How to Make a Hand Crafted Slate Serving Board
When we shared our rustic egg cup holders a few weeks ago a lot of people asked about the slate heart we used to stage the photo and how we made it. Silly me, I honestly thought that it was almost too easy to share, but sometimes, the best DIY projects are the simplest.
How To Make a Hand Crafted Slate Serving Board
The gorgeous slate heart serving boards take about an hour to make and hardly cost a thing. With Mother’s Day around the corner, it might just be the perfect gift too 😉
All you need is a piece of slate. You should be able to find some at builders’ yards or tiling shops. If you’re in South Africa then go to Builder’s Warehouse peeps. They have them in the back and you can pick and choose the thickness and colors.
Learn to embrace a blank slate
You’ll also need a spray bottle filled with water, pliers, a rubber mallet, safety gear, a tile cutter, and a tile file.
Before we get into the how-to, I just want to chat a little about tile cutters.
You can use various tools to cut slate. A wet tile saw, regular circular saw with a tile blade, an oscillating multi-tool or even a tile nipper all work. But we prefer using our Dremel and attaching a diamond tile cutting wheel. It’s lightweight and the smaller blade makes it sooo much easier to cut the rounded edges at the top of the heart. It’s like using a girlie-man tool 😉 (I’ll add an affiliate link at the bottom of the post for your convenience). If you don’t have a Dremel, no worries, many hardware stores will rent them out for the day. So you can play without paying to much.
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Making the Heart Shaped Slate Serving Board
To make the heart shape, simply score a heart onto the slate using a sharp knife or pointy stick. You could also use a permanent marker to draw the heart. When you’re ready to start, spray the slate with water, turn on the cutting tool and start cutting. The water helps lubricate the blade (LOL, that sounds so wrong) and eliminates airborne dust. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to put on a dust mask and all your protective gear 😉 That fine dust you see in the picture below is hot, so please be careful.
You don’t need to cut all the way through the slate. About 5 mm (1/8”) should be more than enough. Once you’ve cut all the way around the heart, use your pliers to break off the outer edges. They break off really easily. We saved all those little bits and used them to tile our tiny bathroom. But if you want to be really adventurous you can always learn a new skill and turn them into arrowheads and make some bookends 😉
To break off the larger pieces a light tap with a rubber mallet works beautifully. The slate should break all along the “fault” line you made with the cutting wheel. If there are any sharp edges, you can get rid of them with a tile file. Just sand them away. Slate has a tendency to stain so it’s best to put on a food-safe tile sealer if you want to use it as a serving board.
The sealer also gives it a beautiful sheen and brings out all those gorgeous “slatey” colors. Slatey is a word, right!!?
Having a clean slate to start with is absolutely great
Isn’t that slate just beautiful?
If you like the handmade slate serving board, why not pin it for later 😉
I wasn’t sure if a few words and pictures were enough to explain how easy it was to make, so we’ve uploaded a video just in case. We’re still learning how this whole video thing works, so please let me know what you think. Editing a video is way more complicated than cutting a heart in slate 😉
Did the video help? I hope so, but if you’ve got any questions, please ask away in the comments. I’ll do my best to answer them.
Oh, before I forget, if you’d like to make something similar or prefer to buy rather than DIY, we’ve got you covered Disclosure: Clicking on the links below means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more crafty ideas to share with you
Wishing you a beautiful week and happy crafting. Thank you for popping in for a visit.
75 thoughts on “How to Make a Hand Crafted Slate Serving Board”
I love love love this & I am going to get my husband to help me make it. Thanx so much for a wonderful blog. xxx
That’s super Yolandi, let me know how it turns out. P.S. I’m having loads of fun on your blog too. It’s always so lovely finding a fellow South African blogger
Wow! This is so cool! I would never have thought to make one of these on my own, but you sure do make it look doable!
Thank you Neelam and they really are super easy to make, just be careful of the dust 😉
It is so cool and practical. Great for special banquets & dinners!
Thank you so much Yeu 😉
It’s very creative and hard to develop and design these trays although it looks unique and appealing.
