How to Make a Wood Burned Hand Lettered Cutting Board
When it comes to seasonal decorating, I am all about simple, natural, and practical touches. I also really like to use what I have rather than buy more stuff which usually ends up in my basement never to be seen again. I absolutely looooove changing things up for the season, and I love the happy vibes that Spring brings, but I just don’t keep it in line with that philosophy. When Krista from The Happy Housie invited me to partake in her Spring craft/DIY hop, I knew that I wanted to a) not spend money, and b) find some way to bring a practical and utilitarian seasonal touch to my kitchen. It just so turns out that a few years ago I bought several Ikea wooden cutting boards that I could make into gifts. I overbought and had several left, and thought it would be perfect to use to create a spring themed piece for my kitchen shelves. Luckily for me and for you, I recently learned (ish) the skill of hand-lettering, so I decided to bring that to my cutting board, and give it a spring theme. When you’re finished checking out my cutting board today, be sure to visit all of the blogs sharing beautiful spring projects today. You’ll find them at the end of this post. (This blog uses affiliate links, and I am an Amazon associate.)
Just the other week, a friend invited me to take a hand-lettering workshop given by Magnolia Pen & Paper at the McAlister Leftwich house here in Greensboro. The venue was beautiful and the class was great! The biggest takeaway for me is that hand lettering is pretty free-style, and the idea is that you write lightly on the upswing of your utensil, and heavy on the downswing. Basically, I just write in cursive, and then I go back and darken and broaden my downswings. It is so simple, but looks so much more elevated than standard writing. I took what I learned in that class and applied it to my creation today.
While I knew I wanted to use that hand lettering skill I picked up, I wanted to come up with a somewhat humorous phrase that spoke of the approaching season to me. While we have yet to start a vegetable garden at this house, spring usually means planting vegetables that would be cut eventually on said cutting board, or perhaps it means starting from seed indoors. Either way, I took the idea of starting a garden and applied that to my chosen phrase, “it’s grow time.” Once I had my style and phrase selected, it was go time. (See what I did there?)
- cutting board (If you don’t have an Ikea near you, these are a great affordable alternative).
- wood burning tool (you don’t need the fanciest… mine is similar to this one).
- brown colored pencil
- fine sandpaper
- coconut or butcher block oil
Plug in your wood burning tool and let it heat up. You want it nice and hot when you use it. While it’s heating up, use your brown colored pencil to draw your design. I use brown because it’s so close to the color of the burned wood. If there’s any left behind, it’s barely visible. You can see that I messed up a little on my writing, but I didn’t worry about it, knowing that I would be sanding any excess pencil mark off later as well.
After you’ve got your design drawn, and your wood burning tool is heated up, it’s time to burn baby burn! I like to do this in my kitchen where the countertops are a little more durable, and I place foil under my tool just to help protect my surface.
Next, slowly and steadily start following your design with your wood burning tool. Patience is key here… you want to move your tool very slowly and let it really burn. As you can see, on the downswing of each letter, I went back with the tool and created a wider line.
While this craft is ridiculously easy, as I mentioned it takes a lot of patience. All in all, this little phrase took me about 20-30 minutes to burn. When I was through with the tool, you can see that there were still plenty of marks from my brown pencil that were visible.
If this happens to you as well, use a fine sanding block and simple sand over the entire design, and sand off those pencil marks. Wipe away any dust.
Lastly, use a clean rag and wipe on butcher block, mineral, or coconut oil. This will just make your board ready for food usage. I personally used coconut oil on mine because it’s what I had on hand.
After that, your cutting board is ready for use, and display…. functional and beautiful. That’s my kind of seasonal touch!
What I absolutely love about hand lettering is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, the imperfections make it so much more personal, in my opinion. I actually look the class with a friend and she’s a perfectionist and I am not… it was quite comedic watching the two of us and our different takes. She was criticizing her own work whereas I was over here with my marker like, “well, that’s good enough!” To be honest, I thought her lettering looked a million times better than mine!
My lettering is not perfect, as you can see, but I love that it’s obvious that someone created it by hand and with care. I also love that it makes this craft totally attainable to ANYONE! All you need is the ability to write at all, a cutting board, and a wood burning kit, and you are good to go!
With the school year soon to come to a close (OH MY GOSH NOOOOOOO), these would make great personal gifts for your child’s teachers as well. You could even let your child write it out, and you could just do the burning for them. The possibilities are practically endless.
As for ours, it was just a gift to myself… a fun craft to do on a gloomy day while I listened to melancholy music, and dreamed of spring arriving soon… I trust the groundhog, even if I am awaiting snow in North Carolina as I write this.
Be sure to check out all of the other amazing projects below, and if you like mine, I would be honored if you would pin it and share it!
Today I’m joined by some of my talented blogging friends who are also sharing their Spring DIY or Craft projects with you! Be sure to see what they are sharing by clinking the links below the images.
Anthropologie Inspired Basket Planters with Legs at Tatertots and Jello
Simple Hanging Egg Tree at Sincerely, Marie Designs
DIY Dollar Tree Macrame Vase at The DIY Mommy
Dollar Store DIY Line Art Floral Panel at Lemon Thistle
DIY Paint Dipped Vases at Southern State of Mind