DIY Wood-Burned Cutting Boards at the Renegade Craft Fair

DIY Workshop Sign

On Saturday, I went to the autumn edition of the Renegade Craft Fair with my friend P. We arrived just after it opened and nearly the first thing we did was to sign up for the DIY Workshop. I had seen it mentioned on Design*Sponge the night before and the project appealed to me. The workshops were sponsored by Mrs. Meyer and each day of the fair featured a different project. Saturday’s workshop was hosted by Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge and the project of the day was burning designs into cutting boards. It was good we got there early; the workshops ran every 30 minutes and each one filled up pretty quickly. We were part of the very first workshop that day, which meant we could get it out of the way and spend the rest of the time slowly browsing the vendors.

Woodburning Workshop

Each person received a small cutting board and a scrap piece of wood. There were jars on the table filled with pencils, rulers, more scraps and tool nibs. The wood burning pens were already warming up (similar to hot glue guns) in front of each seat and we had to be careful not to get too close to them.

Grace explained the basic concepts and then we set to work. Beginners like me started off by drawing a design on the wood scrap first and then practice using the wood burner on it before proceeding. It was good to get a feel for how to grip the pen-shaped burner because it really isn’t as easy as it looks! Burning along the grain is a lot easier than against, and curvy lines were hard to carve smoothly. The pen nibs can be swapped out with other ones to burn different shapes into the wood. I ended up scrapping my original floral vine design and went with something simpler. Some of the other women at the table went all out; one carved an elaborate sunflower on her cutting board.

Wood-burned cutting board

Not terrible, right? P ended up carving a chevron motif and adding her signature to hers. We went back later to peek and see what types of designs other people had done. The disadvantage to being part of the first group was the lack of time we had to properly come up with a workable design that could be finished in a short amount of time (about 15-20 minutes per workshop). Either way, it was definitely fun to participate in and the best part was that it was free, supplies and all!