Decorating With Dough Bowls

I blame the cottage.

Oh, I had seen these rustic dough bowls used before but always in an über crafty/country/dried flowers with roosters and other things that are pretty but weren’t quite my style.  But, once I saw one at the cottage, I decided that I could incorporate one or 20 into our home. I scoured the internets and shops for a large bowl but everything was over $100 and I am patient when it comes to searching for something that costs three digits.

Back in the fall I was shopping with my friends Caroline and Michelle at a Pottery Barn Outlet and I stumbled upon not one, but two dough bowls.  Pottery Barn carries some Found Objects that are the real thing, not factory made, like these bowls.  Each had a tag saying they were from Hungary and a date in the 1800’s, and since I am organized, I’ve already lost both tags.  They were on sale for $49 so I bought them both having no idea where I would put them. I just knew they were a steal and that they were something I’ve wanted for awhile.

Here they are together next to a soup spoon.

You can use a dough bowl {also called a trencher} to hold almost anything and they come in zillions of shapes and sizes.

One of mine currently sits within my glass coffee table.

The other one looks dwarfed but I assure you it’s massive and he’s all cozied up with some dried leaves.


Jennifer at The Old Painted Cottage incorporated her dough bowl into a beautiful Winter table scape.

Nell Hill’s Blog

Mary Carol says fall is her favorite time of year to show off dough bowls.  It is stunning.

Here’s the same bowl incorporated into a summer table scape.

Pottery Barn

Here’s an inspiring video about filling a dough bowl to make a centerpiece.

Dough bowls  are available on ebay. {search both “dough bowls” and “wooden trenchers”}

Dough bowls are available on etsy. And I’m sure you can find them locally if you are patient.  And hey, you know how much I love a spur of the moment linky.  If you have a dough bowl in your home and have a photo of it in a post or want to write about it, link up and show us how you use it.


  1. Those are so cute! Love ’em!

  2. Here I was, totally oblivious to dough bowls, and now I must have one. You’re good :)

    Love, love, love the one with books under the table!

  3. I love those bowls! They’re so versatile!

  4. Wow Nester, you got a great price on those! When I lived in PA they were everywhere, now that I’m in FL I haven’t seen one at a flea market yet! I could kick myself for not snapping up all of them up when I had the chance. Oh well, another item to be on the lookout for. :)

  5. Also great for keeping your wine chilled during parties…looks great and always a conversation piece!

  6. I have 2 – one that was my grandmother’s (that she actually used for dough), and a HUGE one that was my husband’s great aunt’s. I don’t use my grandmother’s, but the other one is always on display in my home.

  7. I too have been on the search for a looooong dough bowl to go on my looooog island to fill it’s vast void. Love them, and love yours!

  8. I LOVE dough bowls!!!! I have always loved them…finally snagged a medium-sized one at a flea market in the fall for $40. If they weren’t so expensive, I’d have them all over my house! Yours were a really great deal for how big they are! Great find!! If you ever get sick of them, let me know! :)

  9. I purchased my first dough bowl with some Christmas money this year from White Flower Farmhouse. I think they are perfect with any decor and can be filled with different items to suit the season. Mine is holding pinecones on the dining room table right now. Just gorgeous!

    Judy :)

  10. Love dough bowls! I don’t have a picture, but I have one on my sideboard that’s full of the kids crayons.

  11. Beautiful. Gorgeous. I love almost anything wood.

  12. I adore dough bowls. I adore the original intent of a dough bowl. Decorative intent too. But gracious sakes me oh my. Just thinking of kneading dough in one of those enormous bowls back in the day …
    Even a newbie can’t fail.
    Off topic and in high carbo love,
    the good news girl

  13. Beautiful. I love those bowls. You can really fill them with anything and they look stylish and amazing. I wish I had a Pottery Barn outlet near me.

  14. I have one that was my grandmother’s mother’s. She made biscuits in it every morning for her family of 6 in rural north Mississippi. I’ve kept it because of the 100+ year old stories, at first not realizing how “valuable” they were. But even then, none that I find on ebay, etsy, pottery barn, or any antique shop are as valuable as the one that was handed down to me in love and family tradition.

    It’s priceless.

  15. Susie, I think now I must try that recipe in my great-grandmother’s dough bowl. Thank you for sharing!!!

  16. Wow, those are beautiful and what a fantastic price! I love the look of them under the table.

  17. Great price! I don’t think I’ve ever seen one for less than $100. As a result, I’ve sort of gotten over the dough bowl trend, but if I came across one for $49, I’d jump right back on the dough bowl wagon. Definitely!

  18. My husband and I are missionaries in Hungary, and they have these bowls everywhere. They are at the local antique market every weekend for roughly $25, but they’ll try to charge a lot more if they know you’re American. Lots of people here have them in their homes. It’s always fun to see something from Hungary that everyone loves!

    • Oh Kristen that is amazing! I wasn’t even sure if I remembered the country right but you confirmed it for me. I love that they have a history, even if they are everywhere there! Hope you find one that you love!

  19. One wonders if the large trencher was used to bathe babies. :-)

  20. I love those *things*!! Although, I never knew they were called dough bowls. Huh.

    I love the two you scored. Especially love the placement of the small one between your two gorgeous turquoise lamps!

  21. I noticed yours in your coffee table on a post the other day. I love dough bowls. And yes I lust after them and I am trying to find one in my budget. Hasn’t happened yet…but I am patient!!

