Farmhouse Tray from a Cutting Board

Farmhouse Tray from a Cutting Board

With the holidays on my mind, I wanted to create something decorative but also functional for entertaining guests. But I’m not too keen on spending a lot of money right before Christmas. I spied this over-the-sink cutting board on the shelf during a recent thrifting adventure. And I knew it had a LOT of potential to become a farmhouse tray.

over the sink cutting board

And, yes- you’re right. I have a penchant for wooden tray projects. Remember this one that appeared in my book, “Crafting with Flannel”?

fabric lined tray from crafting with flannel

Anyway, back to the cutting board. Was it in rough shape? Yes. But that made it even more attractive to me! And because it was an over-the-sink cutting board, it was extra thick and heavy, which made it unique.

So, into the cart it went!

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Resurfacing a Cutting Board for a Farmhouse Serving Tray

I won’t lie to you- it didn’t look all that great in person. But, a little TLC could transform it into something to show off; I could just feel it in my DIY-loving heart.

Besides, it wasn’t a huge investment to at least try…

how to resurface an old cutting board

First, I gave it a good cleaning before sanding it down with our orbital sander. This removed the stains and scars that it had endured as a cutting board.

And just like that, it already looked ten times better!

sanding and cleaning an old cutting board

I made sure to use a middle-of-the-ground disk grit (120) to ensure that it was smooth, but not SO smooth for the following steps.

Once the sanding was done and the sawdust have been cleaned away, I grabbed a pint of one of my favorite rustic wood stains.

wood stain for a farmhouse tray

Right away, I could tell that I was going to have to layer on a couple or a few layers of stain to achieve the rich color I was looking for. Because one coat of stain was NOT going to cut it.

staining a farmhouse serving tray

It was dry, thirsty wood and needed a lot more color! This was DEFINITELY too blah for me…

Finishing a Farmhouse Tray

But, after giving the cutting board three coats of stain, it looked pretty darn good.

using wood stain on a cutting board

It had the richness and depth that I wanted, putting it well on its way to becoming a farmhouse tray.

cutting board to become a farmhouse wood tray

Once the stain had thoroughly cured, I gave the cutting board a coat of polyacrylic. I chose polyacrylic because this was going to be a decorative tray and no food would come in direct contact with it.

I also gathered a couple of inexpensive door handles (these are nicer than mine!) from a hardware store. They reminded me of screen door handles.

polyacrylic to seal a wood tray

After attaching the screen door handles, I was done! Or so I thought…

farmhouse serving tray from a cutting board

Farmhouse Tray from a Cutting Board

But you know what? I wasn’t crazy about the silver handles. Sure, they were inexpensive, but I wanted something darker, so I spray painted them.

painted handles on a farmhouse tray

Much better, don’t you think? NOW it was the perfect farmhouse tray to set out on a coffee table for coasters, drinks, snack bowls, etc.

farmhouse serving tray with handles

Or just set out on a table as part of centerpiece for decorative purposes.

farmhouse tray from a cutting board

What a transformation, from that beat up, dried out, and badly stained cutting board from Goodwill!

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea for farmhouse decor, then you’ll love this idea for windmill decor with ceiling fan blades!

And for even more upcycling ideas for cutting boards, this collection is full of inspiration!

cutting board ideas

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Genius. Genius I say! What’s even better? I have several candidates here at the house need for a trip to Goodwill! (This is where being ancient and already having ancient, I mean vintage, things comes in handy~~

  2. Yay! I girl who likes to repurpose too. This turned out just fabulous. It looks like it could be from William Sonoma 😉

  3. very nice! 😉

  4. looks great! I can’t believe the difference!

  5. I really like this! What a creative idea. Makes me want to go out and restore something! Thank you for sharing!

  6. I like this idea! I may do that with a natural cut (slab of a tree) cutting board a friend gave me which has legs on the bottom! I have not used as cutting board as so nice looking! A tray is a great idea!!!

  7. I love it, such a great idea!!

  8. This looks so petty. I love the stain color you chose!

  9. Mary-The Boondocks Blog says

    It looks great! I love the transformation of the wood block. And the handles are really cute.

