Thursday, September 25, 2014

Homemade Board Butter (AKA Wood Butter or Spoon Butter)

For those who have been following MLST for any length of time, you know how much I love my bread boards. Ever since Mitch made some for me for Christmas a couple years ago, I've loved using these boards in my kitchen every day. They're practical and beautiful. Not only do I use them in my kitchen, but I also love using them in decorating as well. This time of year is a great time to layer with boards...anywhere, really. Whether they're stacked in a basket in your kitchen, or layered into a mantelscape, bread boards are beautiful.

If you're going to be using your boards on a regular basis, they need to stay hydrated to prevent cracking. In other words, you have to occasionally oil your boards. This also includes any wooden utensil, like spoons. (Side note here--if you have coated cookware like teflon pans, bamboo/wooden spoons won't scratch the coating off, so they're a good choice for that kind of cookware.) So that brings us to today's topic: making board butter. 

Board butter is also called spoon butter since people use it to oil their spoons. I have yet to do mine, but that's definitely on the list.

There are varying opinions when it comes to oiling your wooden utensils (whether it's a board, spoon, or wooden bowl). Some people use mineral oil. This is probably the most popular choice since mineral oil won't spoil. I've used it in the past (before I made up some board butter), and it's fine in my opinion. Some people are leery of it though since mineral oil is a by-product of petroleum. Another option is using olive oil. But I know that olive oil, over time, goes rancid, and I definitely don't want my boards to start smelling five years down the road. So how did I make my board butter? Two ingredients.

Good ol' coconut oil and beeswax. I'm a huge fan of coconut oil. I've replaced all other vegetable oils (minus olive oil) with coconut oil. (To learn more about the benefits of refined coconut oil, Mitch wrote a blog post here that answers a lot of questions you may have.)

Here's my stack of thirsty boards (that Mitch made) waiting for some butter.

The process is super simple. Simply chop up the beeswax into small chunks (or if you get the small pellets of wax, you're good to go) and put in a glass canning jar. Add some coconut oil to the wax and heat it up either on your stove (in a water bath) or in the microwave. I did mine right on my stove.

After the oil and wax are melted, remove from heat and wait till it's a solid again.

Then simply put some on a cloth and wipe down your boards, working the butter into the wood.

Let it set over night, and rub off any excess with a clean cloth in the morning.

And let me tell ya--this stuff smells so good! It has a slight sweet honey scent to it, which is all natural. It even gives your hands a deep condition as you use it on your boards. All in all, it's good stuff! You'll want to use on your boards once every couple months, or as needed. 

We started selling our boards at a local vintage shop, so that's where all those boards up there went last week. Exciting times!

Homemade Board Butter

1 part beeswax to 3 parts coconut oil (I used a cup of oil)


Fill a mason jar with the beeswax and coconut oil and place inside a saucepan. Fill the saucepan with water until it reaches halfway up the jar. Turn stove to MEDIUM-LOW heat and allow the oil and wax to melt. Once melted, give it a good stir to help emulsify it and then carefully remove the jar from the water bath, add lid and allow to cool completely. Scoop out and rub the butter into your wooden utensils, letting it set in overnight, or for several hours. Take a clean cloth and wipe off any excess. 

For more fall-related stuff, go here and here.

And to follow MLST on Instagram in between posts, go here (kathertzler). 


  1. Thanks for this Kat. This sounds like a great recipe. My boards are D.R.Y. and my cuticles can always use some help. :)

    1. I know...I never knew about oiling up boards before! Glad I could help a sister out!

  2. Your bread boards are beautiful! I'm definitely going to give this recipe a try.

  3. I LOVE those! what store are you selling them at!

    1. Thank you, Hannah! It's a cute little vintage/antique shop about 20 minutes away...fingers crossed they like 'em!

  4. I've been a major blog reader slacker so I missed this. Congrats on selling your boards in a shop, that is awesome! They are beautiful so I know they will be loved!

  5. Where do you go to buy coconut oil, and beeswax? How long does this stuff stay good? (shelf life) Thanks so much for all the great ideas!

  6. I buy my coconut oil from Golden Barrel (check out their website,, a local company. They also had beeswax (I think they're out of it now), but I recently bought some more wax from an Amish health food store. Coconut oil has a "shelf life" of 2 years, but can definitely last a lot longer if stored right (in a cool, dark place like a pantry).

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  8. Question about making the boards, how do you clean your wood before using them as cutting boards? I have a lot of reclaimed wood but I know it is dirty. Would just pressure washing it do the trick?

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  12. Hey, this is a cool tip for DIYers like me! Thanks. Your boards look great, I bet they are selling well. Found a great cutting tool that would be perfect for projects like this, so I might try to do my own version of those boards.

    Keep up the good job!


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