DIY Wood Cutting Boards

September 14, 2011

For the longest time, I’ve been wanting to make some thick wood cutting boards for use around the kitchen and to give as gifts.  Cutting boards are just about the most useful tool in the kitchen, but store bought or hand crafted wood ones can get pricey quickly.  

I had this vision in my head of a thick slab of wood with a lot of character that could become a focal point on a table.  Over the weekend I created a few of my own wood cutting boards out of a slab found at a local salvage yard. 

Here’s a look at the trio of wood cutting boards I designed:

diy wood cutting boards cg

trio of wood cutting boards cg


This project began last week when I dropped in on my local salvage yard in search of the perfect piece of wood.  I talked to the people who ran the place and told them I was looking for a harder wood like maple or hickory, but wanted to avoid any grainy or porous woods like oak.

Ordinarily, I stay away from pine because of its knots, but as I browsed all the selections, I happened to fall in love with a piece of Norfolk Pine.  I learned this tree originates in Norfolk Island in the Pacific Ocean and was first brought to America by Captain Cook.  Apparently, it was planted all along the coastlines and near ports because of how straight it grew despite winds that contort or bend other trees.  Sailors would use it to replace their ship masts. 

norfolk pine at yard

This particular piece came from Hawaii and had a very cool pink vein down the middle.  It was also thicker than most of the other planks, so I brought it home as the perfect candidate to make my trio of cutting boards.  They wanted $5 bucks a foot which was more than I wanted to pay, but they gave me a deal at $30 for 8 feet so in the end I didn’t think it wasn’t too much to pay for a thick piece of untreated wood with a lot of character that would yield three separate cutting boards. 

I cut and traced a template and aligned it along my board to avoid the big knots and also so that the pink vein ran down the middle, then traced three separate patterns. 

draw template


My jigsaw blades were beyond dull, so I took a trip to my local True Value to grab some new ones. 

new blades from true value


If you’re tackling this project yourself, simply trace your pattern then cut your individual cutting boards out with a jig saw, pretty simple. 

jig saw cut


Sand the top and the edges smooth with an orbital sander, first with medium 80 grit then followed up by 220 extra fine grit.

sand cutting boards


Wipe down all boards to remove any remaining sawdust, then condition with food safe mineral oil to bring out the beauty of the wood.  Mineral oil is a digestive aid and can be found at most drugstores or pharmacies.  Many specialty food and kitchen stores also carry mineral oil for use on butcher block counter tops so look for it there too. 

food safe mineral oil on cutting board

add mineral oil


That’s really all you need to do to create your own custom cutting boards . . .

trio of cutting boards by cg


I’ve named them Papa Board, Mama Board, and Baby Board. 

cg trio of cutting boards


Naturally, Papa is the life of the party cause he can hold an entire baguette!

diy length of wood cutting board cg


Like with all cutting boards, knife marks will appear as you continue to use it, but I think that adds to the appeal. 

make your own cutting boards


Nothing’s better than a big ol’ slab of good looking wood for serving anything from simple cheese and bread to appetizers to desserts.  Good looking cutting boards always deliver a great presentation, and add a casual rustic touch to any table top.

trio of cutting boards cg


Clean your board with hot water and sanitize with white vinegar, then every few months condition your board with food safe mineral oil.  Your cutting board should continue to look great for years to come.  

Anyone else in the mood to craft some cutting boards?  All you need is a few tools and the right piece of wood !   


True Value Blog Squad legalese: “I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.”





128 Responses to “DIY Wood Cutting Boards”

  1. Melissa says:

    Amazing idea! I want to do these for Christmas gifts, now. Is there any way you’d be willing to share a download of that wonderful template?

  2. Tamsyn says:

    Holy bananas!! Is there anything you can’t do!? I love them :)

  3. judi says:

    Totally agree…is there anything you can’t do? These are beautiful!

  4. solita says:

    I AM SO DOING THIS! Yes, all caps! Thank you so much for this great idea and wonderful tutorial. I am so glad I found your site.

  5. Linda says:

    Wow Kate, these are awesome! I love how chunky they are! Did you design the length of Papa board to the length of a baguette?

  6. Defrekijloyr says:

    Привет всем!
    Можите посоветывать нормальное казино ?
    Задрали лохотроны…

  7. Lisa says:

    LOVE THIS!!! you are my go to blog for probably 90% of all of my DIY projects!!! Thanks!!

