How to Make the BEST DIY Charcuterie Board

Mild temperatures are the perfect opportunity to break out the DIY charcuterie board for some fun outdoor dining and snacking. 

They are great for parties, girls’ nights, tailgating, watch parties, and even out on the boat!

I got a crash course on creating your own charcuterie creations from a couple of local moms, Emily Richard and Jessica Richard, who have basically perfected the charcuterie science.

Here are some of their tips for making the perfect charcuterie board!

Creating a Charcuterie Board

Getting Started

Although you can get your supplies wherever you usually grocery shop, they say the best deals are typically at Costco, Aldi, or Sam’s Club, because you can get larger packs of meat, cheese, and other supplies at discounted prices.

DIY Charcuterie Board Essentials

The basics include meat, cheese, crackers, fruit, and nuts. Ideally, each board should consist of at least three to four meats, cheeses, and crackers.


Charcuterie knives, cheese knives, spoons, spreaders and spears, tongs and toothpicks. 


Variety packs (with uncured antipasto-prosciutto, soppressata, milano salami, coppa) are a great value and keep for a long time. Pepper salami is also a good choice.

Photo credit: Jess Richard


Have a combination of hard and soft. Some favorites include blue cheese, parmesan, colby, aged cheddar, and havarti. They also recommended giving goat cheese a try!


Crunchmasters and Parm Crisps are their go-tos. Also, look for multigrain, gluten-free, and keto-friendly options when trying to keep it healthy or to meet certain diet restrictions.


Green and red grapes are a must (keep in small bunches so they keep better). And use fruit that isn’t messy with juices that run (apples or even dried fruits are good choices).

Nut Medley

Almonds, walnuts, cashews are pretty common to use. Nuts can really come down to personal preference — or you can exclude them all together if allergies are an issue.


Cheese curds, olives, artichokes, beef sticks, pickles, mini cucumbers, candied apricots, chocolate covered nuts or pretzels, and craisins. These are great for adding different tastes and textures!

Tip: Make sure to have at least one sweet item (for example, dark chocolate covered pretzels, squares, or almonds).
charcuterie board
Photo credit: Jess Richard.


Start with the cheeses (separate them so they aren’t touching), next add the meat, then fill in gaps with fruits/nuts and crackers, ending with peppered jelly or jam of some sort (some like to put it in a cute cup or bowl) — and don’t be afraid of the food touching. 

Charcuterie Boards

Something you can easily pick up and move is key, and rustic is always a good look. These again can come down to personal preference, space, budget, and number of people serving.

If you want something locally made, Dakota Timber makes some lively boards. For something easy to find, head to Target or Home Goods and look for a wood cutting board or serving platter – these can do the trick just as well as a actual charcuterie board!

Fancy Add-Ons

Salmon with capers or pesto with mozzarella add some pizazz to a board. Use a wine glass to fold salami around the rim in three to four layers then pinch it around and flip it over to make a rose shaped meat (do this right before the guests arrive as the meat will only hold that way temporarily).

Expert Tip: Pat down moist food with paper towels as needed.

Fun Girls Night Idea

My friends often host a “Girls Wine Night” and have each person bring their favorite (or a fun) wine for everyone to taste. Make it an enjoyable wine sampling/tasting night! You can always swap the wine for mocktails too! 

Another idea would be for each friend to bring an ingredient or two, and build the boards together! You can do individual boards, or one large board for everyone to serve themselves.

Kid-Friendly Versions

charcuterie board
Photo credit: Jess Richard.

A DIY charcuterie board can be super fun for kids as well and are great for an after school snack or dinner.

Keep it simple and use things your kids like.

Club crackers, pretzels, pepperonis, cheese sticks, fish crackers, and fruit are good options. Have fun creating themed boards and using alternative serving methods like a unique tray or muffin pan.

There are so many creative ideas on Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest! Make them yourself, or get the kids involved in creating their own charcuterie masterpieces!

What are some of your favorite DIY charcuterie board ideas? Let us know in the comments!
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Nikki Hillman
Nikki is a mom to five (two living, three angels), wife, educator, library media specialist, high-school coach, writer, church go-er, and beer drinker. Born and raised in western North Dakota (where the buffaloes literally roam), she now lives just outside of Horace, ND. Nikki will always be a small-town girl at heart, but loves experiencing Fargo area events; including sporting events, bars, breweries + wineries, restaurants, and shops.


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