  10. Fantastic Idea! I need to spend more time at the goodwill store! Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. Outstanding project! I think these would make wonderful gifts too 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  12. I envy people with such great vision as you have. I probably would have looked right past that poor abused cutting board. Thanks for sharing on the #HomeMattersParty . I hope you will join us again next week.

  13. I love this!!! I love shopping at the Goodwill too. I just posted one of my projects using a sweater from the GW. Come check it out at

  14. Great re-purpose!!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  15. Oooooh I have the perfect wooden cutting board that is a perfect candidate for this project. Thank you for sharing at Vintage Charm.

  16. I totally love how simple, yet cute this is! 🙂

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J. Happy Thanksgiving!

  17. What a clever way to upcycle an old cutting board. Now, I’m gonna have an eye out for one for myself! Thanks for sharing this with us at our Throwback Thursday link party.

  18. Seriously girl, is there anything that you can’t make look good? Love this!
    Thanks for sharing at Something to Talk About each week!

  19. Thanks for the great idea! Someone just dropped off an old turkey cutting board on my porch the other day and now I know what to do with them!

  20. What a great idea for a thrift store find! I’d love if you’d share this (or any of your favourite projects) at our link party, Create • Share • Inspire. Link up every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST.

    Alicia xo

  21. Great Repurpose thinking… Simple… yet.Creative with a New life of service to perform. I think many who repurpose will take this Idea and run with their own version of this piece, Thanks for sharing this with so many ..I’m sure you have and will inspire many others with this fun repurpose.
    IT’S A WINNER !!! in my book.

  22. I love this, Sarah. Your tray is featured as my favorite at our Pinterest party~ Thank you for sharing!
    Hope to see you again this weekend!

  23. I’m so glad you stopped by to link up at Create • Share • Inspire. I hope to see you back tomorrow!

    Alicia xo

  24. Stephanie @ Casa Watkins says

    I love your tray!! I’m always looking for cutting boards to make one of them and never find one at the thrift store. Great score! Thanks for sharing with us at Your Home Decor and More!!

  25. Phoenixwych Bingham says

    What did you use for legs on this?

  26. I LOVE this idea! I have passed up so many of these cutting boards, and never thought to create a tray. Great job!

  27. This is GENIUS! I have a current fetish for trays so I’m going to have to try this! I came from a link up 🙂

  28. I fell in love with this the first time I saw it, but I had to pop over again to thank you for sharing it with us at Brag About It! Pinned and tweeted 🙂 Have a great week Sarah!

  29. What a simple idea that looks anything but simple! Great idea and beautiful tray! Certainly from trash to treasure! I bet there are lots of these to be found at thrift stores! Pinning this to my crafty board. Thank you so very much for sharing over at Celebrate Your Story!

  30. Great idea, I always serve my tapas style snacks on a wooden boards to guests. Here in the Nederlands it is normal to keep bringing trays of nibbles around whilst the guests remain seated – I very often serve tapas style snacks on wooden chopping boards – this would be so much more handy.

  31. What a great way to give a cutting board some TLC, not to mention repurposing! Really great idea. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Elizabeth says

    What color stain did you use? Love the board and have a table that needs that color!!

  33. Love what your done with the cutting board! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  34. Thank you for joining us at Thoughts of Home.
    You create the best things!

    White Spray Paint

  35. What a ice upcycle. I bet you get a lot of use out of the tray.

  36. This is such a great idea! The resulted tray looks so nice, and vintage.

  37. did you add feet?

  38. Chris Young says

    Thanks for posting your DIY farmhouse style tray. I have a cutting board that my husband and I purchased on our honeymoom 31 years ago lol! I just couldn’t let it go and came across your board. I am so excited to do this project. The board is sanded and ready to stain. I could not read to stain color you used. Can you please tell me? Also….the handles I am finding are screw on and was afraid the ends of the screws would come through the backside of the board. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      No problem, Chris! The stain I used is Early American by Minwax…and just bring the tray and handles in to your local Ace Hardware (or similar). They’ll be able to help you find shorter screws that will fit your handles and not poke through! (Of course, my Ace is used to me doing this, LOL- but I’m sure yours would be happy to help). 🙂

  39. Had an extra cutting board and followed your instructions. Easy Peasy and the results were great!
    Already used it for a summer appetizer with friends. Love your ideas, keep them coming!

  40. Beautiful way to recycle butcher block


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