Hello and welcome! Today I’m sharing a little DIY project that my husband and I actually did last fall, and I’m finally getting around to blogging about it. Part of that decision was intentional, as we gave these to some of the kids for Christmas, and assuming they read my blog (I sure hope they do, anyway) I didn’t want to spoil the surprise.

Last fall, we were in nearby Walla Walla visiting my mother. A couple of miles away in College Place, there is an exotic wood store that my husband considers the closest thing to a candy store that there is. I usually wait in the car while he’s in there, but on this occasion, I went in. Low and behold, on the floor in the first room were remnants of wood cuttings for sale, stacked around the perimeter. There were beautiful types of wood in various shapes from long rectangles to one amazing round one. And they were all priced from $3-4 each (except the round one which was $17). At this point, I was beginning to jump on my husband’s candy store bandwagon!

(Tip: If you want to know what a piece of raw wood will look like oiled, wet your finger and rub it on the wood.  The difference can be drastic as the oil brings out the beauty of the grain.)

Immediately upon seeing these remnants, my mind went to cheese and cutting boards because, well, that’s how my mind works. I’m always trying to reimagine things I can make or do with items I find in stores, garage sales, along the side of the road…. you get it. Total aside: This habit of reimagining things from what they are to what they could become works best with inanimate objects. I’ve tried it on my husband a couple of times and let’s just say it wasn’t pretty:)

So, back to the wood store. I asked my husband if I bought a few remnants, would he help me sand and cut them. He said yes. Who are we kidding? We both knew that I was asking him if he would actually make the boards and I would oil them. Perfect teamwork!

I marked where each piece should be cut, and in some cases, we were able to get two cheese boards out of one $4 piece of wood. I know, right? Then we ordered some food safe mineral oil online, and applied several coats according to package directions. The one bottle of oil did all 6 boards, plus we used it to refresh some existing cutting boards we own, and we still have some left.  You can buy the oil for $10.95 at http://amzn.to/2CqTlGp.

Next, we went to our local building store and purchased a variety of handles to attach to the ends, which turned them into easy-to-carry trays. On the round one, we placed them on the outside edge. Tip: For this project, using handles that you screw from above, rather than from the back, works best. This prevents you from having to countersink the screws on the back so they don’t scratch your table or countertop. No worries, as there are plenty of styles to choose from that screw in from the top and that won’t go through the back.

And as much as I’d like to make this more complicated than that, we were DONE!  With the various handles costing from $2-3 each, that made the cost of the cheese trays less than $10 each. That is a great price for English walnut, maple, and the many other exotic woods that are hard enough for this application.

For a gift, you can pair the board with a brick of cheese, a salami roll, crackers, and a bottle of wine, for a lovely presentation. We used one in this manner for a donation to a charity Silent Auction last fall and it was snapped up for a great price. The purchaser even had my husband sign the back with a Sharpie…most flattering.

I have variations of these cheese boards that I have purchased over the years, and they are not cheap. Now that we know how easy they are to make, we won’t be buying them again. Wood makes such a natural accent to a buffet table, that these trays are perfect for parties to lay out grapes, cheese, meats, and crackers on. You can top them with flat leaves and put sushi or other appetizers on them as well. And when not in use, they make a great riser on your kitchen counter because they are just too pretty to hide!  (and yes, I kept the amazing round one!)

So, the next time your husband goes into a candy…I mean wood store, don’t wait in the car!  Take a look at the scraps and let your imagination run wild. You may find the perfect project for your home or gift giving!

Good tidings,


Note: This post contains an Affiliate Link to Amazon for which I would receive a small compensation if you were to purchase this item.  This income is how bloggers pay for the expenses involved in keeping a website and blog site active, as well as purchase supplies used in blogs, so they can continue to bring you new content.  I do not plan to flood my blog with such Affiliate Links, however if there is a product I used or like, I may from time to time, give you the directions to where I found it.

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