Tag Archives | kitchen

Simple DIY cutting board

We’ve been wanting to get into hardwoods lately. We’ve done some “light” woodworking in the past (like this simple side table we made or our DIY marquee letters), but we’ve always just used whatever cheap wood we could find at Home Depot.

Don’t get me wrong – there is a lot you can do with inexpensive framing lumber, plywood, etc, and we will continue to use it I’m sure. But for this project, we needed to get our hands on something a little more specific/fancy/drool-worthy.

Enter the DIY cutting board. Our excuse to get our hands on something really really nice.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com

You can watch the video that covers everything below, or keep scrolling for all our choices, steps, and tips in blog-format.

[Before we keep going, I want to pause and say if you have a second it would mean SO much to us if you’d like our video or subscribe to our channel. Since we’re brand new to YouTube, every view, like, and subscription makes a huge difference for us. Click here to see the whole channel. Thank youuuuu! We’re doing a big goofy happy dance right now!]

We originally wanted to make these cutting boards as gifts and/or to sell on our Etsy shop, but we liked them so much we couldn’t help but turn this into a tutorial too.

So pretty much as soon as we could, we found the closest lumberyard and got our butts over there. Side note, we realized that lumberyards are often closed on weekends and evenings, so if you work full time like we do you might want to check their hours before you drive all the way over there *cough* learn from our mistakes *cough*.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com (sorry about the bad selfie quality!)

Walking in, we had a “a whole new wooorrrld” moment. It was amazing, we could have stayed there all day. Literally, they had to politely ask us to to make our purchase and head out because they were closing. But enough about our lumberyard adventure, let’s get to the real meat of this tutorial.

Here’s what you’ll need

Side note, we’ll be making a face grain cutting board, which is often the prettiest and easiest, but is not the most durable option. We will be making another tutorial for an edge grain or end grain cutting board soon though which are more durable but more difficult to make, so keep your eye out.

Wood selection is key in this project. There are a few different things you need to look for when choosing it. It needs to be:

  • Durable
  • Food safe
  • Close grained

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Some good options we came across in our research are maple, cherry, and walnut. Maple is on the cheaper end, so we started with that (note: we’ve since gone back and made another out of walnut too and it’s preeeety).

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com When picking your board, check for damage and flatness/straightness. Damage is pretty obvious, just know that even little imperfections that might be ok in other projects will cause you extra headache on this cutting board, like little dinks in the wood or a cool knot.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com A good way to quickly check for flatness is to look down the length of the board at a steep angle and see if it still looks straight. The steep angle amplifies any changes in the straightness. If it looks bendy or wavy at all, see if you can find a straighter piece.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com We ended up choosing an 8-inch wide piece of hard maple. Feeling pretty fancy after dropping more than $10 on a piece of wood, we got kicked out went home to get started.

First, we cut our board to about 16 inches long using our miter saw. The length (and width) are really up to you, but we thought the 8”x16” size looked good.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com We also decided to cut off one corner to add some visual interest, but again, totally optional. We just liked the look of it.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Then we marked where our hole would be drilled. The hole can be used for hanging the cutting board, and it also adds even more visual interest. We marked the center of our corner cut, and made a mark about 1 inch inward from the center (we used a combination square). That mark became the center of our hole.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com We used a drill press with a 1-⅛” hole saw to cut the hole. Make sure to not drill all the way through from one side of our board. This could damage the grains on the other side. Instead, just as the tip of the drill exits the wood, stop drilling, flip the board, and continue drilling from the other side, using the tiny hole you made with the tip of the drill as your guide.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Woooo, that’s all the cuts you need to make! Pretty simple right?

