Ask Jo: Dough Bowls

Hello, and welcome to another edition of “Ask Jo”.  I get many comments and questions from all sorts of places, the comment section here, Youtube, email, and from our Facebook group.  Sometimes I think others of you might want to know the answers as well so I answer them here on the blog.   Today I’m answering one question from Paula.

Paula asked, “What is a dough bowl?  You had mentioned it a time or two.”

Can you believe I wrote a whole blog post and answered this question only to find out the post got completely lost.  UGH.  So, I wrote it again…

I have long had an obsession with dough bowls.  Back when I first became interested, Kramer and I were going to auctions.  I first learned about them in the 90s and I watched for them all the time at auctions.

christmas dough bowl centerpiece wooden bread bowl wooden bowl dough bowls wood dough bowls wooden wooden dough bowl antique wooden bowls | Dough bowl centerpiece, Bread bowls, Wooden dough bowl
The sad news…they would sell for over $200.  We had five kids at home to feed and cloth and neither of us had high-paying jobs so, a dough bowl never ended coming home with us.  They were just out of my price range.

I loved them though and continued to look.

Fast forward to 2015 or so and Joanna Gaines and the whole “farmhouse look”, dough bowls have become the rage.

Now people are making them and they are easy to find.  Here are some of the things people are doing with them…

8 Ways to Decorate with Antique Dough Bowls |

They work wonderfully for centerpiece decorations.  They are low profile and can easily be switched up for the season or the look that people are going for.

Winter Table: Vintage Dishes with a Dough Bowl Centerpiece

From candles…

Large Paulownia Wood Dough Bowl Perfect for a Farmhouse Table Centerpiece. It's made from Paulownia Wood. I hope you like my own unique twist on the classic dough bowl. Measures:35-1/4"L x 7"W x 5"H
to succulents…

to Easter.


When they started being manufactured in the masses, I debated about getting one.  Part of me wanted an antique but now they were closer to $300 when I’d see them on auctions.  If I really wanted one, I could afford one but it seemed silly to me to spend that much money.

Historically the bowls were actually used for making bread.  I think then people didn’t have the counter space and water right at the faucet for easy clean up so women had dough bowls.  This way they could knead and prepare the bread but keep the mess confined to one place. They could move the bowl closer to a warm spot so the dough would rise better.


I had kind of given up on a dough bowl until I started watching more of floss tube and seeing how others were displaying their cross-stitch.  Check out this…It was shared by Plum Street Samplers.

PLUM STREET SAMPLERS: Dough Bowl Dreams

Yep, seeing that was all I needed to want a dough bowl.  But where could I put one?

Decorating in a house that is regularly visited by both grandchildren and childcare children is not easy.  Everything has to be child-proof.  Whenever I put anything anywhere I always have to remember, is it safe for whoever else is here if I am in the bathroom changing a diaper on a baby?

I decided I did have the perfect spot…On top of my cubbies in the livingroom.  It’s just tall enough that the kiddos can’t get into it.  Those that can reach it, are old enough to know better.

I started looking for one…

There were many options and many sizes.  HERE on Amazon.

This one HERE on Amazon.
JumpingLight Carved Wooden Dough Bowl Primitive Wood Trencher Tray Rustic Home Decor 22 inch Cast Iron Decor for Vintage Industrial Home Accessory Decorative Gift
This one HERE on Amazon.

None were really what I wanted.  I decided I was ready to break the bank and get a long one that really fit the space perfectly.

Then at Christmas time, I told Kalissa I wanted one.  She got me one…but it was a little one.  I’ll admit to being slightly disappointed at the time.  It was small.

I have since come to LOVE it.  I use it for cross-stitching.   You can find it on Amazon HERE.  I keep my scissors, glasses, the remote, and often my phone…you know, all the things that slide into the couch under the cushions.


But, I still didn’t have what I wanted.  I wanted a big long one for the top of the entertainment center.

After MUCH looking, I saw THIS ONE on Etsy.

Hand Carved Extra Large WOOD DOUGH BOWL 40 x 12 x Brown

YES.  It was what I wanted.  It was $89.  I hemmed and hawed.  I looked at other places.  After about two weeks, that dough bowl was still in my head.  I wanted it.  So I decided to just get it.  I went to check and out and holey moley, shipping was outrageous.  It was going to be $125.  UGH.

I took it out of my cart.  Two weeks more passes and the dough bowl was still in my head.  I had spent more time looking for another the same size only cheaper.  UGH.  No luck.  I finally just bit the bullet and bought it.

Here it is on the cubby.  It’s perfect…exactly what I wanted.  I don’t have it decorated yet.  I need to make some cross stitch small pillows for it…but I did get some filler stuff.


I need to make a table runner to go under it.  It will all happen but with everything I do, it’s slow progress.


I love it as it’s low profile.  It’s just a simple little touch of decor and not overwhelming.  You can see that a few small cross-stitch pillows will look great in there.

