As much as I enjoy making pretty things for our home, there’s nothing as satisfying as creating something that’s both functional and gorgeous. As South Africans we love heading outdoors, getting a fire going and partaking in our nation’s favorite pastime, braaing. And when we braai the hubby will often make us potjiekos or “little pot food”. It’s like a stew that’s been cooked really slooooowly over wood in a round, cast iron pot. When it’s finally ready that potjie is super hot. It’s not a good idea to put it straight down on a table unless you’re okay with burn marks. Been there, done that 😉 Anyhows I’ve been meaning to get a trivet and since this month IBC challenge is leather, I thought I’d make this one instead, using bits of leather and patina-ed copper pipes.
I could have made a pompom trivet, but that’s been done exactly one million and eleventy-three times 😉 Plus copper is a pretty impressive thermal conductor, so it will keep that potjiekos warmer for longer.
Before I show you how we made this copper and leather trivet, let me quickly tell you a little about the IBC (Int’l Bloggers Club). Every month a group of bloggers from around the world get together to create something using a common theme. Our previous challenge was Easter, and it always fascinates me how we interpret the same topic in so many different ways. You’ll be able to see all our projects at the end of the post.
All righty then let’s make a copper and leather trivet and add some patina just for fun.
What you need for the trivet
- Copper pipe. I used leftover bits from when we made a purr baby bed for Merlin
- Leather Cord
- Copper pipe cutter
- Masking tape
- Ruler and a Drill
- Needle file or sandpaper
Getting the pipes ready
Figure out how big you want your trivet to be. We have various sized potjie pots so I used the largest one and cut the pipes accordingly.
Measure roughly 3cm (1 1/4″) from the ends of the pipes and stick down a bit of tape. The tape helps prevent the drill bit from slipping. Measure again and mark exactly 3cm from either end.
Starting with a low drill speed gently, but firmly push the drill bit into the copper pipe until it “bites.” Drill a hole all the way through.
Do the same on the other side making sure the holes line up.
When you drill through copper, it tends to leaves these sharp little burrs. File or sand them off using a needle file or 200 grit sandpaper. Just be careful if you’re using sandpaper. Those sharp bits can cut through the paper.
If you like the look of untarnished copper, you can thread the leather cord through the holes to finish off the trivet. We love experimenting though, so took our copper and leather trivet to the next level with a little PAH-tee-na.
How to patina copper with common household items
Adding a rich, beautiful blue patina to copper is pretty easy to do. Be warned though; it’s a smelly business. As in REALLY Ewwww smelly 😉 To add patina you’ll need:
- Steel wool and degreaser
- Ewwww smelly stuff aka household ammonia
- Coarse salt
- White Vinegar
- Plastic containers and ice cream (popsicle) sticks
Use the steel wool and degreaser to remove any oily residue from the copper pipe. The steel wool “scores” the copper and gives it some grip for the patina effect.
Rinse the pipes off and dry. Build a contraption inside a large plastic container using ice cream sticks and smaller plastic tubs. You basically want to create some kind of platform for the pipes to rest on while they’re developing that beautiful patina.
Spray the copper pipes with vinegar and sprinkle liberally with salt. Pour some ammonia inside the larger container and carefully place the copper pipes on the “platform.” Feel free to sprinkle on some more salt 😀 The more you use, the deeper the patina.
I zoomed in from Mars to take that photo for you guys 😀 Ammonia smells horrible. Toxic stuff that. So it’s best to do this outside or in a WELL ventilated area. Close the lid and leave for a few hours. We left ours for about a day. If you can handle the ammonia smell take a peak and turn the pipes if need be. I can’t tell you how yucky it smells but to get this look; it’s so completely worth it.
The chemical fumes from the ammonia react with the vinegar and the salt to create that fantabulous rich blue patina. Remove the pipes from the plastic container and let them dry. Don’t dry them off with a cloth. The patina hasn’t “set” yet. Once dry seal with a clear, heat resistant spray paint.
Finishing the trivet off
Once the paint cures, thread the leather cord through the holes you made earlier. Try to space the pipes evenly by using your finger as a marker and make knots to prevent the cord from slipping through the pipes.
I’m in love with those colors. So vibrant and random. It kinda reminds me of our Unicorn SPiT cupboard.
For easier storage, I wrapped the trivet in a piece of leather and tied it all together with a leather cord and some turquoise beads.
The leather wrapping serves a dual purpose. Leather is an excellent insulator and can be used to bring that yummy potjiekos safely to the table.
I would love to know what you think of the trivet? Is it something you would make for your home?
If you like the idea of making a patina copper and leather trivet, don’t forget to pin it for later
Oh and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us make more amazing crafts to share with you 😉
And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.
Until next time, hope you have a beautiful, crafty week. And don’t forget to see what my friends from the IBC have done with their leather challenge. Their links should be at the bottom.