonda Fadum from Boulder, Colo. Suggested this idea for a newspaper creation activity.)
Making these easy trivets is not only a fun activity for the afternoon, but it will also provide a table top conversation starter for months to come. Try the square version below or get creative and create your own design.
Roll an entire page of newspaper diagonally around a bamboo skewer from corner to corner to create a long tube.
When you are almost done rolling the tube, line the remaining paper with white glue and continue rolling until there is no excess paper. Wipe off any extra glue and remove the bamboo skewer. Repeat 8 more times to have nine tubes.
Working one tube at a time, firmly roll one end until it is about the size of a penny. Continue to roll the tube, but start forming 90 degree angles at the corners to create a rectangle.
Continue to wrap the tube tightly, squeezing it into a rectangle as you go. Place glue on the end of the tube and wrap the rest of the way, holding it for a few seconds until it is secure. Set aside to dry.
Repeat with the other tubes, creating nine rectangular newspaper caps.
Cut about 18 inches of string and thread your needle. Start with two pods; starting under a pod and leaving an eight inch tail of twine, bring your needle between the second and third rows from the outside.
Lower the needle to the same place in the second capsule. Gently pull on the thread to tighten and repeat the stitch a second time to secure.
With the bottom of the lugs facing up, twist the wire once and turn it perpendicular to your previous stitch.
Wrap the two strings around the front, then the back, much like wrapping a gift with a ribbon. Make a double knot and cut off any excess string.
Use the same process to attach a third pod. This is a row from the trivet.
Repeat until you have three rows of three pods each.
Secure all three rows with the same stitch and wrap technique. You are now ready for a hot pot.