Mouse Shaped Chalkboard Cheese Board Tutorial
In all honesty, I’m not the type of person who has a cheese board. I’m the type of person that says, “there’s cheese in the fridge and crackers on top” 🙂
But I was tasked with making a chalkboard cheeseboard. And to be honest (again) it took me some time to really take to the idea just because it’s hard to make something you have no intention of ever using again.
And then I had the bright idea that I’d love a chalkboard cheeseboard IF it was a bright color, to help out my trying to color-ize my kitchen and was just neat somehow. In the end I wound up calling my father and asking “Would you cut me a mouse out of plywood? Oh, and take pictures while you’re doing it? And then mail it to me?” Luckily my dad is pretty awesome.
I drew up my mouse shape in a few minutes while we were on the phone, he took a look and let me know that this was totally doable. Awesome!
For this project you will need:
- Furniture grade plywood
- Drill and Jig Saw
- Sand paper
- Mouse shape
- Chalkboard paint
Print your mouse shape pages and tape together to form one, large mouse. Cut out and trace onto your plywood. This is a piece of leftover material and a pretty darn good use for it!
Anchor your wood to something sturdy like a work bench, or in this case, kitchen island using c-clamps.
Take a drill bit and make holes all around the more difficult curved areas. This will give you a place to insert the jig saw and give you some wiggle room around the tough spots. Begin trimming the mouse belly and feet first followed by the tail (the most fragile area) then the head, and finally the back strap. The back strap is sturdy enough that it can hold the rest of the piece, but if you, say, cut the tail out and tried to use it as support it would be too thin and would snap.
And a tip from dad the handy man, before you actually begin cutting, ensure that all of your cuts will adequately clear your work bench.
NOW if you’re not keen on the shape, you can always use a plain old square or rectangular shape of wood, too. You can even purchase little 2×2 foot square sheets at the hardware store and have them cut it down to size for you!
Whether you have an ornate shape or a simple square, you’ll need to sand down the edges on both sides. This will give your edges a more smooth look as well as knock away any splintery edges.
Also, a little learning experience… it would be best to sand the dickens out of the top side as well, making it as smooth as possible for the easiest chalk writing experience. I didn’t do this and mine is kind of bumpy and hard to write neatly on with traditional stick chalk.
And paint with your choice of chalkboard paint. I went with Martha Stewart brand because the paint is definitely non-toxic. That is NOT to say that it is food safe. There’s a whole different set of rules to get that kind of okay and, off the top of my head, I can’t think of any craft paints that are considered food safe.
As such, I located some paper very similar to the color of my chalkboard paint to use UNDER the cheese. You can also use doilies or foil or whatever. I know I’ve seen lots of cheese boards where it’s placed right down on the chalkboard paint, too. And if you’re okay with that, that’s fine, but just know that I wasn’t.
Give the board several coats of paint (I went four) and allow to fully dry at least 24 hours.
Rub chalk all over the top side and wipe away.
And it’s ready for use!
Now you can see my paper beneath the cheese, but just barely.
This guy is big enough to hold quite a bit of cheese! Since it’s not a good idea to run a knife over the chalkboard painted surface, I pre-cut a bunch of cheese in cubes and got some toothpicks.
And here’s the whole reason I got stoked about this project… The tail is a handle to carry it around!!!
I filled this bad boy up with smoked swiss, gouda, onion cheddar and butterkäse. And if you see the pic just above, you’ll see someone who will remain nameless, but was kind enough to hold the cheese board for me to snap a quick pic apparently noshed on almost all of the butterkäse. Cheese thief!
So what do you think? You down for a mouse shaped cheese board?