DIY Upcycled Cutting Board Serving Trays

WCNC Upcycled Serving Trays

Have you ever found yourself with an old cutting board whose cuts and grooves are too deep for comfort? I have. And I know I’m supposed to stop using it with food, because bacteria. But I hate having to just throw away such a great piece of wood. When this happened to me recently, I decided to upcycle the cutting board into a serving tray. It’s a pretty simple project — once I had all my supplies, the whole thing took less than an hour. So easy.

And I got to share my creations with Colleen and Eugene on Charlotte Today. So I have some video for you, too. Watch here. (P.S. Be sure to laugh at and with me when I totally bungle screwing in the handle!)


(Video not working? Click here.)

This project does involve using power tools, but don’t be nervous. You don’t really need to do more than drill a couple of holes. I know you can do it! Especially if you aren’t on live tv when you do it 🙂

As I mentioned, the inspiration for this project came from my own, ready-to-be-retired cutting board, but of course, if you don’t have any beat up cutting boards lying around right now, you can easily do this project with a new cutting board. My old cutting board was the APTITLIG from IKEA, so I went out and got a couple more of those same ones for $7.99 each. I love bamboo cutting boards, and these don’t have any cutouts to deal with. They’re just a solid piece of wood: perfect for a serving tray.

So here are the supplies you need:

  • Drill with drill bit and phillips head bit
  • 2 Drawer pulls
  • Used or inexpensive cutting board
  • 220 grit Sandpaper
  • Can of spray Lacquer or Clear Enamel
  • Scrap wood to protect your tabletop when you drill
  • 4 Adhesive felt pads

Here are some extra supplies you may want:

  • Spray paint + painters tape
  • Wood-burning kit
  • Stain or Colored Glaze
  • Washi tape + Mod Podge
  • Etc!

And here’s how you turn a cutting board into a serving tray:

Step 1: If you’re using an old cutting board, give it a good sanding with the sandpaper so the grooves aren’t as pronounced or noticeable.

Step 2: If you are going to do anything to alter the look of the board (wood burning, painting, etc.) this is the time to do it. I created 3 boards: on one I painted it with green glazing paint (which is like stain, but color, so the wood shows through); on one I spray painted a single, white stripe (here are 7 tips for successful spray painting); and on the last one, I wood-burned a design into the board.

(This would be a super cool opportunity to do a wax-paper transfer of artwork, too. Here’s a video with instructions.)

Step 3: Spray the board with a few coats of spray lacquer or clear enamel. This will protect the wood and also anything you’ve designed on your board. Let this dry completely.

Step 4: Measure the space between the holes of your drawer pull and mark your board. Then decide how far from the edge you’d like your handles to be and mark this. Once you know where you’re going to drill, place the cutting board on top of the scrap wood. This will ensure you don’t drill through the board straight into your table (unless you have a workbench that can take that kind of abuse).

Step 5: Drill baby drill! Four holes total. Carefully clean away any splinters (you may need to sand a bit, depending on how splintery the board is — bamboo is pretty splintery).

Step 6: Insert the screws from the underside of the board and screw them in part way. Place your handle on top of the screws, and finish screwing them in.

Step 7: Apply felt pads to the underside of the board, one in each corner.

And voila! Your new serving tray is ready! Invite people over and serve them something delicious!

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