  22. Love learning something this early in the morning:I had no idea that is what they are called, but what a score!

  23. Sometimes it is like you are reading my mind! I have been SCOURING the internet looking for one of these! I looked a few years ago, wanting it for photographing newborns (so pretty!), but no luck. Then a few weeks ago got a hankering for one again for decor…if you ever see one in our area please, please, please will you send me a FB message? I know that’s a big request, but I would be indebted to you forever :).

    Natasha Duckwall

  24. GREEN.. i mean super duper neon green with envy!! :P i NEVER hit those sort of deals.. need to take your hunting class! ;) great find, great deal.. and love the way you are displaying them!

  25. I agree! I Love them and have been eyeing them myself, but haven’t broken down and bought one. I would LOVE to find a “treasured – Antique” one like yours.

  26. Anyone that lives near enough to go to Canton, First Texas (long weekend, once a month)..they have tons of vendors there with them. They are not authentic, but have the look. I have one stained red that I use at our lake home to hold marbles and card games.

  27. I have been wishing for one, but they are too expensive for me right now!

  28. I didn’t realize those were called dough bowls!

    They are very pretty & I love the one on your dining table.

  29. They are gorgeous bowl/trenchers……great deal also! I’ll have to be on the lookout! That pic of you is beautiful too!!! I love your plate wall behind you in it, did you use disque hangers?


  30. I love dough bowls. Great job finding such big ones for such a great price!

  31. Your post today is so timely! My mom recently gave me my great-grandmother’s dough bowl. She used it to make biscuits for each meal (!)

    I knew it was a treasure for sentimental reasons, but I had no clue what to do with it in a practical way. Thanks for the ideas.

  32. I have a dough bowl that i’ve used to decorate forever and love it! and, would you believe I got it at a trade show mart for only $14!!!! I usually put some sort of fruit in it since it’s in my kitchen now days. ;)

  33. FUN FUN FUN Post! I don’t own one but we have a massive one at church that my dear elderly friend got from her daughter who lives in Mexico. Hand carved in Mexico we use is for our monthly Sunday dinners and bi-annual Bible Conferences and load it up with dinner rolls, buns, breads of all sorts on the serving line at meal times!!

  34. I see them ALL THE TIME at the flea markets for a pittance compared to what PB wants. I loves me some dough bowls!

  35. $49 is a steal!!! I’ve been spying your glass coffee table, love it. Where did you purchase it?

  36. My dough bowl was hand carved by my great-grandfather in the 1860’s for my great-grandmother. It’s a treasure that I’ve used for years. Love the new ideas I see around the internet for using them!

  37. I love dough bowls and will for sure will be linking up after this weekend. We have a local antique “yard” that has seven barns that always has dough bowls. I have been wanting one so bad and my best friend is taking me for my birthday where I may just pick one up. (Thanks to the in-law’s early present) Thank goodness for great friends and generous in-law’s:)

  38. Love. You got an awesome deal on those bowls! When my great-grandmother died, it’s the one thing everyone wanted, but her first son got it. I used to watch her make biscuits in her bread bowl every day after school. I should try to find one just like it and use it around the house to remember her.

  39. Now, you had to go and make me all crazy over a dough bowl didn’t you. Yep, plenty that I needed to do today and now I’m gonna scour the internet for a dough bowl.. Great.


    Looking for a dough bowl like a crazy person.

  40. I LOVE dough bowls. I always look at them at antique shops, but can never convince myself to shell out $100 for one. Yours are such an awesome deal!

  41. I love dough bowls too…just not the price of the ones I’ve seen. Last fall I received a catalog in the mail “The Country Door’ and lo and behold they had two sizes of dough bowls in there….the largest being about $49…I couldn’t order it fast enough. It is a really nice, big one and I have enjoyed using it so much. You can see it on my DR table on my blog on my Christmas post.


  42. I love how versatile you made them look! My father-in-law has made some neat pieces like this…maybe I need to ask him to create a little something for me! :)

  43. love dough bowls – and what a deal to get both for $49/ea!! I now have a new item on my thrift shopping list! thanks for sharing all of the inspiring photos!

  44. I really like Potter Barn’s Found Items – but not their prices!
    Nice job catching those two.

    BTW, I really like in the video where the guy says, “And, now that it’s all pretty – we LIGHT IT ON FIRE!”

    (At least that’s what *I* heard.)
    Your mileage might vary. ;)

  45. Thanks!


  46. How is that now I feel my life purpose is to now have one of these dough bowls? :)
    I am sure my husband will be quite pleased to know what I have learned from your post :)

  47. That one is so big you could sleep in it! Patience = rewards. Great find! Mine was cheaper than the ones around it at Tobacco Barn because it had a split that is held together with a strip of metal–but I think that “flaw” makes it even better.

    I like your big bunch of leaves stuffed in the one in your office!

    You can blame the cottage for a lot of things…good times, pleasant memories, togetherness. Ha! How cornball am I? :)

  48. I ADORE dough bowls. I had an elderly friend when i was in college who had built a gorgeous modern cape with her husband and they had filled it with lovely antiques including a dough bowl which was filled with evergreen boughs and apples at Christmas. I’m patiently waiting to find my perfect dough bowl now :0)

  49. I’ve had a dough bowl for years…currently I seem to find a cat curled up in it more than not!

  50. Not sure if mine counts as a dough bowl. I’ve always called it a tray, but it looks a lot like the ones you featured. I bought it at Target, it is definitely not vintage! I fill it with gourds every year and it stays on the table for several months. We transitioned this year as winter approached with a few pinecones in the mix.

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