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