- Electric jig saw
- A printed template of the state you would like to make (which you can find the shape you like on the internet)
- A router to shape the edges (optional – this is just for a more finished look. If you don’t have access to a router, just take sand paper and sand back your edges.)
- A piece of wood (this can be plywood, solid wood, pine, etc.) I will be using a 12” x 16” piece of wood that is ¾” thick which is a product called “basswood” which is similar to pine and very easy to cut. I found mine at a craft store. The size of the cutting board is up to you. I also bought a smaller 9” x 11” piece of bamboo to test out.
- Stain – water based (optional)
- Polyurethane or another type of wood sealant
- Sand paper
- Clamps to hold wood in place (or a friend to hold it for you!)
- Any additions you would like (I am going to experiment here with a wood burning tool to engrave someone’s name…but I’ve never tried it before so it might not work! Someone can also add paint color if they would like.)
- Safety glasses
A great gift to give anyone for a special occasion is a something they can use on a daily basis in their kitchen. This is a way that you can personalize an everyday item and turn it into a unique and heart-felt gift….A personalized cutting board from their home state! You can make a cutting board in the shape of any one of the 50 states (or even countries). And if it’s its just too darn beautiful to chop your onions on it, you can hang it on the wall as an art piece. No matter what you are celebrating, this project is the perfect way to put a personal touch on a unique gift!
- Print out a picture (outline) of the state you would like to use on the internet.
- Cut out this picture and trace the outline of your state onto your wood.
- Attach your wood to a solid base by using clamps (you may have to move this around as you cut out your state, but always make sure that your wood is securely clamped down before you make any cuts!)
- Take your jig saw and cut out the outline of your state.
- At this point, you can simply sand the edges of your state so that the area around the entire surface is smooth. If you are feeling extra crafty, take a router with a fun bit on the end and smooth out the edges of your state. Lightly sand by hand after you’ve routed the wood.
- If you would like to add stain to color the wood, do so now.
- If you would like to add any additions such as wood burning, engraving or paint, do so now.
- Let the wood dry completely.
- Add a layer of polyurethane (or any wood sealer). If the type of wood is very absorbent, you may need to add several coats of poly. You just want to make sure that anything you cut on the board will not soak up into the board (you don’t want bacteria forming after you’ve cut red meat or chicken on your cutting board!)
- Give your gift!
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