July 11, 2018

$5 Faux Wood Cutting Board

Here is a very inexpensive item that was born out of necessity.
Before you get too excited about the price of $5 for a large 
cutting board, please notice the word "faux". "Faux" if a fancy
French word that means "fake". This cutting board is fake wood
AND cannot be "cut" upon BUT if you want a decorative
cutting board to just look pretty, this project is for you. 

My "necessity" is that although I love having a television in
the kitchen, I hate the way it looks on the counter.

In contemplating about how I could cover it up, I thought
 about  the lovely antique cutting boards that I have seen in
 other kitchens leaning against the backsplash. Hmmmm...

I have seen large reproduction cutting boards at Hobby Lobby
and Michael's but even with a coupon they would be $50-
$60 and I don't think they are the right size to cover up the T.V.

I don't have any woodworking skills or tools to make my own
from scrap lumber like I have seen done in some tutorials.

and from foam core so I decided to try that technique to make
a faux wooden cutting board to somewhat hide the T.V. 

Here is how you will spend your $5 at the Dollar Tree to make it...
$3 for 3 foam core sheets
$1 for 1 roll of wood-patterned shelf covering
$1 for glue 
(if you want the board to be darker than the shelf covering
you will need some craft paint...maybe you already have that)

In the planning stages, I thought I would need a full sheet of
the foam core so I could slip it up under the top cabinet and
brace it from above so it would not lean on the t.v. 

In actuality, the t.v. was sturdy enough to have the board(s) 
lean up against it without harm or tipping over backwards.
 That meant that I could make faux cutting board large 
enough to cover the t.v. but small enough to look realistic. 

My plan from the beginning was to have at least two other real
wooden boards in front of the faux board to "fool the eye".
On Amazon I found a good size pizza board for $20 and a
smaller cutting board for $12.50. To me this was easier than
scouring stores for other cutting boards or finding someone
 to make them. I planned on painting/antiquing them.

After looking a images of large antique wooden cutting boards
online, I decided on this basic shape for my faux cutting board. 
You could make a faux cutting board any size or shape you want. 

I decided to round the corners. You could use a round plate as
a guide to help make them uniform. I had a simple protractor. 

Once I got a shape I liked on one board, I traced it on the other 
two boards. You would not HAVE to use more than one board
but it helps to make the faux cutting board have more 
dimension. Also, the single core board sometimes has a slight
bow to it and the other boards help to keep each other straight. 

You can use a kitchen steak knife to cut the foam core board.
If you have a craft knife with a sharp blade, your cuts will be
cleaner. I found that I got less jagged cuts by making 3 passes:
First cut: cut through the paper on top of the foam core
Second cut: cut into the foam core
Third cut: turn the board over and following the cut lines
that should be showing through, cut from the back

Your cutting board pattern may be perfectly symmetrical on 
both sides...mine was NOT. I had to do some "fine tuning" with
the craft knife to get all three pieces matching by holding the 
 boards up to each other and shaving some more. Even then, 
there were some slight differences between left and right.

When you start to glue don't do like me and not know which
sides of the boards match. Next time I would write something
on each board to tell me what side was front or back, etc.

I glued one of the foam core boards wrong. When they were dry
I had to do more shaving with the craft knife to even them up. 

Put the glued boards in an out of the way place and put some
stuff with weight on top of them to help bond them together.

Here is the thickness of three foam core boards after the glue dries.

I had another foam core board I could have added to make it
thicker but I was tired of cutting by then. If you are not lazy
(like me) and want it thicker, add another board. 

This next step is one you could skip...putting wood shelf 
paper on the BACK of the cutting board.

To cover the back of the faux cutting board roll out the wood
shelf paper long enough to cover the board. Trace around the
board and cut close to the tracing line. You do not want 
overhang on this side of the board.

Start with the non-handle side of the board and apply the 
wood shelf paper to the board slowly rolling the printed 
non-stick side away and smoothing the sticky side of the 
shelf paper down on the board as you go.

Here is the backside of the faux cutting board...

...trim the wood shelf paper as close as you can to the edge. 

