For Christmas this year I decided to set myself a challenge. I wanted to attempt to make or personalise as many gifts as possible. This was not really about saving money (although that is definitely an added bonus) but more about creating something that is personal to each person. It is so easy to get caught up in the Christmas shopping panic and end up spending more than intended on novelty gifts that no one will actually use. How many years can you buy someone socks right? In hind sight, I probably should have thought about my DIY gifts a lot earlier than I did … it did take a long time to get it all done before Christmas! But it was absolutely worth it.
Ok so this project isn’t exactly a straight forward cheap DIY. This is mainly because it was a last minute gift so I ran out of time to do it the way I had planned. I am also lucky enough to work for a printers who have a laser cutter so it was a no brainer! However there are other methods you can use to achieve a personalized chopping board and I will talk you through some great options which I would have chosen if I did not have a laser cutter readily available in my hour of need.
Option one: laser cutting
So if you are one of the lucky few who have access to a laser cutter this is a great way to create a chopping board etch design. There are so many creative possibilities to try out with a laser cutter. You may have a local print company that has a laser cutting service. Ask them for a quote based on you creating the design and bringing along materials. That way you will only need to be for the actual laser cutting time (and possibly a set-up fee). You will need to have some illustrator software skills in order to create a similar pattern or doodle like mine. However if you would prefer to use words/names then you all you need to do it choose a font and size, simple! I like the idea of using a handwritten style font and typing out your favourite recipe to engrave.
Option 2: Image transfer
You can create some really fun effects using an image transfer onto wood. There are a ton of tutorials online for this so have a browse and get inspired. I would recommend looking at Photojojo’s tutorial for wood transfer.
Option 3: Pyrography
This was my original plan for the chopping board before I ran out of time and opted for laser cutting. It doesn’t cost much to buy a beginner’s pyrography kit and I think it is worth the investment. Once you have mastered the technique there are a number of personalised gifts and home décor projects you could make with a wood-burning tool. If you intend to try out wood burning, I would suggest looking at Brit + Co. They have great tips for beginners and have some interesting ideas for what you can make with your kit. I will definitely be trying this out in the future!
- Chopping board (mine was from Homesense)
- Laser cutting service
- Or pyrography kit
- A design you have created to transfer to the chopping board
Go the extra mile
Why not extend the gift further by wood burning some wooden utensils to go with the cooking theme. Check out Brit + Co’s lovely wooden spoon designs.