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Now it’s time to make it smooth and pretty. First, sand top side, bottom side, and outer edges with a random orbit sander using 220 grit sandpaper. I spent some time on the edges of the 45 degree cut to round the sharp edge. Don’t worry about the 90 degree corners, we’ll handle those later.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Then use a router with a ⅛” radius roundover bit to take the corners from a sharp edge to a round edge. This bit is a game changer! I never thought about how much of a difference having that rounded edge made.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com I also rounded over the 90 degree corners with this. It makes the finished product look extra nice because all the corners will have the exact same radius.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Next, we hand sanded our newly rounded corners and the inside of our hole with some 220-320 grit sandpaper. We found that sanding a higher quality hardwood is much easier and quicker than something like pine, that gets more splintered when you cut it.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Final step – oil your wood! Make sure to get the outside edges and inside the hanging hole too. We are in love with Natchez Solution wood oil, it’s the same stuff we’ve been using on the butcher block dining table we DIY’d a few months ago. It’s got mineral oil, lemon oil, and beeswax.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com After waiting 24 hours, your cutting board is ready to be used! Cutting on it for the first time was a little nerve-racking, I’ll admit. It was so pretty and perfect I didn’t want to mess it up. But I’m happy to report that it works and washes up well! A few light knife marks and no staining so far.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Hope you guys like this tutorial! If you want one of these cutting boards but not sure if you want to tackle the project yourself, we actually sell them too! You can find them in a few different wood options on our Etsy shop.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com ………………………………………………………………
You can also find us at:

YouTube (all our DIY videos)
Instagram (sneak peeks @evanandkatelyn)
Patreon (if you wanna support us, but no pressure!)
Pinterest (stuff that inspires us)
Twitter (us, in 140 character doses)
Facebook (be our friend)
Instructables (straight up tutorials)
………………………………………………………………
Note: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting us!

2

The Persian Rug Bug

I’ve been bit. Big time. My Pinterest boards are laden with beautiful, colorful, EXPENSIVE Persian rugs. A few areas in our house were needing a rug update (aka our Target rugs were on their last leg) and I wanted some Persian rugs bad. They add so much warmth to a room and can make an space with otherwise modern/new furniture feel more worldly.

So I hit the internet searching for Persian-looking rugs because a girl can dream but a girl’s also got a budget in mind. I looked for hours upon hours. I hit all the big affordable rug sites: Rugs USA, Overstock, Rugs Direct, Wayfair. I check out what my favorite stores had, like West Elm, Crate & Barrel, Ikea, World Market, Target. I did find one online Persian rug seller called eSaleRugs which was definitely less expensive than others, but still more than we wanted to spend.

Basically, for a few months I spent way more time looking at rugs than any reasonable human being should.

It’s not that these places didn’t have nice rugs, it’s just that we had a combination of hard-to-fit spaces and hard-to-match colors, so nothing seemed quite right. Then eSaleRugs had a pre-Labor Day sale. Clouds parted, light beamed down. It was awesome! I found a bunch of rugs I liked so I mocked up mood boards for each room. Speaking of the rooms, I’ll go through them below.

The biggest offender was our master bathroom. What I really hoped to find was a long runner, but it needed to be 2′ x 7′ which is a hard size to match (most runners are around 2’6″ – 3′ wide). Also it had to be a color that looked ok with our dark green slate tile, which isn’t always the easiest to match.

The Persian Rug Bug - evanandkatelyn.com Below you can see a few of my mocked up options. Lots of red and navy involved

The Persian Rug Bug - evanandkatelyn.com Next up is our kitchen. This space could handle anything between 2′ x 4′ to 3′ x 5′, so the fit was a little easier, but most rugs listed as 3×5 are actually several inches bigger, which was pushing the max size we wanted in this space. Plus, we had to choose a rug that went with our orangey cabinets- which are of course also hard to match.

The Persian Rug Bug - evanandkatelyn.comkitchen-before I searched online and found a lot of options. Below are a handful of the ones I mocked up.

The Persian Rug Bug - evanandkatelyn.com Lastly we have our little second bathroom. The orange rug was ok. I guess. I mean, who’s really excited by standard fuzzy bathroom rugs? Not me. This space was also tricky to fit with anything that WASN’T a bathroom rug, because it needed to be skinnier than 2 feet. And the previous owner chose a purply-gray tile which is, of course, hard to match.

The Persian Rug Bug - evanandkatelyn.com Again, here are some of the options I mocked up.

The Persian Rug Bug - evanandkatelyn.com So now you see the problem areas. Guess which rug we chose for each room? I’ll make it easy – we picked the bottom left rug in each mockup!

The Persian Rug Bug - evanandkatelyn.com

We ordered the three rugs and when one package came in, I was so excited to open my first rug that I asked Evan to film it.


