Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Who knew I would love power tools?  For years my dad worked as a carpenter.  I never thought to ask him how to build things since I figured he would always be there if I ever needed a cabinet or shelves.  So, after relocating to San Diego I found myself in trouble: my dad was in Cape Town, my husband hated home improvement and we had a house that needed a lot of upgrades.  I needed to find someone handy with a saw.  The solution (after much deliberation) was for me to take a carpentry class.  When I enrolled last spring I could have never guessed how much I would love it.  Now, my husband and I have dreamed up so many projects that I’ll need years to finish them all!

These plywood hexagons were originally cut for a project at the hubster’s office (more on that later).  They had been lying in a corner for a few weeks—like many of my projects seem to do—while I contemplated the next step.  With a friend having recently purchased a house, I knew I’d have to come up with a good house-warming gift.  I hit on the idea of using some of the hexagons to make trivets.  I think they are hip, pretty and fun, just like their soon-to-be owner. 

NOTE: These instructions are for making plywood hexagons.  If you have never used a saw (and you don’t want to lose any fingers!), try making the trivets out of cork.  All you’ll need is a utility knife.  

What you’ll need:
¼” or ½” Plywood (at least 10” x 10” for each trivet)
Table saw
Miter saw
Sealant (linseed oil or beeswax)

Acrylic paint
Painter’s tape
Plastic containers

Step 1:  
Draw a hexagon on the plywood. 
The easiest way I found to do this was to use a compass.  Set the compass to a radius of 5” (or larger for a bigger trivet) and draw a circle.  Don’t change the angle of the compass.  Mark a beginning point (A) along the circle. Place the point of the compass on A and mark a second point (B) 5 inches away from A along the circle.  Make sure that a line drawn between point A and point B is parallel to the edge of the plywood.  Continue moving the compass point to the new mark along the circle in order to mark all 6 points of the hexagon.  Once you have all the points marked, connect the dots to create the hexagon. 

Step 2:
Use the table saw to rip (cut with the grain) the wood along the top and bottom of the hexagon.

Crosscut the plywood with the miter saw along the outer edge of the hexagon.  

Step 4:
Set the miter saw to 30 degrees and cut the remaining sides of the hexagon.

TIP:  Use the first hexagon as a template to draw the rest.  That way they will all be the same size. 

Step 5:
If you like the natural look, seal the trivet with linseed oil/beeswax to prevent staining. 
To add some colour and designs to the trivet, use acrylic paint and tape before sealing.

Happy crafting!  Nicole



  1. Love the colors you went with. Beautiful clean lines also!

    1. Thanks so much Sky!) Hope your trip to Bermuda went well!

  2. Saw this over at Roadkill Rescue - love it! What kind of tape did you use when painting? Specialty artists tape or regular masking tape?

    1. Hi Kiri,

      I used blue painter's tape. I usually keep a stash of it on hand as I am always painting something or other. Also make sure your paint isn't too watered down to get a cleaner line. Have fun and thanks for visiting.