How to Make a Cutting Board Out of a Tree

Here's a creative weekend project for you: Roll up your sleeves, grab a scrap piece of wood, and carve out your own cutting board. Better yet, make a few boards and give them out as hostess or holiday gifts. It's rustic, it's practical and best of all... you get to use a chainsaw! What's cooler than that?

Image Credit: Ashley Mayes

Things You'll Need

  • Tree stump

  • Safety glasses

  • Work gloves

  • Chainsaw

  • Scrap piece of wood (1 x 3 inches)

  • Orbital sander

  • Sand paper (80 grit, 120 grit and 220 grit)

  • Screwdriver

  • Hammer

  • Cloth

  • Food grade mineral oil

Step 1

Place the tree stump in an upright position. Make sure it's on a sturdy surface and level. If needed, place a scrap piece of wood underneath part of the tree stump to give you a level surface.

Image Credit: Ashley Mayes

Step 2

Place the 1 x 3 inch scrap piece of wood on top of the stump. Use the wood piece as a guide and draw lines on each side of the wood piece onto the stump.

Image Credit: Ashley Mayes


A one by three inch wood piece will yield a thicker butcher block style cutting board. If you want a thinner cutting board, use a one by two inch wood piece as your guide in the above step.

Step 3

Using a chainsaw, start at one of the lines that you just made and cut downward until you have cut through the stump.

Image Credit: Ashley Mayes

Step 4

From the line that was just cut, use your 1 x 3 inch scrap piece of wood and line it up with the cut line on the side of the stump. Once it is lined up with the cut line, draw a line along the opposite side of the scrap wood on the stump. The drawn line will match the drawn line on top of the stump and will serve as an additional cutting guide for your next cut.

Image Credit: Ashley Mayes

Step 5

Using the marked lines as guides on the top and side of your stump, cut the last piece with a chainsaw.

Image Credit: Ashley Mayes

Step 6

Decide whether you want the bark of the tree to remain on the cutting board or if you want to take it off. If you want to take the bark off, place the tip of a flat-head screwdriver in between the bark and the side of the board. Tap the end of the screwdriver with a hammer. Repeat until all the bark is removed.

Image Credit: Ashley Mayes

Step 7

Start sanding with the coarsest paper first (the 80 grit). Spend time getting all the chainsaw imperfections out of each side and all edges of the board. Once the larger imperfections are taken care of, change your sand paper to the 120 grit and sand. Repeat with the 220 grit. By the time you are done with the 220 grit, there will be very few imperfections and all sides of the board will be smooth to the touch.

Image Credit: Ashley Mayes

Step 8

Wipe the board clean with a cloth. Squeeze food safe mineral oil on a clean cloth. Rub the oil in on all sides of the cutting board. Let the mineral oil soak in.

Image Credit: Ashley Mayes

Step 9

Once the first coat of mineral oil has soaked in, apply a second coat of mineral oil. Let the second coat soak in before using the cutting board.

Image Credit: Ashley Mayes

Caring for Your Cutting Board

To properly maintain the cutting board, hand wash the board after each use. If the board was lightly used on non-meat items, you can simply wipe it with lemon juice and salt. If you need a deep clean, scrub with hot water and soap. Wipe the board dry immediately after washing and reapply mineral oil after every ten uses.

Image Credit: Ashley Mayes