Make Your Own (Simple) Wooden Cutting Board

Make your own simple cutting board! (click through for the full tutorial)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:How to make a cutting boardTo 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.Make your own simple cutting board! (click through for the full tutorial) 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.Make your own simple cutting board! (click through for the full tutorial)  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!

  • What a wonderful idea! Love these!

    Lulu xx

  • …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!

  • Oh I have always wanted nice wooden board platters but they always seemed so expensive. definitely going to try this

    X. Pixelhazard | Little Bright Green |

  • I like a good and “beautiful” cutting board specially when I am the “man in the kitchen”. I will let my husband make one of this. Thanks for the idea.

  • so simple and chic — love these!! xo

  • Nice boards, we love original home complements!

  • Hey nice idea, but i would not recomend to use oak because it has a lot of tannic acid, when you leave some metal on it it turns black. Better use something like beech or walnut and for the finish you can also use oliv oil.

  • Wonderful idea!
    A tip is to use cooked olive oil(heat it up to 180 degrees celsius) instead of the mineral oil. It’s cheap and all natural =)

  • Is there a foodsafe way you could paint or stain a design onto these? I’m thinking wood burning might be the best option perhaps.

  • love this!! being a texan, i have a texas shaped wooden board (because, why not?) but i’ve been wanting to give some away as gifts. perfect timing!

  • Love these! this is perfect for my “make it” christmas gift i need to do! do you know apx. how much they cost?

  • Maple has super tight grain and natural anti fungal properties which make it a perfect type of wood for cutting boards, and it looks beautiful too !!
    -Chelsea from Quebec, the land of maple trees 🙂

  • Wow, I love this. Now I need to find someone who can teach me how to use a saw without injuring myself…

    P.S. I really like the background fabric in the photos.

  • I think using a wood burning tool/pen to lightly burn in details (not enough to make ridges for food to stick in) on the house cutting boards would be a great addition to this project – windows, doors, roof shingles, etc. Lots of possibilities!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • I would recommend a band saw for curves but you would need to have some experience so as not to torque the band. Sometimes colleges or high schools with a shop area allow people to use their equipment or if you have a nice woodworking store that gives classes, they often have a well stocked shop that is available for a small fee (or not if they are really friendly.)

  • Thanks for the tutorial! I can make this and use it as a prop for future food photography!
    Carla @ Love Cartista

  • this is awesome! would love to do this myself. can’t wait. thanks for sharing another great diy idea. xx. gigi.

  • I love vintage handmade things !! dresses, furniture, shoes…..
    Perfect combination of Wood and colours. Amazing !!

    Regards from Spain,

  • awesome! I am currently an intern so naturally I am broke (like seriously broke!) and had no idea what to give away as Christmas presents this year. This will be an awesome idea! thanks! ♥

  • This is such a great idea! I’ve seen so many wooden butcher blocks on etsy that look great, but they are expensive. Thanks!

  • mMMM that all looks so good!

  • So cute! And ever since the finale of BB seeing Jesse working with wood…makes me want to try it out, too!

  • This is wonderful! I really want to try this sometime soon! Right now, the only cutting boards we have are flimsy plastic ones. I want a real, durable hardwood cutting board and knowing that I could make my own is fantastic!

  • Love it! Great idea! Great wedding or shower gifts! 🙂

  • Such a lovely diy! And they would definitely make a lovely gift.

  • This is such a great idea, I love it!

  • Great idea! I think this would make a great housewarming gift, or even a nice gift for the holidays with a nice cheese knife!

  • I love the idea of making your own boards in whatever shape you want! Great tips –


  • So pretty, I love the simplicity of wood. Our wood cutting board has seen better days, I’m going to make my husband make one for us:)

  • you’re right, these would be a great gift for ME. okay, for others too:)

  • you are two hands-on girls 😉
    I wouldn’t trust us with a saw!

    To Emma:
    Happy World Vegetarian Day (in case your still a vegetarian):

    Love from Europe,
    Birdy and Bambi

  • A table saw is for cutting straight edges. A bandsaw is likely what you would need to cut a shape like a heart out. There are some places that allow you to rent time on large tools like that, you just need to research for your area.

  • Gorgeous! Would make a lovely DIY gift for the snack connoisseurs in my life. 🙂

  • i am totally planning on making cutting boards as christmas presents, but i was hoping to use a jigsaw to give them curvy handles. bummer.

  • really brilliant DIY ladies! and you’re right, it would make a fab gift for any occasion!

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