Photo Friday: DIY Serving/Cutting Board Props

DIY Wooden Serving Board

I had a chance to hang out at White on Rice Couple’s beautiful studio last month for a KitchenAid event. There’s a dreamy prop room. And an entire wall in their kitchen dedicated to hanging cutting boards; some old, some new, all beautiful pieces that add height, texture, and mood to a photo.

And I wanted 5 of them. No, 10!

Okay, okay. I’d settle for 7.

When I got home, I presented my husband with a small list of projects. Near the top of the list, right under “organize prop closet,” was “5! no, 10! okay, 7 homemade cutting boards.” (Actually, that’s the short version. The long version involves me window-shopping online for cutting boards and then nearly fainting when I saw the $200 price tag on a beautiful, dark vintage serving board.)

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll show you some of our latest DIY food styling & photography prop projects. We get to save money, I get new props, and my husband gets to do one of his favorite things ever: buy stuff from the lumber yard.

I’ve mentioned it before, but woodworking is one of my husband’s favorite hobbies. He gets to work with power tools. Alone in the garage. And make stuff. I get it. I really do :) You can imagine, then, that getting him to help me make some new wooden prop pieces was not like pulling teeth.

As a matter of fact, he pretty much took over.

We took a stroll through a nearby lumber yard and found ourselves staring at a pretty 1×8 plank of solid walnut. The first board that we made was an ode to that $200 online beauty: dark, long, and straight with crisp angles.

DIY Wooden Serving Board

We marked out the measurements and traced the shape of the board directly onto the wood.

DIY Wooden Serving Board

We cut the board out – a power saw to remove the working end from the plank and to quickly saw down one length of the board and then a hand saw to cut around the handle. You can avoid the use of a power saw by just using a hand saw and either making a 8-inch wide board (I cut mine down to 6 inches) or just buying a 1×6 instead :)

We sanded the cut edges smooth: a pass with medium-grit sandpaper and then a pass with finer-grit to finish.

DIY Wooden Serving Board

I used a small hammer to soften the crisp edges around the board to give it a slightly more worn look.

DIY Wooden Serving Board

DIY Wooden Serving Board

I used a drill with a medium-sized round bit to drill a hole in the handle so I could loop some twine through it and have the option for hanging storage.

DIY Wooden Serving Board

I rubbed the board with tung oil to bring out the grain and then finished it with a layer of finishing wax.

DIY Wooden Serving Board

Done and done!

26 comments… add one

  • It turned out beautiful! I love the smell of woodshops. My grandpa loved woodworking so I grew up with unique, handmade, personalized toys, decorations, etc.

  • I love it! This post is similar to something I am doing right now, too! Years ago we had wooden grain elevators near here that were torn down and before they burned the debris, the community people could go through and pick out scraps. I picked up two post bases that I always intended to turn into picture frames. They are 22 inch square spruce 3/4 inch plywood pieces with a beveled edge. Because they were bases for load bearing posts, they had a small square in the middle the size of the post made with smaller, thinner beveled edge pieces. With some wordworking help from my dad, I sanded them down, stained them with a dark walnut Danish oil, and varnished them twice. Then put the little pieces in an 8×10 shape, and presto! Picture frames! They look old, and worn and perfect, just like your cutting board.

  • Wow. That’s beautiful. I love when you show us stuff like this! I’ve been itching to go for a stroll through a local scrap yard to see what I can find too, because I almost fainted when I started shopping for beautiful cutting boards as well! We don’t have the garage/woodworking tools, but my husband sure loves to tinker and “be handy”. . . . Maybe I can enlist his help as well!

  • OMG That is GORGEOUS! I am in love with this! Im pretty obsessed with cutting boards but can never find these dark wood ones..you guys did an amazing job! Now I really one! Beautifully done! :)

    • I just refinished a resale shop find and turned it from light/golden to very, very dark. It’s cheap, easy, and I’ll have that tutorial posted soon!

  • Sarah C

    Looks beautiful – love handy husbands! Also – if you didn’t know already be very careful with Tung Oil on food surfaces, it is made from a nut and can cause a reaction for someone with an allergy.

  • very nice! i need to make me some of these!

  • beautiful!! can i borrow your hubby for some projects of my own? 😉 y’all did a great job!

  • My boyfriend looooves handyman work. Great idea for a weekend project for him! thanks :)

  • Gorgeous. Kudos to Mr. Foodie Bride! Great job, sir.

  • Love your crafty husband, he sounds like mine! I have had this project on our to-do list for awhile, but all things baby come first. I’ll have to show the hubs this post to remind him about it. But wow…the cutting board is simply breathtaking…and A STEAL!!!!!!! LOVE!!!!

  • Awesome tutorial!! Your board looks fabulous!

  • May I borrow y0ur husband? :)

  • That is so cool! The board looks almost as good as the food on top of it… I only say almost because I wouldn’t get to eat the board!

  • That’s a super-looking board. I used to do all sorts of craft projects from small like your board to big like a makeover for a table. I am too busy with other things now but it would blend nicely with the food part of my blog. I use very few props and know that I should but when the family is waiting to eat while I photograph dinner, then the props get left out. I’m not sure how to get around that problem. Also the food gets cold if I move too slowly. Any advice?

  • I’m super impressed. You two make quite the team! I gotta get my husband on this?

  • I want one! I have a whole list of little projects like this for my husband. I also want those quesadillas in the photo! Yum!

  • Jackie

    That’s really beautiful! I don’t have tools (or $200 lol) but I’d happily pay if you have an extra one!

  • Wow – this is amazing! Great job! Maybe I can talk my hubby into doing some projects for me… :)

  • WOW this is gorgeous, I am going to try and convince my man to make me one now!

  • The cutting board is beautiful! I’ve been looking to buy a few new ones and they’re all WAY overpriced for a piece of wood! Wish my husband was into woodworking too! :)

  • Lucky you! Love my hubs to pieces but the one thing missing is handiness like that.

  • This is so cool! I want a DIY wood cutting board! So glad I found your site through Daily Buzz Moms. I’m a new fan. :-)

  • Diana

    Love this ….. you two make a great team and remind me of my husband and I we have almost been married for 33 years and I have to say ….. it only gets better if you stay strong as a team ! Thanks for the tutorial will be looking to do this soon Have a great night

    Diana

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