Sometimes the best DIY projects are actually the easiest to accomplish. Once you have your materials this ‘project’ takes no time at all. No power tools required or the need for a vast wooded forest at your disposal. Access to a craft or hardware store is all you’ll need. And don’t worry, there is no chance of a ‘Pinterest fail’ option here. Your DIY wood slice serving board will look identical to mine, no potential screw ups.
– Wood slice
– Stiff brush (optional)
– Sand paper: 150 & 220 grits
– Mineral oil or butcher block conditioner
1. Choose Your Wood Slice
My dad would be baffled to hear that I paid for this single wood slice when he could easily walk outside into one of the many wooded areas on his property, fire up the chainsaw, and have a fresh wood slice for me in 5 minutes or less. However, when you live in the heart of the most populated city in the country, casually finding a wood slice lying around isn’t all that simple. Though they are quite easy to find for purchase; any basic craft store will carry them, as they are used for wood burning. Or if you want to widen your search, Amazon offers a vast variety to make this process even more effortless.
2. Clean the Wood Slice
Since you will be serving food on this wood slice, cleaning the board is very important. I chose a board that did not have much moss or lichen on it because I don’t have a stiff wire cleaning brush and didn’t want to buy one solely for this project. But if you intend on making multiple slices, I’d recommend getting and using a stiff bristled brush to get in all the crevices of the bark. The main idea here is to get off any loose bark or moss that would fall off and contaminate your food/dirty your spotless kitchen.
Sand both sides of the wood slice using 150 grit followed by the 220. Simple handheld sanding blocks will do just fine to get a smooth service without interfering with the bark.
4. Oil or Condition
Last step: finish up the wood slice with mineral oil or butcher block conditioner. Of all the wood options out there, basswood is a fairly soft wood and seeing as we are applying directly to the end grain, it will soak up quite a bit of product. Apply a heavy amount of conditioner directly on to one side of the wood slice and use a clean rag to distribute. After about 20 to 30 minutes, repeat with a second coat. Allow the oil to soak in over night.
Once the conditioner or oil has fully dried, you’re all set to start using! Keep in mind that this is not a cutting board or proper butcher block. Like I mentioned before, basswood is a soft wood and can easily get nicked so it wouldn’t be ideal to start cutting up raw chicken with a sharp knife. Don’t be afraid to be rough with it while you use it as a serving tray though. It might get some scuffs here and there but the wood slice is self healing and with additional conditioner you can polish it right back up. I actually like the more lived in, used feeling for this board. Makes it feel more rustic and have extra character.
You would be surprised how versatile this wood slice can be. Easily use it as a serving tray for cheese, crudité, cured meats, dessert, etc. The possibilities are endless! I also use it for non food decor as well. This year I used it with my autumn holiday decor on my living room coffee table to add some varying height. My mother, who owns a small bakery, uses wood slices often for country, rustic, or more earth centric weddings. It totally changes the dynamic of the cake when it’s placed on a board like this, you’d be surprised how many people request them!