DIY Project: Leather Loop Cutting Board

I have a weakness for purchasing scrap leather. I always find it so beautiful and think that leather is often the perfect accent to many of the crafts and DIYs that I create. Adding leather automatically seems to elevate a project from ordinary to something extraordinary and custom-feeling. For this project, I used a metallic leather that I found at a sidewalk sale in Florence, but you can find some at most craft stores, flea markets or even on Etsy.

If you’re unfamiliar working with wood, don’t be scared by this project. Just use a little help from the people at your local hardware store! I always have them cut my wood to size before leaving the store so I save some time and effort once I get home. There are also a few extra tips (after the jump) for completing this project if you don’t have a power drill– Hooray! –Erin

Click through for the full how-to steps after the jump…


-Scrap Leather (at least 8″ x 1″)
-1″ x 8″ Red Oak Board cut to about 16″ long
-120 grit sanding block
-1/4″ brass screws
-3/8″ brass washers
-Power Drill
-Mineral Oil

DIY cutting board materials


-Step One: Sand down your board to soften the harsh corners and rough edges. When sanding the top of the board, be sure to work with the grain and not across it.

DIY cutting board step 1

-Step Two: Mark a spot halfway across your board and about one inch from the edge.

DIY cutting board step 2

-Step Three: Cut your scrap leather to be an 8″ x 1″ rectangle and mark a spot in the center of the leather, 1/2″ from both edges.

DIY cutting board step 3

-Step Four: Screw one side of the leather into the cutting board with a washer in between the screw and the leather. If you aren’t comfortable with a drill, hammer a nail through the board and leather where your mark is, then remove the nail and use this hole to screw your screw into the board with a manual screwdriver. Repeat on the other side.

DIY cutting board step 4

-Step Five: Rub a thin layer of mineral oil over the board and allow to air-dry for 12 hours. This helps to seal the grain and creates a hardened surface for cutting.

Be sure to hand wash the cutting board and not to fully immerse the leather in water. This DIY can be customized is so many ways, which is one of the reasons why I love it. Using different colors of leather and different shapes of wood can be the perfect way to add a little of your own personality to the project.

DIY cutting board v2

  1. Poppy says:

    This is beautiful, and double-timely for me: Not only have I been on the hunt for a new cutting board I like, but I also just wrote about using an awl instead of a drill!
    How funny!
    P.S. I love all your projects.

  2. This is awesome- I can use this idea to hang the wood signs I’m working on as well…THANK YOU so much!!!!

  3. Zoha says:

    It is such a great infographic, thumbs up.

  4. Andrea says:

    I’d make a recess for the strap and hardware; otherwise that won’t sit flat and stable on the table. Big safety issue right there, really.

  5. MAGA says:

    Its great to make your own cutting boards, but careful using red oak which is very porous compared to other hardwoods like white oak or maple and can harbor bacteria. Best to use this board with dry food and vegetables only, or as a platter. I would even sand down the top with a finer grit to smooth out the pores. Tung oil or linseed can also be used in place of mineral and will tone the wood a darker color. Careful using reclaimed scraps because they may have varnish or sealant that is not food safe.

  6. jim says:

    simple yet great little detailing!

  7. Andrea says:

    Also what Maga said

  8. Chris says:

    Agree with Maga. Do NOT use Red Oak. It is too porous and can trap bacteria. Maple, Cherry, or Walnut are typically used for cutting boards along with a Mineral Oil finish.

    I’ve used Linseed oil for furniture, but never for cutting boards. It takes too long to dry, and since it has a odor, even when newly dry, it may have a residual taste. Mineral oil is typically preferred, since it’s odorless and tasteless, and cutting board mineral oil can be found at a local Woodcraft. Link:


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