Thanks so much Barbara, this one was super easy though
this is neat and would make a nice handmade with love gift. love the color and rustic feel. I wonder if using this type of serving tray would add extra minerals to your food?
I’m really not sure Obi, I’m a useless cook 😉 We use ours as a cheese platter and it’s been sealed with a food safe varnish. I have heard that you shouldn’t put slate in a dishwasher, but I don’t know why though. Sorry. We just wipe our slate hearts after we’ve used them and they’re good to go.
Amazing board with loads of goodness. Does slate do any harm to the health? or the food on it?
Not that I’m aware of Swadhin, quite a few restaurants here in South Africa serve appetizers on slate . I probably wouldn’t try cutting anything on the slate though, it sounds like someone is scratching on a blackboard 😉
This is such a wonderful idea Michelle. I first noticed this slate when you posted about your rustic egg cups! Thank you so much for sharing!
Oh yay Maya, so glad you like it. Thank you
Good early (very) early morning. Lol I just saw this beautiful heart that you and your husband made. My question is WHAT FOOD GRADE SEALER did you use, and must you seal it? Could a person just spray it with vinegar water and clean with that after use? Didn’t see any questions regarding this. Have a great day. — Gigi
Hey there Gigi, we found that slate tends to stain if it hasn’t been sealed. We used a South African product called Provencal, it’s water, oil and wine resistant. If you can’t find something similar then tung oil, raw linseed oil or even beeswax will work. Hope you come right
Wow! Wish I had your talent!
Thank you Aditi 😉
This look so amazing. I love the color so much!
Thank you Cristina, slate is such a beautiful stone
Oh wow! this is so pretty and stylish. I am a total disaster on DIY projects, so I don’t even try!
I’m glad you like it Nati. When I first tried DIYing something I failed miserably and then the bug bit me, hard 😀
I love this idea of a DIY hand crafted cutting board! My husband is very much into DIY projects and he would to try to make something like this. I like how you designed it into a heart and added the accessories to it. Very nice!
I’m glad you like it Jennifer. Maybe you can convince the hubby to make you one 😉
This is such a good idea and it’s so beautiful!! Doing this and sharing. I’m so pumped I have a dremel tool haha
Aren’t they just the best little tools out there. I love our Dremel. Thanks for the lovely comment Emmy
This is amazing!!
Thank you Jodie 😀
I love this modern style of kitchen decor! Perfect for entertaining friends and family for holidays 🙂
Gennifer Rose | http://www.GenniferRose.com
Thank you Gennifer 😉
This is gorgeous! I love how it looks and am so impressed that you made it. Never would have thunk it! The video is awesome, love seeing how it’s all done. So cool.
Oh yay. oh yay Nikki, thank you. I’ve been so impressed with the videos you’ve shared and only now realize how intimidating it is and how much work goes into it too. I would far rather make slate hearts than do the whole video thing 😉
OMG. This is awesome. I was looking for some more creative food photography background, and this is it. This is going into my to do list. Hopefully I can get it done by next week. Thank you for sharing this.
Oh that’s great Yuen, let me know how it turns out
Michelle, I love this slate heart! You do make it looks so easy. This project is definitely worth trying. What a beautiful way to serve food. Thanks for sharing the how-to my friend!!
That’s a pleasure Keri, it really is surprisingly easy to make. Hope you have a lovely week my friend
Wow! I never thought about making my own serving board, but this looks cool.
xo, Elizabeth // txelizabeth.com
Glad you like it Elizabeth, thanks so much
This is so gorgeous!!! Love it, love it, love it!!! Great idea and even greater tutorial!!!
Oh Christina, thank you so much. I’m really glad you liked it.
This is so beautiful! I don’t think I can make one by myself but I think my husband has the tools and maybe he could do it!
Glad you like them Ntina, maybe your hubby can show you how? 😉
That’s one of the most useful yet aesthetic DIYs I’ve come across!
Thank you Manavi
This is something I most certainly wouldn’t make but I sure wish I knew someone who WOULD make it for me. I ‘LOVE” this piece…absolutely gorgeous and different. No one else will have it!
