DIY mixed material chopping board

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I’m obsessed with chopping boards. Where other people collect spoons (does anyone still do that?), I collect chopping boards. While jealously scrolling through some of my favourite design sites, I kept coming across these ‘mixed material’ chopping boards. I love how clean and modern they look. Not to mention they double as gorgeous serving platters. Unfortunately they also come with pretty steep price tags, which had me thinking, I can do that! On the best things about living in Italy is you can get your hands on amazing marble tiles for a steal. This is actually travertine, a local stone that’s mined in Saturnia and it’s leftover from my bathroom renovation. 

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As far as DIY projects go, this one is pretty simple. I had this piece of wood lying around from another DIY chopping board and it was just a matter of attaching the two pieces together on one very hot Saturday afternoon. You can source wooden boards from hardware stores like Leroy Merlin or Obi, both of which can cut them to size for you.

It’s a good idea if you source your tile first because it’s much easier cutting your wood to size than your tile. I picked mine up directly from the local quarry, but hardware stores stock marble tiles. They’re sold in boxes, but won’t set you back more than €30 and there are plenty of other DIY projects coming for you to put the remainder to good use. Your wooden board needs to be the same width as your tile or your cutting board won’t sit nicely together. My tile was 2cm thick and my wooden board a bit thicker. If your’s is like that too, you can sand the finished product, so they line up.

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  • 28x30cm wooden board
  • 15x30cm marble or travertine tile
  • 2x 2.5cm-tall and 2.5cm-wide wooden rods
  • tube of silicone
  • 6x 1.8cm-long screws
  • 4x plastic anchors
  • electric drill
  • saw

If you haven’t already, cut all your pieces to size. I cut my rods with a normal saw, but made sure they were a little shorter than my cutting board so they didn’t stick out. You can choose rods that are thicker or thinner than mine depending on whether you want your cutting board to be raised off the table. I had these lying around and my father-in-law refused to use thinner rods insisting these would make for a more stable cutting board that was less like to snap in two.

Put everything in place, making sure the tile and wood are perfectly aligned and pressed together. Start by securing the rod to the wooden section of the cutting board. If your rods aren’t too thick, you can directly drill in the screws without worrying about making holes first.

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Drill four holes on the other side of the rods to secure the tile. To do this, you first have to drill through the rod until your drill bit touches the tile. Make sure to mark the tile. Move the rods out of the way and very carefully drill through the tiles over the marks you made. Whatever you do, don’t drill all the way through or you’ll have holes in your cutting board!

Squeeze some silicone into the holes and insert your plastic anchors. These will stop your screws from coming out. If the anchors are too long, chop off the tops with a box cutter.

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Squeeze some more silicone onto the backs of the rods and realign over the holes. Now very carefully screw your screws through the rods and into the tile.

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Flip and lightly sand the surface to remove any marks. And you’re done! I don’t bother with a stain for my chopping boards. I can’t find a food-safe version in Italy anyway and I like the natural look. If oil (or strawberry) stains bother you, just give the whole chopping board a good scrub with warm soapy water and air dry. I usually rub a little olive oil over the chopping board to hide any stubborn stains and maintain the wood. Obviously, it’s not dishwasher safe.

I can’t wait to take this baby on all my summer picnics. You don’t have to use marble tiles for this project. Terracotta or ceramic tiles would look amazing. I have some white ceramic tiles lying around from another project. I might make another chopping board and let you know how it goes!

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