So there is a L-O-N-G answer to a question…

If you have someone that is inclined, there are Youtube videos that shows how to make dough bowls.

So that’s what I hope to be working on in the next few months…getting my dough bowl in tip-top good-looking shape.  When it comes to doing things for myself, I’m always super slow.  I honestly started looking for dough bowls shortly after Buck hung the television in my living room.  That’s over six months ago.

I’ll make sure to show you some pictures when it’s looking how I want it to.  Thanks for asking the question Paula…

18 thoughts on “Ask Jo: Dough Bowls

  1. Beverly

    Looks great Jo! I do the same thing when I want something that might be a little pricey, I wait and if it’s still on my mind weeks later, then that means I really want it. I’d like to have the small one for myself

    Reply
    1. Jean Kirchhevel

      I have a dough bowl from Scandinavia. I didnt know what it was at first when a neighbor was moving and passed onto me. It’s so big, you’ll need a big open area to highlight it. If any of you are interested, let me know. I’m doing a fund raiser for a building project in Asia. I’d like to sell it and shipping will be at cost.

      Reply
  2. Kate

    I like both the small one and the bigger one too. I wish I had the tools to make one – enjoyed the video showing how to make one. Of course, anxious to see when you have yours all decorated,

    Reply
  3. Deborah Hawkins

    Oh, I love this. I have a dough bowl and have been trying to find a place for it. And I have some little cross stitch pillows that I don’t want the dogs to chew up. This idea is perfect!!!!

    Reply
  4. Cheryl Regan

    I saw them take a dough bowl on Home Town and line it with copper patches…they used copper nails and then tapped the finish to make indents and used it for decor in one of their houses.

    Reply
  5. Rita

    Maybe you should ask around maybe there’s a would carver in your area that could make you one . I’m sure they are like a cutting board ,they need to oiled and seasoned. Have you seen the ornament squash that they make bird houses out of they would make a cool bowl

    Reply
  6. DebMac

    My in-laws were into antiques and going to auctions when I married into the family in 1990. They enjoyed giving unusual presents and gifted me one for my birthday sometime in the mid 90’s. It has been on the floor as a magazine holder, held craft supplies, and now holds toys and books for our grandson. As my MIL would say, “it’s an antique, what’s another scratch or ding?” I wax mine occasionally. One day I hope to “decorate” with it again.

    Reply
  7. Sandra B

    Oh, Jo, what memories this brings to mind! My grandmother had a big dough bowl that she used to make bread every time we visited when I was growing up. That was one of my favorite memories from childhood…those fresh biscuits with all kinds of homemade preserves, or homemade apple butter… thanks for your post!!

    Reply
  8. Pat

    How funny JO! I just bought one for the same reasons. I go to a vintage market for the last couple of years with my neighbor, they had them there for a few dollars, the small ones. I kick myself that I didn’t get one then. But after watching floss tube, now I wanted one as well, I was able to purchase one at a local vintage store, just what I wanted.
    But I really understand the waiting game. I do exactly what you do….. if I still want it two weeks later, then I buy it. If I can afford it. Life is too short, we need to indulge when we can.

    Reply
  9. Paulette

    I have a dough bowl handed down from my mother. It was her grandmother’s, I believe, and hand made. I’ve not seen one quite like it, it looks like it was made out of a big burl from a tree. My mom kept it on the upper shelf in the closet of her sewing room, out of the way of boisterous children. Now I keep it in my kitchen way up high on the top of a hutch, but angled on its side so you can see the inside of it.

    Reply
  10. The Joyful Quilter

    I remember my Great Aunt Ira having (and using) a couple of these in her rustic mountain kitchen. She is also the reason that I love heavy quilts on the bed. It was COLD in the mountains and heavy quilts are great for warming you up!

    Reply
  11. Duannia

    I have purchased them at both Hobby Lobby and Target. I think they each cost less than $20 on clearance. I just decorated the larger one with the plastic chocolate bunnies from Walmart.

    Reply
  12. Brenda in SC

    I have a dough bowl and the rolling pin that my great grandfather made for my great grandmother. I keep my rolling pin collection in it in my kitchen. I absolutely love your long one. Would love to get one like this for decorating on my dining room table.

    Reply
  13. Paula James

    Thank you so much Jo, for answering my question. I had no idea how involved the answer would be and am happy to see that other readers have stories to remember and share. Thanks again. I too, am wondering how you are going to fit in an extra cross stitch project. Perhaps other cross stitchers might gift one to you.

    Reply
  14. sewahppy

    Good for you. I would have stopped, like you, at the postage then go for it if it is something I really want. Where did it come from? Was it because of the size? Have a good day.

    Reply
  15. Judith Fairchild

    I want a dough bowl just for making why it’s called a dough bowl. It would be a fantastic addition to my kitchen . I remember a family member had one and her bread was So Good. I asked her about the taste of her bread and c she told me bit was her bread bowl. Iswa the bowl it’s a lot like your Christmas present bowl of darker with use.

    Reply

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