DIY Coasters & Trivets using Turk’s Head Knot
So, I think the official definition of a ‘crafter’ or ‘DIY-er’ must somewhere contain reference to the fact that we are prone to see something somewhere and say to ourselves, “Hey, I bet I can do that!’ And I’ve seen the joke floating around the internet that goes something like this “Why buy it for $5 when you can make it with $90 of craft supplies.” Guilty as charged…sometimes. But, for those of us who need to have something to keep their hands busy while travelling or watching ‘Game of Thrones’ (counting down the days to the season premiere…in May 2017!😲) or just because we like to make things, the ‘crafter’ hat is one we gladly wear. That “Hey, I bet I can do that!” crafter who loves a challenge is the one who saw these Turk’s Head Coasters & Trivets in a charming little shop in New York last month and came home determined to make diy coasters and trivets.
Now lest you think that these lovely knots take some sort of knotting expertise, I can attest that they don’t. While I was a Girl Scout many, many moons ago (and actually won some award for selling great quantities of cookies because I hit up all the sailors on the ship my dad served on), my knotting know-how began and ended with the making of a sit-upon during a camping trip on a beach on the island of Saipan with the largest coconut crabs my 7th grade eyes had ever seen. Not surprisingly, that camping trip was my last camping trip. (Have you ever seen a coconut crab? If not, check them out here and then tell me having these critters outside of your tent when you had hit the latrine in the middle of the night wouldn’t have scarred you!)
This disclaimer also holds to all the bona fide knotters out there who may be aghast at my ‘knotting’ technique. This is the Lynn ‘layman’s’ version of making Turk’s Head Knot Coasters & Trivets and is in no way to be interpreted as the ‘official’ sailor, Boy Scout, mountain climber or what-have-you version of the Turk’s Head. I’m sure that the ‘real’ knotters out there don’t use a little cushion with push pins, I mean they’re scaling a mountain or rigging a boat or surviving in the wilderness with only beef jerky and a piece of rope and surely wouldn’t have, or need, such cushion, cardboard and pushpins. OK…now that we have that out of the way, let the knotting shenanigans begin.
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Supplies Needed for Turk’s Head DIY Coasters & Trivets:
- I used 3/16″ triple-ply cotton rope. You’ll want to find the stiffest you can. I had to look around and finally found my best option on an etsy storefront that sells bird toy supplies! Here’s the link to the rope I used. I bought 100′, which will make 12 (3.5″-4″) coasters or or 2 (6″) trivets and 6-8 coasters.
- Cardboard, either one thick piece (think from corrugated box) or 2 thinner pieces (like from the back of a pad of paper or notebook)
- Foam or cushion or corkboard. I used the backside of a computer lap desk.
- Ruler or Yardstick
- Needle and Thread (I used a heavy duty thread)
How to Make Turk’s Head DIY Coasters & Trivets:
- Determine the size of trivet or coaster that you want. (I find that the coasters lie a little flatter when closer to 4″ than they do at 3.5″) Multiply the dimension in inches by 2.1 to determine how many feet of rope that you need. Make sure to tape where you will cut so that your rope doesn’t unwind.
- Using a compass or other device, trace a circle the size of the trivet/coaster that you want on a piece of cardboard. I taped my cardboard onto the back cushion of a computer lap desk, but a piece of foam or cork bulletin board would work well too.
- Use pushpins to make points of a star, approximately equidistant apart.
- Print off or refer to the diagram showing how the rope is woven under or over to make the Turk’s Head knot. You can print the PDF here.
- In addition to the diagram, here’s a video showing how to make the knot. This video is longer than my usual ditty, but it shows the process from start to finish.
- Once your knot is finished, sew the raw ends as shown in the following video.
- While the coasters don’t need it, I opt to shore up my trivets just a tad. I do this by running a stitch through each of the bights, where it wouldn’t be seen from the top. Once again, knot purists might shudder at this practice, but I am not a knot purist and just want to make sure the trivet is as snug as possible.
Once you have made 1-2 of these coasters or trivets and get the hang of it, you’ll be able to whip them out rather quickly. I made the 6″ trivet in the video in less than 13 minutes, complete with all my editorial comments! You could easily whip up quite a stash of coasters & trivets in a weekend and have a store for giving as a gifts when you need them in a pinch.
Turk’s Head Knot DIY Coasters & Trivets…Perfect for Gifting!
So there you have it my friends… I’m crushing on the Turk’s Head knot right now, especially in these diy coasters & trivets. It was a good chance to don my ‘Hey, I bet I could do that!’ hat and have something to show for it in the end.
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