…Little did I know all three rugs were in that compact little package! It was like Christmas.

So we excitedly set up our tripod to get these cool before and after shots. Isn’t it crazy how much more finished the spaces look now? Granted, our old rugs really were cheap, temporary fixes that lived on way too long, but I don’t think I realized how “temporary” they made our spaces feel until I saw the new rugs in place.

All of a sudden our master bathroom felt like two actual adults live here! This Persian rug was newly made, so it was a little cheaper for it’s size than the other two.

The Persian Rug Bug - evanandkatelyn.com Our kitchen also now feels balanced and anchored. The old rug was so light and airy it was sort of overpowered by our dark counters and wood cabinetry. This rug is 40-50 years old – older than our house even!

The Persian Rug Bug - evanandkatelyn.com

The Persian Rug Bug - evanandkatelyn.com And our little guest bathroom finally looks a little less dorm-y. This one is 30-35 years old.

The Persian Rug Bug - evanandkatelyn.com I’ll post stills of the afters below in case the GIF’s aren’t doin’ it for ya.

The Persian Rug Bug - evanandkatelyn.com The Persian Rug Bug - evanandkatelyn.com The Persian Rug Bug - evanandkatelyn.com The Persian Rug Bug - evanandkatelyn.com Overall we are SO pleased with this change. As we continue to live and grow in this house, I’m loving updating to more permanent, nicer things as our style evolves (not that I don’t still LOVE Ikea and Target – I do!). My question for other twenty-somethings in their first house is this: What things do YOU do to upgrade the feel of your house from “apartment” to “adult-y”? Is it something like adding in older pieces like we did with the rugs? Paying a little extra for higher quality furniture? Mixing in more traditional styles? Or converting that extra bedroom to a ballpit because you’re a grown up and you do what you want!

Bonus “Mochi approves of this rug” pic. Because she’s cute.

DSCF9503

0

Prettier Pantry

We never really expected to upgrade our pantry in this house, but when I was hit with the sudden urge to clean it out and get rid of old stuff it was the perfect opportunity to beautify the pantry a bit. Mid-clean you can see that our pantry is nothing fancy but nothing terrible either.

IMG_6760

It’s not the biggest, but it’s plenty of room for our little family of two. The main problem we had with it was that the shelves were not so pretty. And not so functional. They look alright from far away, but when you get up close…

IMG_6761

You’ll notice that each shelf is made of two pieces. These two pieces were uneven and bowing, so when you tried to slide something to the back or pull something out it would catch. Also, these shelf-pieces were covered in layers of painted-over contact paper which tended to get beat up on the edges (and it’s kinda gross too).

So we thought it would be pretty easy to say goodbye to the old shelves and say hello to some pretty new ones. Hello pretty new ones.

IMG_6765

We went to home depot and picked up some nice plywood and trim pieces, and cut the plywood to the size we needed our shelves to be. Then Evan nailed the trim pieces to one edge of each shelf (the edge that would be facing out). You can sorta see the trim piece that is attached to the top of the shelf below. But I know, it’s hard to notice things like trim when you’re distracted by that dazzling smile.

IMG_6762

Here, now you can see the trim :P

IMG_6766

He also sunk the nails so that we could add wood filler and stain right over them (so that in the end it would look pretty seamless and you wouldn’t be able to tell there were nails).

IMG_6768

Evan then sanded the edges that we had cut when cutting the shelves to size. The cuts were a little rough but they sanded right out.

IMG_6767

While we were in the garage, Mochi was having a pantry party.

mochi pantry

Then Evan started the longer-than-expected staining and sealing process.

Maknig new pantry shelves - evanandkatelyn.com

The reason it took so long was because of the required wait time between multiple coats of sealant. We wanted to make sure our shelves had a nice solid seal to make them spill-proof and easily wipe-able (since they’d be around food) so we had to do a few coats of the stuff. And after each coat you had to let it completely dry, give it a light sand, and then reapply.

But its ok, we used the wait time to buy a few organizing baskets from Target so we could ditch the cardboard boxes that had been serving that purpose for way too long (scroll back up to earlier photos to see that sadness).