Thank you for your lovely comment Candy. I know it seems like it’s complicated, especially if DIY is not something you do. Maybe one day you’ll try it or find that someone who’ll make one for you. I hope so, you deserve it 😉
Kudos! This is a very intricate art project! So nice of you to share this tutorial. I bet this will be an ice breaker for visitors coming to our house!
Everyone loves them and I never thought about putting a tut up. Thanks Kevin I appreciate the comment
How lovely is this?! I never thought of making my own slate serving board before, although I did use an old roofing tile as one for awhile! 🙂
That works for me too Elizabeth 😉 Love your food photography shots BTW, I just want to eat my screen
very nice 🙂
Thank you so much Anon 😀
Great video tutorial, you really do make it look easy! Cant wait to find a bit of slate and give it a go. 🙂
Videos still freak me out Sarah. It takes forever to edit. If only they were as easy as making the slate heart I’d be happy
How cool Michelle! I love the serving board! I haven’t ever thought of using my dremel to cut anything. I need to try this, you make it look so easy.
I’m so glad someone invented a Dremel, they’re fabulous, and it really is easy Linda.
Thank you for paying back my curiosity, since I was one of those people asking about this heart 🙂
Loved it! And I thought it was harder to make this lovely heart. I was wrong!
😉 It’s a pleasure Gabi. I’m so glad you asked about the heart. Thanks so much
I loved watching how the slate was cut and removed. It was so cool to just watch it fall away especially with the mallet. I know that’s how a score works but, it’s one of those things where you’re still in awe that it just broke away so easily 😀 It is absolutely gorgeous!
Thanks so much Angie. I love watching it break too, it’s so satisfying, even when the break isn’t perfect it still looks wow 😀
What a beautiful and easy project! Thanks for the tip about the Dremel. I definitely need to get one of those for our future projects. And it would probably take me a few times to draw a heart that wasn’t lopsided haha. Yours turned out beautiful!
Dremels are the best ever. We have two at home, one for hubby and one for me and we love playing around with them. Thanks so much for your lovely comment Meg
Hi, Michelle, you have explained every step so nicely in the video, you had mentioned it is easy to make, but it is not that easy for a person like me. I love the shape and the slate, I want one for myself, maybe I will ask you to make one for me.
We’ll make one for you anytime my friend 😉
Hi, Michelle! I was visiting one specialised store with all items related to food producing industry (various food item, cooking untesils, serving etc) couple of days ago. My eyes were set on certain black serving board that said to be made out of a rock. I was thinking how cool it is, but also so so expencive. So, when I got to see your post in my news feed, I was like “WHAT???” I looove it! And – I neeeed ooooone LOL 😉
I know right, they charge so much money and they’re actually so easy to make. I hope you get to make one for your B&B. Just shout if you need help or any more information Ana-Marija
Oh my gosh, I am so in love with this. This is on my to-do list, Michelle. Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial.
Oh yay, I’m so glad you like it Carolann. Let me know how yours turns out
Mal oor dit! Jy is super!
Hey Marisa!!!! Jy’t gecomment maaiki – dis so cool. Kom kuier dan maak ons vir jou een. Ons het nog teels. Bring die kids dan kan Tannie Mix vir hulle wys hoe 😉
Michelle your video! But even more, I love that slate serving board. And you are right it is much easier than I thought it would be. I had an idea in my mind that it involved large amounts of plaster. Sometimes it is the simple things that leave a lasting impression in your mind.
Whoop, whoop Mary, I did it. We finally made a video that looks okay 😀 I’m glad you like the serving board, they really are easy to make and they’re can be used for so many different things too.
What a great video Michelle! And the heart is so beautiful, it looks easy too and you know how much I like easy! I am scared of those power tools, although I gotta get over that sooner or later!
Thanks so much Katrin. Some power tools scare me too, like welders. Although I’m getting used to it and it doesn’t scare me as much anymore 😉 The first power tool I ever used was a Dremel and they’re great to help get over the fear. Maybe you should try one of them first?