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. I was so happy when I found your post and party. I’m not sure mine are really dough bowls, but they have the right shapes, so…. That large one you have is just beautiful. What a deal.

  2. You blame the cottage and I blame you! When I read the title to your post I didn’t think I’d be interested but by the time I got to the end (including watching the video) I was smitten. They’re lovely and you got such a good deal. Congrats!

  3. I love the wood of the bowl mixed with white ceramic pieces and clear glass pieces in an arrangement. Wow, those from Pottery Barn are huge! Love em!

  4. I just saw a doughbowl (I didn’t know that’s what they were until I read your post just now) on another website filled to the top with crayons in the middle of the dining table… of course I can’t find the link now. There’s just something about a vessel filled with crayons that sparks creativity!!

  5. Just found the link to the dining room at Holly Mathis Interiors… A beautiful room, too!

    Just found the link… scroll down to see the pics :-)

  7. I LOVE those! I had no idea what they were called… or that they even really had a name! Now, I’ll have to keep my eye out!
    I love to decorate with touches of warm wood to balance the white white white that I’m mostly drawn to.


  8. I love your yours!!! I have a PB outlet near me here in SC but I haven’t had luck finding the dough bowls. I find all kinds of other awesome stuff from there though!! Can’t wait till the weather warms up to hit up some flea markets!

  9. Thought this might be of interest:

  10. I have a big dough bowl on my coffee table..I add things all the time! I tried to find a link but couldn’t find one! They are super FUN!

    sandy toe

  11. I love these bowls and wish I could afford them. You may have shared this before…but where did you get your blue pottery/ceramic lamps?

  12. Your home is beautiful Nester! I had never heard of dough bowls before this. What a lovely idea and so versatile. Thank you for the inspirations.

  13. The Cottage is still haunting me with its simplicity and the dough bowl plays a big part in that. Thanks for sharing how you got them!

  14. I love these dough bowls and the decorating ideas seem to be endless. You have a lovely home. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Oh my, I have several of these style bowls my husband bought in Africa a few yrs back! I’m always begrudgingly using them, not quite sure what to do with them. Now you’ve given them new purpose & style. Can’t wait to start dotting them around my house again!

  16. I love that really large dough bowl! Beautiful piece. I could use about 20 of them as well! :)

  17. How funny! A reader just told me about this post–I posted on these bowls today. Great minds think alike, I suppose :) Your’s looks great, btw.

  18. You got a great deal! Yup. I do love that dough bowl. :) Looks great! ~ karen

  19. I use a newer dough bowl to make bread. But, the older ones always fascinate me. I think off the women of the past who used them to nourish their families. I’d love to have one someday!

  20. Love them! I may have to find one for myself now that I see how many ways I can use them!

  21. Your dough bowl looks absolutely beautiful between the two lamps… wow!


  22. My sister in law’s uncle makes these bowls and gave us one. It’s on the sofa table with shells, that we collected on the beach during Christmas, a natural sponge and a sand castle in it.

  23. We just went to a restaurant this past weekend that had a big one filled with wine corks. Pottery Barn has outlets? I had no idea! Off to Google one now!

  24. Oh yeah!!! Somone else who loves dough bowls as much as I do. I must say, I am completely jealous of your collection. You inspire me to shop!!!

  25. Love these, friend! Mine usually sits empty under a sideboard until I pull it out for an infant photo shoot! Then, I put a cute adorable baby in it!!! While I wait, I can borrow some of your great ideas!
    I found mine at a yard sale while I was running! They wanted a dollar for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I ran home as quickly as possible, grabbed a dollar and ran back for that bowl! It’s a treasure!

  26. Way cool – I’m on a mission… and your shirt is to die for! Do tell!

  27. They are beautiful. Looking at your photos, I realized that I had one and gave it away, not knowing what it was, when I inherited it after my mother passed away. Such a bummer! But I will start keeping my eyes open for one now. Thanks for sharing!

  28. Love it! I fell in love with Holly Mathis’ dough bowl full of crayons on her table!! I totally plan to copy that idea once I get my hands on a dough bowl. Thanks for even more inspiration!

  29. Oooooh Im so envious, I want some of those!! We are coming along with the cottage, hoping to be in by March!

  30. Well..look at it this way, you can always use the bigger one as a cradle if you have another baby!!! Lol

  31. Lucky girl! What a bargain you found. This is the first I’ve seen or heard of dough bowls or wooden trenchers and already I want one.

  32. I love the simplicity of that Lg rustic bowl with your modern table and other decor!! Beautiful!

    PS. Hey do you ever get the PB Outlet coupons? They are fun!:)

  33. Those are gorgeous! Love trenchers&bowls,all shapes&sizes. I have a dear friend since grade school that has a beautiful collection. Her one sister is in TN & they used to make a family event of hunting goodies. ;) if you’re impatient, she has a collection of repro handmade in USA in her shop website and am sure she has contacts for new&antique all sizes&shapes. I think she has the trencher shape in her shop, come to think of it. With all the things I promised Mom I would care for of her treasures, can’t even gonna look at the bowls&trenchers anymore. :) -s-

  34. That is too funny, you posted this! I just bought that dough bowl on the left hand side (Primitive Early…) from Etsy. Then I saw your post & said, ” Hey there’s my bowl!!!” I can’t wait to get her! ;)
    Love love love dough bowls! I was just at a local antique mall & they had a trencher like yours & they were asking $245, yikes!! You got an awesome deal on your two!

  35. Thank you for this. I have my grandmother’s well-worn dough bowl. She died in 1928 after an emergency c-section…the first in her rural area and well before antibiotics were available. I treasure it and this linky inspired me to actually put those thoughts together.

  36. Love this post! I have a large dough bowl that came from a dear friend and antique dealer. I have no idea of its monetary value, but that doesn’t matter, anyway. :) I am happy to see your ideas for how to use it–besides just for fruit.


  37. Looking for an antique dough bowl and don’t want to break the bank? I have more than a hundred in stock at!

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