On the "good" side of the faux cutting board, you are going to
want overhang so you can wrap the shelf paper around the 
edges and on to the back to secure everything. My faux board
was 16" wide...the shelf paper was 18" wide. If you want a
faux cutting board wider than 16", you could add another
row of shelf paper lengthwise to cover the edges. 

I was nervous about getting the shelf paper on the board
straight and having equidistant overhang so I put the shelf
paper face down, peeled off the printed paper layer and placed
the board on top of the sticky side to monitor the placement. 

Time to pull the overhang to the backside to secure the
shelf paper and cover the edges. You will have extra shelf
paper at the corners whether you have rounded or square ones.

Clip off the excess shelf paper with scissors but leave enough 
to be able to stick to the backside of the board. 

At the end where the handle is, cut the shelf paper to be able to
cover the edges but still have enough width to stick to the back.

Cut the shelf paper at an angle where the handle meets the 
board to be able to smooth it down. You will have a blank space.

Cut a small piece of  wood shelf paper long enough to bridge
 the gap but not too wide then stick it on to cover the board.

Smooth the edges and corners as much as you can to the back.
I ended up with some "dog ears" that I needed to glue down.


You may like your faux wooden cutting board just fine in
the color that the shelf paper is in.

 I wanted mine to look more like an antique so I painted it with
watered down craft paint.  Here are the basic brown colors that 
thought would help me achieve that look. 
The two lighter colors of brown did not help to "age" the wood. 
I would skip buying them in hindsight....too light...get a black instead.  

If you use too much water, the paint will bead up on the wood
shelf paper. You don't want to cover the wood elements with
too thick craft paint however. In the real antique cutting
board images I studied, the edges and the handles were darker
 than the center of the board so I tried to mimic that look. 
Painting the board in progress

Probably I could have stained the real wood cutting boards
that are my decoys but I don't know the ramifications of real
stain on boards that might accidentally have food on them in
the future when I am dead so I just used craft paints on them. 

I was not getting enough darkness on the boards so I added 
some black acrylic paint to the mix.

If you want to make several faux boards to stack up against
each other you could do that and skip the real wood ones.

Here is the large faux wooden cutting board with its 
"finished for now" paint job. I added some "cut" marks with
a tiny paintbrush to cover some wrinkles in the shelf paper and
other places to (hopefully) add faux knife marks authenticity. 
You can google "antique bread board images" to get more ideas
 on how to paint your board to make it look old.

The new pizza board got some "cuts" too to add faux age. 

The main thing I did to the smaller new wood board was to
leave the center lighter than the edges and the handle. 

The smallest board is one that we got in a gift basket. It has
aged pretty well on its own. I added paint to the "cuts" it already
has so they would show up better. I know odd numbers in a 
display are better but I just like this tiny cutting board in the mix. 

Tom Kat thinks it is crazy to cover the t.v. 'cause it is almost 
always on when I am in the kitchen but when "company is 
coming" I want to be able to hide it. 

In reality, most of the time the boards will "live" on the other
 side of the kitchen away from any heat or grease splatters. 
Here is the foursome of cutting boards NOT being used to hide the t.v.
Would you like this look in your kitchen? 

How would YOU use an inexpensive faux wooden cutting board? 


  1. That looks absolutely great and like the real thing! You are the faux queen as far as I am concerned. You are certainly a talented lady! What a perfect cover-up for the TV. I am with you- I like my TV covered when I am not watching it. xo Diana

  2. Who would have ever thought! I think that's pretty brilliant!

  3. Wow, you had me fooled until I clicked on your post.Your boards look so real and a great accent for the counter. Looks great and certainly hides the tv. Great tutorial. You have such great ideas and are so good at crafting. Love this...........

  4. Great idea. Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  5. Great post! Thanks for sharring! Dokumentalne

  6. So glad I caught this -- what a great idea! I love old bread boards, too. Usually pick them up at Goodwill and use them as decor. I have one huge one but that's only because it was used for a World Market promo post and I got it for free! I definitely will have to try this in the new year! xo Kathleen

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  8. I love projects like this...to me it is all about the look, and you nailed it!

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