Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday#5 Cutting Board Uses

I am not a big fan of plastic, but it is a reality in the world we live in, and sometimes it is so very helpful! This tip is for all you mums who can use some help keeping things tidy - like me!

Have you discovered the simple usefulness of Flexible Plastic Cutting Boards? You can buy them at Target, but you'll spend quite a bit more than I do for the same thing at Wal*Mart - and their 'Mainstays' cutting boards are made in the U.S.A., which is a good thing, I think. A set of 3 is about $2 - or they do have a similar set at the dollar stores for $1 - often made in China.

I've already told you about trimming a cutting board to fit into a jelly roll pan so we can save the juices when my hubby carves us up a roast beef, but I have many other daily uses for these pieces of plastic, so I thought I'd share.

Flexible Cutting Board Tips

  1. I can never remember the 'color code' and can't expect the kids to either. It's easy to use a permanent marker to label each one for specific uses, thus avoiding cross contamination. Examples: Meat, Cheese, Fruit, Veggies, Bread
  2. Protect the table when your kids are playing Playdough with their own personalized cutting board.
  3. Use to protect the table from glue projects. They wash easily, and even hot glue will come off when it is cool.
  4. Did someone say 'glitter'? Personally, I hate the stuff, but my kids love it. Spills go back into the shaker easily from a smooth cutting board (not one that has been sliced and scored by much use). Where there is glitter, there are spills!
  5. Use to protect the table from painting projects - why waste newsprint when you can use a waterproof, reusable cutting mat!
  6. Use to line the drawer under your cutlery - it is easy to lift the cutlery holders out and get rid of the crumbs - which we all have!
  7. Use one under your sewing machine to keep it from 'walking' across the table when you sew.
  8. Do you have a beautiful Vera bag, but can't wash the stiff bag bottom because it is cardboard - or already did by accident? Oops! Stitch rip the end of the fabric bag liner, use the cardboard as a template and cut yourself a new bag bottom from a cutting board. Slip it in, hand sew it closed and voila - your bag is now washable!
  9. Making a new bag, but don't want to buy expensive bag bottoms and don't have any plastic canvas on hand? These cutting boards are so easy to cut any shape!
  10. They make great re-useable stencils for large detail stenciling - use a sharp blade to cut. A heat stencil cutting tool doesn't work well on the thicker plastic.
  11. Do you need to make a stiff bonnet brim for a 'Little House' or 'Sunbonnet Sue' style sunbonnet? Cut your pattern piece from a cutting board - slip it in to the brim fabric and you'll have a nice stiff bonnet that washes well. It can't be folded back, and you'll have to be careful when ironing, but this really worked well for me.
  12. These boards work well as a 'Doo Scoop', when your puppy has an accident of the more solid variety - keep 1/2 a cutting board with your cleaning supplies for scooping up 'calling cards' from the carpet.
  13. Quick - where's the funnel? We can never find ours, but rolling a 1/2 cutting mat into a funnel is pretty quick and you can roll it just the size you need for the job at hand.
  14. Cutting mats make great dividers for between 'delicate' foods in the freezer - for example puff pastry, meringues and baklava. Simply cut to size using the container's lid as a template and store them with the container for future food storage needs.
  15. Do those no drip fridge shelves work better for you than they do for me??? I hope so! We have spills that go right to the bottom, but I have a solution: Line the bottom of your fridge under the crisper drawers with flexible cutting mats and spills will be easier to clean up - slide out, soak off the stickiness and voila! a clean fridge bottom. The rest of the fridge - you'll have to figure that one out!
  16. Are you a rubber stamper? Embossing powder doesn't stick to a new (un-scored) flexible cutting board and will slide nicely into the jars after use.
  17. If you don't have a fancy pastry mat, a well floured cutting mat will do in a pinch. You can even draw permanent marker circles as guidelines for your favorite sizes of pie dishes.
  18. Years ago I carefully cut up a cutting board into thin strips to use as guides for cutting 1" lattice for pies and tarts, 2" shortbread bars and 4" diamond shaped cookies. I still use them.
  19. I have a friend who uses cutting mats for quilting templates. Her idea gave me, a non-quilter, the idea to use them when I make yo-yo's! Perfect circles every time!
  20. Cutting up a cutting board is simple - scissors work, but so does a rotary cutter or sharp Xacto type knife.

I'm sure you'll come up with more great ideas of your own!

Clean Up!

Flexible plastic cutting boards from Wal*Mart are dishwasher safe - if they aren't in the way. We slip them along the sides out of the way of the rotating spray head thingy. Some of the thinner dollar store boards don't survive the heat of the dishwasher - you'll just have to read the package. They do get stained, but can be cleaned with a bit of baking soda and a rub. For really tough stains, Bar Keeper's Friend will take practically anything off.


They melt when you leave them on a warm burner - and they smell. Bad.
Just ask me how I know this, or read about it here!

As always, check out all of the fantastic tips at Rocks In My Dryer, thanks to our gracious hostess, Shannon!

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  1. That is some list!
    Sounds like great stuff.

  2. Love your list! We have one of these and I had no idea there were so many uses for it.

  3. I'm happy to expand your view of the humble cutting board!

  4. Brilliant, had no idea there could be so many uses. Thankyou

  5. I've looked at those and have never bought them...yet...I bet I will the next time I am in Walmart though! :)

    Nice to meet you:)

  6. Oh my dear old friend...old as in length of time of course! I burst out laughing reading your suggestion to place one of these under my sewing machine to keep it from walking accross the table!! You would laugh too if you could see my feeble sewing attempts, done with a lovely machine, on the carpeted floor, sewing pedal and all!! Picture that now, all curled around in a ball, and perhaps you will laugh too!! And perhaps I will take your advice!


  7. Sue ... you always were a 'floor person' - I am not! I can't even imagine sewing on the floor, but I have another friend who scrapbooks on the floor and I don't 'get' that either! My sweet daughter is also a floor person and an extreme MESSY - but we love one another and have decided that variety is the spice of life!


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