DIY

3 Steps to Create a Live Edge from a Normal Board

I’m Zoe.
My mission is to teach you to  confidently build magazine-worthy DIYs. I used to be terrified of power tools, which is why I'm a firm believer that ANYONE can DIY.
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Price

Varies

Time

<4 Hours

Difficulty

Easy

Have you ever gone into a store and seen a beautiful live edge table or live edge tray? It’s stunning and you want it. And then you look at the price. Live edge wood is expensive to say the least.

I’m all about creating expensive finishes on a budget, so I was determined to figure out how to create the look of a live edge myself. To my surprise, it was actually really easy.

So today I’m going to teach you how to turn a regular old rectangular board into a piece that looks like it has a live edge. Sure, it won’t have bark, but who wants bark flaking on them in the first place?

Alright, let’s start DIYing!

Turn any board into a live edge  in 3 easy steps

Tools

  • Pencil
  • Jigsaw
  • Electric sander
  • 60 grit sandpaper
  • Optional: 80-220 grit sandpaper
  • Piece of wood (no plywood)

How to Make a Live Edge from a Regular Board

New to DIY? Download our free 5 Steps to Getting Start with DIY guide!

Step 1: draw a line

Draw a line on the edge of the board that you would like to cut. Don’t be too precise or spend too much time here! The main rule is that you want to be “random.” Random indentations, varied depths, different lengths. You don’t want it to turn into a perfect wave, but rather you want it to look as natural as possible. You can also keep the live edge very minimal and keep a decently straight line.

draw pattern on wood

Step 2: cut

Cut along the line using your jigsaw. If it’s perfect, great. If it’s jagged and looks rough, great! Be sure to clamp the board you are cutting to something else to make sure it stays in place when you’re trying to cut.

cut pattern using a jigsaw

step 3: sand

Sand the edge you just cut using 60 grit sandpaper. Start by flattening out your edges by sanding down the corners of the edges. Once the transition from top to side is as smooth as you want, don’t be afraid to apply pressure and try different angles to the rest of the side. You might need sand a few of the nooks and crannies by hand, but overall, the 60 grit sandpaper will help you round your edges and make sure it looks natural rather than jagged. Once you sand using 60 grit, work your way up to 80, 120, and then 220 if you want a really smooth finish.

side-by-side comparison of board before sanding and after
sanding the edges of the live edge board at different angles

I told you it was easy! 3 simple steps and you’re done. You’ve turned a regular board into something that is unique and has movement. So now that you know how simple it is to make a live edge, what are you going to use it for? A table? A tray? The options are limitless and I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Be sure to tag me on Instagram ( @craftedbythehunts ) so I can see (and share!) your photos.

DIY live edge tray
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