DIYdiy projectskate pruitt

diy project: salvaged stove top trivets

by Kate Pruitt

When I came across these old stove-burner tops at the salvage yard, I was immediately struck by their variations in pattern and how interesting they looked out of context. I never knew burner tops came in so many different shapes!

After some heavy scrubbing, I found I liked them even more. They are nice, mid-sized objects with a bit of weight to them, which makes them great for home decor. For my kitchen, modern white was the way to go, but you could easily leave them au naturel or vary this design in a million ways. As long as you seal them with a good protectant and add some simple felt feet, they are perfect for handling hot pans or plates from the oven, and between uses they look great on the wall — as any good trivet should. With no tools or tricky steps, this is a great quickie project for rainy days, weekends and procrastinating :) Enjoy! — Kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


  • old metal stove-burner tops (these are usually easy to find at salvage shops and flea markets)
  • spray-paint primer and spray sealant (other paint colors are optional)
  • embroidery thread
  • scissors
  • felt protector pads
  • scrub pad and stove cleaner


1. Thoroughly scrub the burner tops until they are clean. You can use steel wool and a good scrub cleaner to get rid of most leftover debris. Rinse them and let dry completely.

2. Cover the burner tops with several even coats of primer, letting them dry between coats. If you want them to be white, you can stop here and coat them with the spray sealant. If you want them to be a different color, you can spray them with one coat of primer, then follow with a couple coats of color spray, then the sealant. Let dry completely.

3. Cut varying lengths of embroidery thread and plan out your design. Take one piece of thread and create a tight knot around part of the trivet with the knot on the underside. Leave a length of thread that is about 1.5 times as long as the length you plan to make your band of color. As you wrap the thread around the trivet, be sure to wrap it around the loose thread on the underside. When you are ready to end the band of color, take the wrapping end of the thread and tie it in a knot with the loose end of the thread from the beginning knot, on the underside. Snip excess thread.

4. Continue wrapping and knotting the different bands of colored thread in whatever pattern you choose. Wrap only one layer to keep the bands of thread relatively thin, and push the thread tight against itself so the trivet doesn’t show through the band of color.

5. When you are done adding the color bands, flip the trivets over and stick the felt protector pads on the corners of the trivet. This will prevent them from scratching any surfaces, and it also makes them level.


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  • Your set has pleasing symmetries with variations. I like this idea and your execution of it. :)

  • I am glad to see another person fascinated by the shapes of burner grates. Now I have a reason to collect them. A great idea and doh! why didn’t I think of that?

  • This is a really great idea, but I do have some comments on the execution:

    If these are intended for use as actual trivets, it seems like a heat-resistant paint would be the way to go (engine/automotive paint is right next to the regular stuff at the home improvement store). I’d worry that a very hot pot could damage the finish of the trivet AND the bottom of the pot if the paint melted.

    While the bands of color are definitely what makes this project so attractive, I’d think that they’d be better painted on as well, unless you’re way neater than I am and don’t to worry about dripping food onto the pretty embroidery thread.

    Otherwise, I really like this. They’d look great lined up on the wall in the kitchen waiting to be put into service, unlike the ugly trivets I keep tucked away in a drawer!

  • Hi Tandy – Thank you for your thoughtful feedback!

    Great point about the high temp spray paint. I haven’t had any issues with high temperatures and regular spray paint before, but you are correct that you can easily find high temp spray paints available, and why not err on the safe side?

    The embroidery thread is actually easy to spot clean, believe it or not. The key is to just squeeze the stain with a damp towel several times, rather than rubbing back and forth. That being said, these are very open based trivets as well, so these would not be a good option for messy dishes that could leak onto the table surface…it’s better to bring out the ugly trivets for those! :)

    Thanks again!

  • Oh, I love these! So inventive, interesting to look at, practical to use and a great re-use idea—which I’m constantly exploring. Now, though I want to go out searching for some of these to make my own! ;o) ~Sparky

  • Hi,
    I am wondering what type of sealant you used? Is it heat resistant? I am working on a project where I salvaged old slate floor tiles and I want to decorative paint them and turn them in to trivets, however I am worried that even with enamel paint the hot pans might melt the paint…Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks

  • We’re always looking for ways to upcycle, especially when it comes to appliances. There are so many unique and useful things you can make out of stuff you would have otherwise thrown away. I love embroidery thread detailing! It takes these hot pots from cool to stylish with little effort. Thanks for sharing! We’ll pass it on to our customers.

  • I have been hooked to this site since I found it yesterday! I don’t really have the option to do anything DIY projects right now because we are planning on moving, but boy, am I saving up ideas! Thank you! You are brilliant!