  8. […] Click Here to view the DIY Wood Cutting Boards craft on Centsational Girl […]

  9. These are amazing!!! I saw something similar in Canadian House and Home recently, but I like how you shaped yours with a jigsaw first. Love!

  10. […] to toss out my crummy old plastic cutting boards and exchange them with more durable wood ones. Kate of Centsational Girl has created a fantastic, easy tutorial for how to make your own custom cutting boards of any size […]

  11. You did a really good job on these cutting boards. They are really nice! I also make these, and I had a number of people tell me that you can also use walnut oil on them. Just thought I’d share.

  12. Gorgeous and timeless! These would make fabulous gifts and look like a great entry level project for me into woodworking! I need a new board and the plastic ones get yucky so fast. Thanks for posting this!

  13. […] some salvaged wood with a Skil saw and make your own too. Get the DIY via Centsational Girl — Wood Cutting Boards. You may also […]

  14. wow, i love this idea of making your own!!! your cutting boards look awesome, great shape/design and i love the pictures!!!

  15. Those boards are absolutely gorgeous! I love how “chunky” they are, how thick are they?

  16. Amanda says:

    Hi kate :) I featured these on Craft Gossip here have a great weekend!

  17. mark says:

    You can make a longer-lasting and IMO nicer-looking, yet still food-safe finish, by melting some beeswax into your mineral oil. It makes a nice, soft paste that is absorbed by the wood similar to straight mineral oil. I use 4 parts mineral oil to 1 part beeswax (higher proportions of beeswax will make a more “solid” past that’s harder to work into the wood), and melt the beeswax into the mineral oil by heating gently in a clean tin can sitting in a pot of water (double-boiler-style) on the stove. As with heating any type of oil, be careful not to heat too high, and catch it on fire.

  18. Danielle says:

    Omg, this DIY is incredible!! I think I’m going to try this…it’s awesome!!

  19. Michelle says:

    How did I miss this? I’ve been wanting a couple of boards like these. Now to find a place with wood like this… Thank you!

  20. Anna says:


    These cutting boards are beautiful-great work! I just wanted to mention that mineral oil is not really the most natural oil that you can use, as it’s petrolium based. We have a woodworking studio, and we use natural walnut oil for all of our cutting boards, as it’s truly the safest and purest oil that is available to finish wood naturally. The FDA has approved mineral oil for consumption, but they also approve GM food,so…! We often also use Tung oil for the same reasons. I’d be happy to send you more information if you’re interested. take care!

  21. Charlie says:

    LOVE this!! I can’t believe I haven’t seen it on Pinterest!! (I’m a self-professed addict.)

    Pinned it, and I’m including it in my “Gifts for Women” post. :)


  22. bj says:

    I PROMISE….I will take care of BABY BOARD for ever and ever…..amen. :))

  23. […] back when Kate created these beautiful and amazing cutting boards?? Well, I sent that link lickety-split to my […]

  24. nature girl says:

    Hi, Just a note, I have three bread boards and i put them into my dishwasher to clean. Not every day but one goes in everyother day at least. I expected them to warp but they don’t for some reason. I like wood for cutting as I read that wood does something to neutralize any contaminates. Butchers have used them for as long as there have been butchers and I have never read where anyone died because of it. I absolutely love her blog!

  25. Joanne says:

    Love it! I’m making these for some Christmas presents if I can find the wood!

  26. Mikki Anderson says:

    Just found your site, OMG I am making at least 10 of your projects THIS WEEKEND, well maybe not 10 but I love these cutting boards and the cement planters and the pink and e rope basket and…where was I, oh yeah cutting boards. I do a lot of woodworking and have a large chuck of 2″ thick maple that I think will be good for the long board but I was hoping you would share your dimensions as I really like the proportions you have achieved. Oh and the template for the handle don’t suppose you have that posted anywhere? Please pretty please!

  27. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Mikki, I posted the lengths of the cutting boards somewhere in the comments, check up above!!

  28. Karen says:

    Bower Power linked to this post of your on her recent Sunday Fun Day post. I love this! What a great gift idea too! I am a sucker for a really nice, chunky cutting board. Thank you for sharing this.

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