After much patient waiting, I was so excited to load everything back into the pantry with our new and improved shelves! The wood is so pretty and shiny and smooth. It looks great AND is super easy to clean.

Maknig new pantry shelves - evanandkatelyn.com

Maknig new pantry shelves - evanandkatelyn.com

Never thought I’d be so proud of our little pantry! It’s come a long way *tear*

8

Kitchen Updates are in Order

Hey guys! We have all these little changes we do to the house that we don’t really deem “blog-worthy” (picture the clouds parting and light shining down upon those words), especially these days when we are super busy and only seem to have time to post about the bigger stuff. But hey, these little updates deserve love too! Maybe not clouds-parting-light-shining-upon-them love, but a little love at least. Here is a compilation of a few kitchen-related updates that we realized we never shared.

First off, writing this has made me realize that we do not have ANY recent photos of our kitchen. What the heck. Here it is from wayyyyy back when we were first moving in. Notice the boxes in the background?! Seriously, I need to photograph our kitchen more often…

IMG_0823 copy

The first update to share is the AMAZING new faucet we got. Yeah, until I owned a house I never thought I’d get this excited about a faucet. BUT IT IS SO AWESOME!!! Why you ask? Because it’s touch-controlled! Yeahhhhh living in future, yeah technology, yeah yeah yeah awesome home stuff! It’s the Delta Addison faucet and I love it.

The old faucet leaked a little and only worked on spray mode, not stream mode, which resulted in the whole area inevitably getting spray misted every time we cleaned something. “Y U ALWAYS SPRAY TINGS OLD FAUCET?!?!”

IMG_3005 copy

So yeah, got rid of him. With a little instruction-following and a husband up for the job, we got the new one installed right away. Was pretty straight forward, though we did have to call and get a new o-ring because the one it came with wasn’t creating a strong seal.

IMG_2999 IMG_3016

And now look! Pretty touch-sensitive faucet!

IMG_6752

Oh what’s that you see hanging out above our new faucet? It’s our new pendant light! Before, we had a sad-looking recessed light. Not even a nice one, but literally a black hole with a regular light bulb screwed into it. So sad.

IMG_5436

But we got this pendant light for our wedding that literally screws right into the recessed light fixture so it was a super easy switch! You can’t tell in photos but we have an Edison bulb in it, which looks super cool :)

IMG_6753

Looks good with our new faucet. You know what else looks good? That little bit of fridge peeking into the photo from the right side.

Heck yeah we got a new fridge!!! It was our Christmas present to ourselves last year. Family was in town so we recruited Dad to help move the old one out.

IMG_4935

There was nothing functionally wrong with the old one, but it was the only bisque colored appliance in a sea of beautiful stainless steel so we decided to designate it as our secondary laundry room fridge and replace it with a pretty one. Now the old one houses the tons of beer leftover from the wedding. Come drink our beer people. No seriously, please… come drink our beer.

IMG_6754

It does jut out, but because of the doorway into the dining room to the right, a cabinet-depth fridge would  not be able to be opened fully, which would mean more difficult access to food, which would be very sad. Maybe one day we will build a nice built-in looking fridge casing for it. For now, we will just be very very thankful that it’s not bisque.

And there you have it, some much-overdue kitchen updates! I know all this sounds like extravagance upon extravagance, but trust me, we are not made of money. These updates span over the past year+ so we had time to save our pennies. Writing this reminds me of many more “little updates along the way” posts I want to write, so keep your eyes peeled! :)

8

The Little Things…And Big Things!

It’s interesting how finally beginning to make your house look pretty motivates you to fix some little things that you really should have taken care of months ago.

Take the lights over our bar for example. Not sure how obvious it is in the picture, but each light is doing his own thing. Light #1 is all blue and fluorescent-y, light #2 is dull and barely hanging on, light #3 is chipper and bright, and light #4… well he gave up a long time ago.

The Little Things...And Big Things! - evanandkatelyn.com

It was time to get these guys on the same page darn it!

The Little Things...And Big Things! - evanandkatelyn.com

Ahhhhh, much better. I can cook under even lighting and it will be easier to spot Mochi when she’s spying on me making my morning breakfast taco.

