How to Make a Rustic Bread Board

Antique bread boards are a popular collectible but they're often expensive. With basic woodworking skills, you can turn a piece of old or reclaimed wood into a great handmade gift for your favorite foodie or hostess.

Loaf of Bread on Reclaimed Wood Bread Board

Rustic Handmade Bread Board

By: Marian Parson

Materials Needed:

  • piece of old or reclaimed wood
  • chalk
  • table saw or circular saw
  • jig saw or band saw
  • drill equipped with 3/8" drill bit
  • protective eyewear
  • palm sander
  • medium- and fine-grit sanding discs for sander
  • food-safe beeswax wood finish
  • mineral spirits
  • 2 lint-free cloths

Draw Bread Board Shape

Use chalk to draw desired outline onto wood (Image 1). Since old bread boards have a primitive shape, draw designs freehand without worrying too much about perfect symmetry. Scribble out areas that will be scraps to make sketches clear when cutting (Image 2).

Cut Bread Board Down

While wearing protective eyewear, use a table saw or circular saw to cut along straight chalk marks to cut board down to size.

Cutting Wood Board

Cut Rustic Bread Board

Cut Bread Board Shape

Use a jigsaw to cut out chalked shape. Wear eye protection and make sure board is on a stable surface. Tip: If an area is tricky to cut out, try cutting out some scrap wood until the line is easier to access with saw blade.

Using a Jigsaw to Cut Bread Board

Cutting Out Rustic Bread Board

Drill Hole (Optional)

Many primitive bread boards have a hole in the handle so they could be hung for easy storage. To recreate this look, use a 3/8" sized drill bit to create a hole in the handle.

Drilling Hole Into Wooden Handle

Drill Hole for Hanging Bread Board

Sand Bread Board

Use medium-grit sandpaper and orbital palm sander to smooth edges, sides and surface of bread board. Once edges are knocked down and surface is no longer rough, use fine-grit sandpaper to finish smoothing. Tip: When working with reclaimed wood, sand enough to smooth the surface to make it useable, but don't sand too much and remove the rustic character of the wood.

Sanding Wooden Board

Sand Handmade Bread Board

Wax Bread Board

Clean board with cotton cloth and mineral spirits to remove any old residue and dust and allow board to completely dry. With another clean, lint-free cloth, apply food-safe beeswax wood finish to all surfaces of the board, working wax deep into the wood grain (Image 1). Buff wax with cloth until surface feels smooth. Allow wax to dry before using to serve food (Image 2).

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