This post is sponsored by HomeHardware. All content and thoughts shared are my own.
e are heading into the busy season with the holidays rapidly approaching. That typically means it's also time for an influx of gifts to be needed; I'm talking host/hostess gifts, holiday gifts, or just because gifts. When it comes to gift-giving, I have a secret to tell you; there are no better gifts than thoughtful handmade items. More thought, customizations, and sentiment come with DIY gifts. I realize that also comes with a ton more work, but honestly, my favourite part of giving a gift is knowing that someone truly loves it and will enjoy it for years to come.
DIY Charcuterie Board
Let’s get started with my personal favourite kind of DIY gift: a charcuterie board. Should we talk about how cute you can make these?! Pick any shape and size you want for a DIY charcuterie board and you get to customize it in any way you want. Solder a name or initials onto the board, pick a colour that you prefer, or add a heart handle(!!).
Friends and family who have already seen these charcuterie boards couldn’t get enough of the colours but wondered how they were food safe?! Home Hardware has this awesome food-grade hard wax oil that is perfect for charcuterie boards. They also have raw linseed oil which is a perfect way to seal charcuterie boards if you prefer the natural wood colour.
What You Need to Make a Charcuterie Board
- 1 slab of hard maple – the type and size are up to you. Consider how long you want your board, how thick you want it, and how wide you want it.
- Planer + Safety Gear (ear plugs, safety glasses) – technically you don’t need this, but it sure will make your life a lot easier by saving several hours. Just have a look below.
- Jigsaw – if you wanted to do a different-shaped board or to add a heart like mine
- Orbital sander
- Sandpaper – 120, 180, 220 grit
- Spray bottle filled with water
- Food-Grade Hardwax Oil (optional) – any colour you like I used Dark Espresso and Clear
- Raw Linseed Oil
How to Make a Charcuterie Board
- Take your board and run it through the planer until the surface is smooth, fresh wood is exposed, and the desired thickness is achieved. Don’t forget to flip it over and smooth out the other side as well. If you’re not using a planer, get your orbital sander ready.
- Using a pencil, draw the shape you want your board to be. Here I added the handle on the smaller board and the heart on the larger board.
- Take your jigsaw and cut out the shapes following the lines you drafted above. If you want to be precise, use a clamp to secure it. I wanted a more rustic look, so I slowly freehanded following my lines.
4. Using your orbital sander with 120 grit sandpaper, start smoothing out your rough edges created by the jigsaw and any imperfections left from the planer. Once you’ve smoothed out the entire board, move up to 180-grit sandpaper and repeat.
5. Using a rag, remove any access sawdust. Take your water-filled spray bottle and spray the front, back, sides, top, and bottom of your charcuterie boards to raise the grain. Let the water dry.
6. Once the water is dry, take your 220-grit sandpaper and sand away until everything is smooth and looks the way you like it. Using a tack cloth, make sure all of the sawdust is removed.
7. (Skip to step 8 if you’re just doing the linseed oil) Put on your gloves because now it’s time to start oiling the boards. If you wanted your boards to look the same as mine, I used the Dark Espresso Hardwax Oil on the smaller board and Clear Hardwax Oil followed by Dark Espresso on the larger board. To apply, I like to dump a little bit of the oil on the board and spread it with my hands. I leave it on for a few minutes and then wipe it off with a cloth. I let the boards dry for a few hours and flipped them over to do the other side.
8. (If you did step 7, you can skip this step – but you will probably want to do this every few months to maintain your board) Put on your gloves and oil your board with linseed oil. To apply, I like to dump the oil on the board and spread it with my hands. I do a nice thin even layer.
9. Whether you’re ending at step 7 or 8, I would let your boards cure for 48-72 hours before using (or let the recipient of your holiday DIY gifts know to wait!).
PS – you can save some time and make multiple charcuterie boards at a time!
PPS – you can also head over to my Charcuterie board post (food version) and learn about the best way to help your food do your beautiful board justice!
Okay, holiday DIY gifts are still underway so why don’t we get into the Decorative DIY Concrete Bowl.
Decorative DIY Concrete Bowl
These bowls are so much fun! Like the charcuterie boards, there are so many ways you can tackle them and make them your own: whether it be changing the concrete colour (COOL right?!) or making your own shapes up these can be uniquely made for your intended recipient.
What You Need to Make a Decorative Concrete Bowl
- Quick Set Concrete Mix
- Cement Colour (if desired) it comes in so many colour options!
- Plastic Mixing Bowls
- 19 oz Utility Pail
- Paint sticks (or something sturdier to stir concrete with)
- Rags that you don’t want back
- Floral Blocks – If you’re going to fill your bowls with faux floral arrangements like I did with mine
- Faux florals of your choosing
How to Make a Decorative Concrete Bowl
- Cut your rags into a more circular shape. My rags were facecloth sized and I trimmed the corners off to round them out.
- Get a smaller bowl ready – put the bottom side up. This can get a bit messy so I also laid it over top of a drop cloth.
- In your 19L pail, prepare your concrete mix – it should be the consistency of peanut butter. If you’re doing a cement colour, add it here. I used charcoal in the darker version of my concrete bowl.
- If you didn’t already, put your gloves on now. Then take your rag and dunk it into your concrete mix. With my hands, I made sure my rag was fully covered in concrete and that I couldn’t see any of the rag itself through the concrete coating. My method was to scoop up the concrete and massage it into the rag to get it solidly in there. I made sure both sides of the rag were covered.
- Take the rag and place it over the bowl you have upside down. Here you can shape it however you like. I went for the scalloped look for the darker version and loved it.
- Let your concrete-drenched rags dry for 24 + hours (I left mine alone for two days just to make sure). Peel your new decorative bowls off of the plastic bowls and voila!
- If you’re adding floral arrangements, take your floral blocks and cut them to size to fit into your decorative concrete bowls. Then start placing your florals around until you’ve achieved a look that you’re happy with.
Your next holiday DIY gifts are ready to give to someone special!
PS – if you wanted, you could also just to straight concrete bowls – pour some concrete into one of the plastic bowls (do a light coating of oil in the bowl first!) and then place the smaller bowl inside of it. Push the bowl down for some weight and even distribution of the bowl. Wait 24+ hours for it to dry. Once it is dry and you get it out of the bowls, you’ll have to give the edges a nice sanding but otherwise, you have even more adorable holiday DIY gifts you can give.
Happy DIYing my friends!