How To Create A BEAUTIFUL Charcuterie Board


Hi Loves,

Let me paint a picture for you … it’s 30 minutes before your first holiday event. You are so excited to “run into” John (just go with it) until you realized that you need to bring an appetizer or dessert to this party!


Being the hustling, go-getter, killing-it-in-every-aspect-of-the-word GIRL that does NOT have time to bake or doesn’t want to be averagely buying Costco brownies (although they are delicious), you are trying to SLAY and make John (yep, JOHN) fall in love with your skills … and what’s the best way to do that? Food of course. The stomach is the gateway to the heart.

A lightbulb goes off!

You’re envisioning a board filled with delicious meats, cheeses, and hors d’oeuvres! Aha! A Charcuterie Board!

Charcuterie (pronounced “shahr-ku-tuh-ree”) is the art of preparing and assembling cured meats and other meat products. However many people use the term charcuterie to refer to an assortment of meats that are paired with different accompaniments, such as toast, fruit, cheese, and sauces.”

So you gather items in your fridge, pulling cheeses, prosciutto, an apple, and a bottle of wine because you are one classy gal.

Just like that, the day is saved. Oh and your board? It was an absolute hit … a beautiful work of art, especially with John.

How to Create a Budget Friendly & Beautiful Charcuterie Board

  1. Find the appropriate board for your charcuterie spread!
    • You can use a cutting board, a slab of finished wood from the hardware store, or even unbleached wax paper. Anything works! Ikea is my go-to board place. They range from $4-$7. They also sell a wood conditioner in the section where the cheeseboards are. Buy it! When you wash your wooden boards, the boards dry out and can splinter. This clear oil from Ikea conditions your board making it longer lasting. The conditioner works on furniture and wooden bowls as well.
  2. Scout out the perfect cheeses.
    • Check your fridge before going out and purchasing anything. Most likely you already have everything you need. Bryce and I always have at least one block of cheese (typically, a strong aged gouda) in our fridge. Just keep it in mind how many people are going to be snacking on the board. When there are at least 5 people, I like to have 3-4 different cheeses.
    • Pick one white cheese, one orangish cheese, and either a soft cheese or a sweet one. My go-to’s are: aged gouda, sharp cheddar, and a goat cheese log.
  3. Grab the MEATS!
    • Fair Warning: If a lot of men are eating on this board, I recommend having a ton of meat like pepperoni, salami, prosciutto. It disappears faster than the cheese!
    • I always buy my meats for the cheese boards at Aldi’s. You will find them sliced and ready to go in the cheese section making preparation much faster.

4. Place in filler items like roasted chickpeas, nuts, crackers, fruits! You can get creative with what you put on your board. I always try to put an apple and one other fruit on mine because people love the combination of fruit and cheese. Although I am not a fan of olives and cocktail pickles, they almost always make it on my board because people love them! It’s all about catering to who you are feeding. Look through your pantry before buying anything first though! You can fill your board with pretty much anything — it doesn’t have to be what I suggested.

5. Prep your board for cheese and meat action. Begin by placing the cheese where you would like it to go on the board. Then slice your cheese. When I am creating a board for a huge group, my rule is to slice all of the cheeses so nobody struggles getting the piece they want. When purchasing cheese, I recommend Aldi’s. It is the most affordable with the best variety to select from. Cheeses can run from $3 to $7 each. That can really add up on a board. Buy one or two power cheeses (the more expensive ones) then add more affordable $2 and $3 ones to the mix.

Tip: To make things extra festive, use cookie cutters to create shapes out of regular sliced cheese! Works for any holiday or gathering and really wows your guests with more affordable cheese to add into the mix. It would be so cute to find alphabet cookie cutters and spell out special occasions or meaningful words.

6. Place your meat on the board. I like to individually roll each piece and then fold it in half — this takes forever to do but so worth it! Once you have compiled a few of them together, you will start to notice that it looks like a blooming rose! Presentation is everything.

7. Once the meats and cheeses have been displayed on the board, start filling in empty spaces with bigger items like crackers. Variety is the spice of life so adding wafers, grainy crackers, or your favorite Triscuit biscuit gives your party goers a mini plate on which to sample their cheeses. This is a perfect time to add any dips, jams, spreads to your tray. I love a great berry preserve for spreading on a cracker and topping it with cheese. The mix of the spread with most cheeses creates a mini party in your mouth. Crowd pleasers are pickles (baby gherkens or sweet pickles) and gourmet olives. I like the colors and textures that this step adds. It also jazzes up your platter with crunchy textures and mixes in tangy, sweet, and tart flavors. Is your mouthwatering yet?

8. Fill in any gaps with nuts, fruits, dried fruit, roasted chickpeas, figs, or dates!

9. Take a photo of your board so you can remember what it looks like before it gets demolished!

Whether it’s a mini board with one cheese and a few crackers for Bryce and I to share or it’s a ginormous piece of plywood I picked up at Lowes and positioned on a banquet table filled with 20 cheeses and paths of crackers reminding me of the yellow brick road—the process for creating the board is the same. I hope this post inspires you to make your own cheeseboard.  Please share pictures with me, and feel free to ask any question. I’m not an expert but have learned what works best for me. Just remember there’s no wrong or right way to do it.  It might sound “cheesy” but I think what you create will be really “grate.”
I’ll see you here same time, same place next week.
Until then, spread kindness.

Love always,


Keep scrolling for some Charcuterie Board inspiration!


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