Make a Beautiful Bread Board Everybody Will Want
Decorating trends come and go but some décor items are here to stay because they’re also functional. Breadboards are one of those things. They’re also called cutting boards and the newest trend – charcuterie boards. These boards are not only functional – they’re also pretty. I like to use boards of varying heights and shapes in my own home décor, and I know I’m not the only one. If you like unique breadboards, you can make your own with just a few tools.
What You’ll need
The obvious thing you’ll need is a board. I use old breadboards, seats from chairs I dismantled for the spindles, and old tabletops. The idea is to use solid wood. No particle board or plywood. You’ll also need a jigsaw. If you’re intimidated by the thought of using power tools, don’t be. Having just a couple in your workshop or craft space will open up so many more creative possibilities. A jigsaw is one of the first tools I would buy if you’re thinking of adding power tools to your arsenal. They’re safe to use and you can get a decent one for under $100. I use Ryobi tools because the batteries are interchangeable, and they have great sales and promotions.
Grab your sander too. I used a palm sander and a detail sander for this project. If you don’t have these tools just get some sandpaper in various grits. I use a sanding sponge from The Dollar Tree for hand sanding. When the paper wears out I simply hot glue a new trimmed down piece to my old sponge.
If you want to paint or stain your piece gather those supplies too. To make your board food safe you’ll want some mineral oil to finish it. I bought mine from Amazon and it looks like this.
How to Get Your Template
I have a special template I used for my piggy board. It was gifted to me by a 90-year-old veteran who drew the pattern out when he was in the eighth grade then cut it out for his mother. He grew up to be a pattern maker and recently passed away. These boards are my tribute to him. You can get a template right here on this website though. I was perusing through this site last night and there are so many things I love, but here’s a silhouette I think will work well for this project. I had an actual board I could trace around for my pattern so that was easy. I used matte board I picked up from Hobby Lobby when it was 50% off. If you’re going to print your picture and you want it to be bigger than your printer will allow, just send the file over to Office Depot or Staples and they’ll make it as big as you like. You can use graphite paper to transfer your image to your matte board or just cut the image out then trace it that way. I use matte board for my templates because they hold up well and I can use them over and over.
Now that you decided on a shape for your board and you’ve cut out your pattern, you’re ready to ‘start cutting. Be sure you’re using the scroll blade in your jigsaw. It’s a finer cut and you won’t have to sand as much.
I just trace my pattern close to the edge of the board so there’s no need to drill a pilot hole. If you did need to drill a hole, use a bit that’s bigger than your saw blade and place the hole near where you want to start cutting. And make sure the hole is on the drop-off part of your board. You can turn the board to keep up with the curves of your pattern. If the curves are too tight you can come in from the sides and make some in-cuts to meet your last cut. It’s not hard to learn how to use a jigsaw. Just imagine you’re cutting something out with scissors, and you’ll get the hang of it. Be careful not to overcut though. If your pattern has some inside cuts, save those for last. I wear a mask when I cut these because dust flies everywhere. And I wear glasses so I can see. If you don’t need reading glasses, wear safety glasses.
After I cut my shape out, the edges were rough, and they needed a good sanding. I used 80 grit paper on my palm sander to go over the cut edges. I like to round the edges off while I’m at it. This just gives my board a more finished and professional look. I go over the entire surface with this sander then I use my detail sander to clean things up.
Your board should be looking like something now. If you like the look of natural wood just give it a good coat of mineral oil and call it a completed project. You can use olive oil if that’s what you have.
I, of course, went extra on mine. The first thing I did was stain my board with a gel stain. I just wiped it on with a clean, dry cloth and removed the excess with a second cloth. While the stain was drying, I looked on Creative Fabrica for a mandala I liked. I thought this would be a perfect way to make my piggy a little bit boho. I cut out a stencil on my cricut and I made the mandala big enough to cut into segments so that I would only need one. FYI weeding mandalas isn’t my favorite way to pass the time. After I applied the transfer tape to my mandala, I just laid it out on my board to decide how I would need to cut it. Then, one section at a time, I stenciled the image to my board. I used linen white paint by Rustoleum on a stiff brush. I use a very dry brush to stencil so that I don’t have any bleeds. This is what works for me, but you may have a method that works better for you.
After my paint dried, I pulled the stencil up and took a very light grit sandpaper, and distressed my paint job, just a little.
The last step was to rub my whole board with a good coat of mineral oil. I love this piggy and next month all my little piggies are going to market with me. I’ll let you know how it goes. Until then – happy crafting.
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