you know the ones i mean.
a few weeks ago, i was wandering around the ‘net and came across a cool wall hanging made entirely of straw trivets. what would make this story better is if i had a link to share with you, but i can not for the life of me find it now!* i tried googling “straw trivets doormat” and similar searches and got no hits. basically, they had taken old straw trivets and somehow strung them together and hung them on the wall. picture it in your mind, it was pretty cool. and it stuck in my mind for days
* i need a better way to keep track of cool things i come across. bookmarking isn’t cutting it. suggestions? tumblr?
now, i really dislike visual clutter, especially on my walls. i wouldn’t say i’m a minimalist by any means, but i do like bare walls with the occasional piece of carefully chosen artwork. (actually, don’t you find that art chooses you? but more on that another time…)
so i started wondering if i could take that idea and put it to use elsewhere. i like the colours and swirls found in these old trivets, there’s something intriguing and pleasing about the patterns.
i got a bagful of them the other day, and thought about how to connect them together.
i figured i could sew them together with clear plastic thread. but decided against that and tried to keep it a bit simpler and closer to the “natural” materials used in the trivets by using raffia instead.
raffia is made from the membrane found on the underside of palm tree leaves. there are so many uses for it, and i keep a spool of it in my kitchen drawer. you might remember it was used as a decoration on that card, as well as to tie up those herbs.
i cut the raffia into 5 inch (about 13 cm) strips, roughly.
now the next part is either fun or torture, depending on how much you enjoy things like jigsaw puzzles. i moved the trivets around until they were in position next to each other, ideally touching each neighbouring trivet in one or more spots, while minimizing the gap between them.
basically, shift em around til you’re happy with the layout, making sure they’re all touching, then start tying them together right where they lay.
i slipped the piece of raffia through a loop in one trivet,
brought it up through the neighbouring trivet, and tied a knot. i did this for the entire collection, until i ended up with this:
i trimmed the loose ends down to about 2 inches (5 cm) each, then used my fingers to push the tail ends of each knot within the spaces of the trivet. so it looked something like this for each tie:
and that’s it. i flipped the whole thing over, and i had this funky looking floor mat.
i considered using it in the kitchen, but the straw is a bit rough on bare feet. so i put it out back on the patio and i’m using it as a doormat.
i like it so much. the colours, the patterns, everything. fun, easy project which is totally functional. now if you’re concerned about how it will feel under foot or worried that it may not last, the same construction method can be used to create a decorative wall hanging, placemats, table runner, a mat for underneath plant pots or pet dishes or… do you have any other ideas?
what do you think? will you give this a try? if you do, let me know how it turns out. i’d love to see photos!
i found the link that got me started on this project. turns out it wasn’t a trivet at all, just sisal rope used to make a similar design! it’s funny how your mind makes connections, fills in the gaps, and that becomes your reality. huh! :)
update #2! july 30, 2010
today, this project was featured on craft gossip (thank you!) and i thought i’d give an update on how it’s holding up now, almost a month later. we’re in and out of that doorway constantly, and it has held together well. one thing i would recommend is placing one of those rubber underpads (you can find them in the dollar store, the kind used to line drawers and such). depending on the surface you’ve placed the mat on, it can be slippery. craft safely ;-) and have fun with this one!
i shared this post with sarah and her readers at thrifty decor chick.
and also apron thrift girl’s new feature, make share!
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