How to Make a DIY Cutting Board Holder

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This DIY cutting board holder is a great way to store cutting boards because it’s easy, budget-friendly, and super functional! The best part of it for me is that it uses up dead space in a beautiful way that makes sense and adds storage too. 

DIY Cutting board storage

Are you struggling with where to keep your cutting boards so they are easy to access and put away neatly? A wooden cutting board is something I use all the time, but it takes up so much counter space if I leave it out and so much cupboard storage space if I store it in an upper or lower cabinet.

While I was in the middle of a completely different project, I came up with the perfect place to keep them: a DIY shelf on the side of a cabinet at the end of my kitchen.

This shelf has enough space to keep my cutting boards out of the way, but they are very easy to take down and use too.

What I love about this community is that I never know what will catch your attention! I wasn’t anticipating turning this into a full post. It was just a project I did in my Instagram stories while working on my coffee bar, and it kind of took off. I had a lot of requests for a material list and instructions. So here it is!

It looks like you guys are always on the lookout for better ways to store your kitchen items, so I know you will love this one. 

One disclaimer: I don’t have great pictures since I never intended this to be a full post! I will do my best with what I have and hope that you can see what I mean. 

I’ll walk you through my DIY cutting board storage project and show how you exactly how I made it! And if you’d like to read more about the coffee bar project that inspired this storage shelf solution, check out this post!

Let’s get right into it!

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Learn how to build this DIY cutting board storage hack! This is the perfect use of dead space that adds beauty and function to your kitchen! Super easy to do, budget friendly, and maximizes function in your space!

Should cutting boards be stored vertically?

When I had the idea for this cutting board holder, I did a little research to see if this would be a good way to store them. And it turns out the internet agrees that the best way to store cutting boards is vertically!

It is especially recommended for a wooden chopping board, because if you store a wooden board flat after you wash it, there is a chance that water can get trapped underneath it and cause warping. Storing your wooden boards upright means the water drains away from the surface, and you won’t have this issue.

Materials to build a DIY Cutting Board Holder:

Whatever kind of wood you want for the shelf (I used scrap wood). This pine from Home Depot would work too – get creative! You can even use MDF if you want to paint it.

How do you make a DIY cutting board holder?

The first thing you need to do is decide where to put it. The space on the outside edge of my cabinets was a complete waste of space. It was also throwing off the shiplap backsplash (I like things to line up and be “even” – haha). Here’s a look at the space that I’m referring to:

It definitely needed something to balance out the space, right?!

That being said, I wanted it to function and serve a purpose too. So, I decided on cutting board storage. This is a super simple idea that didn’t take much material, and I had high hopes it would be beautiful too!

After deciding where to put my cutting board holder, I added some scrap beadboard to the cabinet side as a little design feature. I think it gives texture and interest to the space!

Construct the shelf/ledge

Let’s start by building the storage rack shelf/ledge thing that holds the cutting boards. I decided to make one similar to the construction of my DIY art ledge, which you can read about in this post.

It’s really just taking 3 boards and putting them together with wood glue and nails. I used scraps that I already had but my material was similar to this pine from Home Depot. Honestly, ANY wood will do (you can even use MDF if you want to paint it!). Head over to your local home improvement store and look at the options available.

I cut mine down to fit the measurements of the outside of my cabinet and the space I had on the wall. Then, I stained the pieces golden pecan to try to match them closely with the butcher block counters I installed on the coffee bar. But you can finish your shelf however you want!

Next, I attached the shelf to my cabinets. I used my nail gun to pin it in place. I love the Ryobi battery operated nail gun for things like this! It’s so easy to use and you don’t have to worry about a compressor! My nail gun is probably my most-used tool.

Once the shelf was in place, I added a couple of screws from the inside of the cabinet into the back of the shelf. You can’t see these outside, but they add some extra strength and peace of mind.

DIY cutting board rack

I wanted to find the best way to keep my cutting boards in place so they wouldn’t fall over. The ledge at the bottom is not enough on its own! I first thought about looking on Amazon for a large handle. But I couldn’t find the size that I needed to make this work. I needed it to match the width of the cabinet side as well as leave enough room for my cutting boards, and there was just nothing that fit my measurements.

When you can’t find exactly what you need, you make it!

I decided to use wooden dowels since I wanted to be able to attach them to the cabinet easily. Then, I found pipe connectors to help me get the shape I needed.

The beauty of this is that you can finish it however you want! You can:

  • Spray paint the whole thing 
  • Leave the connectors their original copper color 
  • Stain the wooden dowels, or
  • Do none of the above. Whatever you want!

Honestly, these DIY handles would be great for so many things. Off the top of my head I would say they would make great barn door handles or book storage holders in a kid’s room. 

Because my cutting boards are wood, I didn’t want to stain the dowels and add a third wood tone. I liked the copper but thought it was too pink – it was clashing with my cabinet knobs! So, I decided to paint the whole thing black.

Once I painted it black, I fell in love with it! That being said, I got the idea of a third option after I had already painted: leave the dowels black but add Rub and Buff to the connectors so they would match the cabinet hardware. I decided to do that later, though. First, I just wanted to install these to see if my idea would even work.

I glued the dowels to the pipe connectors using rapid fuse super glue.

Installing the cutting board holders

This picture is a little hard to see (sorry about that!), but I used a scrap piece of wood as a spacer and then drilled a hole all the way through the side of the cabinet, so I’d know where to put my screw to hold the rack in place on the other side.

If you look really closely, you can see the screw coming through the side of the cabinet. I put the holder bar over that screw and then used a handheld screwdriver to tighten it slowly. It was a little awkward because I was screwing from the inside of the cabinet, and a handheld screwdriver gave me better control.

Here’s a look at how I drilled the hole through the side of the cabinet:

Simply push the screw from the inside of the cabinet through to the outside, and line up the end of the wooden dowel so it goes directly into it.

Here’s a reel video to show you a little of the whole project:

Add details to your DIY cutting board holder

I ended up using the Rub and Buff on the pipe connectors. I love it so much, and I think it matches the cabinet hardware perfectly! The black looked nice too, but I’m really happy with how this looks in my kitchen.

Here’s a look at the end result:

As I mentioned earlier, you can finish this cutting board storage rack however you want. You can stain, paint, use Rub and Buff, leave it alone for a natural wood look — whatever you want! After doing this project, I kind of want to build a barn door, paint it white, and then do this project again but make it much longer and stain the wood. The possibilities are endless! This is a very versatile project.

And this is what it looked like before I used the Rub and Buff. I honestly like both, but the rub and buff just gives it that little “extra”!

If you make your own cutting board storage rack (barn door, kids’ book storage, or whatever!) I would love to see your finishing choices and what you are using it for! Tag me @DIY.ourhome with your pics, I can’t wait to see!

And, be sure to follow along on Instagram for more projects! I’m in stories almost daily, and I’m always happy to answer any questions.

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