Emma and I have been curious about making our own cutting boards at home. After doing a little research about what was food safe etc., we decided it was worth a shot! This was our first attempt. We tried making a heart, but that was a fail (gonna try again soon with our table saw). That said, we were able to make a banner design (seen below in steps 1-2) and this set of three houses. Since we chose straight lines for these, they're all so simple to make! I'm pretty excited about the possibilities! Anyway, here's what we learned:To make your own cutting board, you will need: untreated hardwood (we used oak), a circular saw or table saw, sandpaper, food grade mineral oil and a clean cloth. Be sure the hardwood you choose is untreated if you plan to actually use your cutting board for cooking. If you're unsure, just ask someone at your local lumber yard. And for the mineral oil, make sure you use food grade (most are food grade). It's sometimes called cutting board oil or butcher block oil.
Step One. Draw your design on the board. If you are using a circular saw only, you will need to stick to designs with straight edges. We'd love to do a heart shaped cutting board sometime, but we'll need to invest in a table saw first. We tried using a jig saw, but the oak was too thick and hard for our little jig saw to handle safely. But others suggest using a jig saw with other (slightly softer) woods or maybe a better, more expensive blade. See recources below.
Step Two. Cut out your design. Be sure you read your saw manual and follow all the safety information. Once you've cut out the design, sand the edges with medium grit sandpaper.
Step Three. Wipe off the cutting board so it's free of any wood dust. Use a clean cloth to apply the mineral oil. Wipe in the direction of the wood grain. Check the bottle for additional tips and dry time suggestions. Our mineral oil suggested we coat the cutting board with 3-4 coats of oil before it was ready for kitchen duty.How to care for your cutting boards: Never submerge a cutting board in soapy water or run through a dishwasher. It is best to always hand wash wooden cutting boards (and other wooden cooking utensils). Give your cutting board a fresh coat of mineral oil every 3-6 months to keep it looking fresh and new.
Here are a few additional resources for awesome cutting board projects and tips: Woodworking Adventures, The Wood Whisperer and Centsational Girl.It doesn't happen all that often, but I love it when we discover that something we never thought about making at home is actually really easy and fun to make! We're already planning to try different types of wood and more shapes in the near future. I think these would make amazing holiday gifts as well. Who doesn't want a set of homemade cutting boards?
xo. Elsie + Emma
Credits // Author and Photography: Elsie Larson, Project and Step Photos: Emma Chapman
Not entirely sure how you plan to cut curves on a table saw, and I cut 4/4 oak with my jigsaw everyday, you should try some blades more suited to cutting hard woods, or make friends with someone with a bandsaw!
Very nice. Oak is great for a serving board but not so much to cut on as it has a lot of open pours so to speak, that allow food and such to get in and near impossible to get out. Therefore getting a lot of bacteria in the board. Stay away from Red Oak for cutting boards. White Oak is a little better than red.
Nice idea, however using red oak is very ill advised as its porousness it tends to cause a large collection of bacteria. Generally woods like walnut, maple, and cherry tend to be much better.
I love these, I imagine them with a see-through coat of color. Each size another color.
Unfortunately do I not have access to a decent saw.
you may want to try a band saw instead for the heart. that will allow sharper, more accurate curves. table saws are usually only used for ripping long straight pieces of wood.
AMAZING!!! I’m so making some! Christmas is around the corner and these would be great gifts!!!
These are so great! And they do make excellent Christmas presents… A couple of years ago, my dad made animal shaped ones (pigs and whales!) for all of our extended family for Christmas. They loved it!
You could paint just the edges (where no food will touch). Since these should be hand washed and never thrown in a dishwasher there are a number of non toxic paints you could try. I do agree though, that wood burning would be the absolute safest option.
Depends if you own a saw yet or now. Wood is pretty inexpensive. Saw’s aren’t necessarily “expensive” but I’d call them a bit of an investment. You could also borrow one too. I often get my dad to help with projects when he has tools (or expertise) I need. Which is pretty often. 🙂
Sometimes it has to do with the type of wood used. You can’t just buy ALL kinds from any old lumber yard. So a really pretty board may still be worth the investment. But if you’re as crazy about cutting boards as we are (maybe a little too crazy, I think) it’s good to have some durable, cute but pretty affordable ones too. 🙂
Good to know. I’d like to invest in some additional equipment… maybe next year. I think I’m good with my circular saw and jigsaw for now. Still have plenty to learn with just those. 🙂
Oh my, I didn’t even know it was world veggie how. I missed it! 🙁
A jigsaw may still work. I think it depends more on what type of wood your using. And it’s best to use clamps or have an assistant if you find your self struggling to hold the wood and work/move your saw. Check the Centsational Girl link (listed with resources in the post) as I believe she used a jigsaw in her cutting board project.
Try using a bandsaw. They are good for curves and sturdier than a jigsaw. Just be careful not to do any really tight curves or you could snap the blade. A heart would be very doable. They cut through tough hardwood like a warm knife through butter.
That’s awesome! I’m definitely going to try this. But you guys would probably be better off investing in a band saw instead of a table saw (maybe that’s what you meant?). A table saw will make only straight cuts as well. They sell some mini versions at home depot and sears that you might want to check out!
lovely project! Diario Donna
What a wonderful idea! Love these!
Pretty and simple – I love it! 🙂
…now I know exactly what I’m doing when I move into my new apartment. I’m making my own cutting boards.
My father is a carpenter and he made a potholder in a square shaped grid. Wood allows to try everything you have in your head: it’s great!