Select a board: Start by choosing a large cutting board, platter, or cookie sheet to assemble on.
Choose bowls: Next, choose 3-5 small bowls of varying sizes.
Place the bowls first: To assemble, start by placing 3 bowls on your surface. You can either group 3 bowls together like in the photos, or you can space them in a rough zigzag pattern.
Arrange items in clusters: Start filling in the space around the bowls with little clusters of items (i.e. a pile of grapes, a pile of meat, etc). This is a fluid process - be flexible and feel free to move things around as you go until it looks good.
Balance colors: As you fill the board, try to situate similar colored items across from each other to visually balance the platter. For example, we have white chocolate pretzels across from the white mozzarella. We have dried cranberries across from the red strawberries.
Fan items: Be sure to use a fan pattern for some items to take up space. The best items to fan are slices of cheese, crackers, and meat.
Pause and look: As the board begins to fill, step back and look. If anything is looking funky, just take it off and place it somewhere new. With a bit of practice, you'll develop an eye for what looks good.
Go back for final touches: Last, once the board is mostly full, go back and add a few of the same items across from each other. For example, in our board we sprinkled chocolate mint star cookies in two places, and we added strawberries in two places. This helps pull the whole board together.