Very recently I took up woodwork as a hobby. After getting my hands on what seemed to be some decent wood I decided to practise finishing on a simple project like a cutting board.
What you will need
Some hard wood. At least two different species.
How to do this project
I got my hands on some wood. After some research found it to be kiaat and oak. But you can use any variant of hardwood you can get hold of that gives you different colours and grains.
I used a table saw I borrowed (because as I said I only recently took up the hobby and tools are expensive) to cut the wood to size. You can pretty much cut whatever variant of wood that gives you the pattern you want to use. I cut (roughly) 2x 100x400x45 kiaat and another 2x 35x100x45 kiaat. I then cut 2x 10x100x45 oak and used a thin strip of meranti I had lying around. Don't stress if the wood is not exactly the same height at this stage.
I glued them together. I placed glue on the one side that wood that would be joined with another piece of wood and just spread it evenly with my finger. And placed the pieces together on a flat surface. After doing this with all the pieces I clamped it with some f clamps I picked up at the hardware store. (Note my clamping jig needs attention but I did not have enough clamps). Follow the instructions on the glue to allow enough time before sanding.
After glue has joined the wood firmly. I used a belt sander I picked up at a pawn shop to level it out. Ideally you would use a planer first but I don't have one so just had to sand a bit longer. I leveled it with a 60 grit and then just ran over it with a 150.
I used a table saw just to cut the board square along its width and the just finished it with my orbital sander with a 240 grit paper. (I also added a profile around the top using my router, this is optional but if you decide to do so you can once again use any shape bit you feel would look nice)
Lastly I oiled the board with some food grade mineral oil. Once again follow the instruction on container for coats ect.