Picture of Gift Card Cutting Mat
I rarely ever receive gift cards as a gift from anyone I know, but my family buys a lot of stuff on Amazon, which seems keen to treat us to one every now and then. They're cool. They get you free stuff on Amazon (which is where I get half my stuff, so it's handy), and they can be cut into guitar picks. But there's only so many picks you can keep around before they begin to turn up in odd places that aren't anywhere near your guitar (pockets, laundry, luggage, etc) and eventually the gift cards are just wasteful little black pieces of plastic after you've used up their twenty five dollars. And I hate wasting stuff, so like I do with pretty much all the useful looking recycling, I stuff it in a box and tell myself I'll figure out what to do with it later.

A while later I was making a prop sword and cutting foam with a jackknife, which is a great way to cut foam except that you have to use up a magazine or empty tissue box (and that's good material for other DIY projects) or something so that the knife doesn't scratch the floor. When my tissue box cardboard just wasn't cutting it (pun intended) anymore, I wanted something more permanent to use as a cutting board, and gift cards seemed like just the thing.

It probably took like two minutes to complete, and it turns out it actually folds up (well, part way) too. I'm certainly satisfied with the results. It's so easy that I'm not even adding steps, I'm just explaining it here. Keep in mind, though: you can't use the cutting board to cook. If you haven't figured that out.

A number of gift cards with two factors that are close together - I used twelve
Masking tape
Ruler or straight edge (optional)

Arrange your cards into the form you want them to be in when you're done. Using a straight edge helps keep the cards perfectly aligned so that the cutting board will fold better later. Tape the cards together in that form. That's all you have to do. You can see how to fold it in the pictures.

That was a rather simple project, but I'm sure there are other uses for gift cards, and other ways to make cutting boards that are more interesting. Do you have one? Post it in the comments!
Birdy Jane6 months ago

Well, wow, I must say thanks for this one. I have scads of these cards, as any self-respecting packrat would. Limited by my imagination, though, I've only ever used them as scrapers. But the most gratifying aspect of this 'ible for me is that I am always, and ever, LOATHE to part with the dough the larger cutting mats demand. They are so shamefully overpriced, I actually flip them the bird when I pass them in stores. I'm real mature like that ; )

Sadi789 (author) 1 year ago

UPDATE: I'm still using this thing. It's scratched up and dented and it's been repaired a zillion times, but it still works. Tip: If you're doing something questionable, fold it into thirds for extra protection.