The Little Things...And Big Things! - evanandkatelyn.com

That was just a little “why-did-we-wait-so-long-to-do-that” change, but there are some BIG changes on the horizon too. We bought a few things at Ikea :)

The Little Things...And Big Things! - evanandkatelyn.com

Please excuse us while we spend the next 24 hours up to our ears in boxes and allen wrenches, we’ll be back soon with a full reveal! :D

1

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition

Ah! Found a post we meant to publish before we got carried away with project attic. One of the things on our big to-do list was to re-caulk some spots in our kitchen. Where our granite counters meet the granite backsplash, it looks like there was once caulk or grout but it was pretty much all worn away. And we have a crazy faucet that inevitably sprays EVERYTHING in a 2 foot radius around the sink, so having a crack for water to seep in was not a good thing. Caulk to the rescue!

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

After lots of research and contemplating in the caulk aisle, we chose clear silicone waterproof caulk that was rated for kitchens, bathrooms, and plumbing (here’s a link to the one we used).

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

But we’ve got no experience using this stuff (and we’ve heard silicone can be harder to work with than acrylic caulk), so before we went to town on our kitchen we found some extra tiles in the garage to practice on. We just taped them up at perpendicular angles on a shelf as our make-shift counter top.

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

We first wiped down the area to get rid of dust and dirt, then we taped it off to achieve a clean line. I read online to tape about a quarter inch away from the corner on each side so I did that during the practice run, but on the real thing I ended up doing about 1/8 inch away from the corner because with the 1/4 inch taping it seemed like too much space got caulked.

We cut the caulk at a 45 degree angle to make application easier and used the little poker on the end of the caulk gun to break the seal. (We got the cheap $2.77 caulk gun from Home Depot. It’s ok, but I’d recommend something higher quality if you’re going to be doing a lot of caulking).

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

I ran a bead about 5-6 inches at a time. Doing the practice round was nice because I got a feel for how much pressure to apply and how thick of a bead I needed.

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

Then I just smoothed that section with my finger and continued where I left off. Be sure to have paper towels handy so you don’t end up with it all over your hands every time you smooth the bead.

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

Then just peel off the tape while it’s still wet and voila! You have a perfect caulk line!

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

After I was confident with my caulk handling skills (don’t go saying that to people), I decided to move on to the real deal. Kitchen time! We started with the long counter that the sink was on.

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

Just like with the practice run, we wiped it down and taped it off. Honesty taping took longer than anything in this project.

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

Going about 4-6 inches at a time, I ran a bead, smoothed it with my finger, ran another bead, smoothed again, and used paper towels to clean off my finger as needed. I just did this process all the way down until we reached the end. Your bead doesn’t have to be perfect since you’re going to smooth it, so it goes pretty fast. Plus smoothing it is fun because it’s all goopy and squishy!

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

Evan was excellent at keeping a steady supply of paper towels on hand. This stuff is a little messy!

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

Then we removed the tape (while it was still wet, don’t want the caulk drying onto the tape) and we had a perfect caulk line! It was so easy!

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

Since we did that side of the kitchen we wanted to do the other side too, which also had a crack that crumbs wanted to collect in. This side was a but tricky because of the light switch and outlet covers that needed to be removed first.

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

Once we removed them, it was the same routine. Clean, tape, run bead, smooth caulk, wipe finger, repeat til done, remove tape while it’s still wet. Although the outlet side (shown above) was a little tricky because you’ll notice once we removed the cover there was no vertical tile standing perpendicular to the horizontal granite for our caulk to stick on. I didn’t want the caulk to awkwardly end at the outlet cover, plus I still wanted it as a crumb-block, so I did a very thin line that was small enough to allow me to stick the outlet cover back on.

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

I even filmed a little section of it to help anyone who might need an extra visual to not be intimidated. This is super easy, promise! A lot easier than scraping off old caulk, that’s for sure. Plus with all the comments about caulk, how many inches you can handle, and things getting messy, the 13-year-old boy humor in all of us will have a little lol.

Lastly, we sealed up our caulk tube with some plastic wrap before putting the cap back on. Hopefully this saves it for future use!

Caulk Party Part II, Kitchen Edition- Evan & Katelyn

Note: This post contains affiliated links. Thank you for supporting our blog!

Caulking Basics - evanandkatelyn.com

6