Pocket Multi-Tool for Women




About: I like sewing and crafts,and trying new things. I'm vegetarian and always looking for new recipes. My cat's name is Mirko and likes to be in the centre of things, so you will see him in several of my instr...
This idea came to me after reading a forum discussion here at Instructables regarding whether or not women carry pocket knives or scissors.  I was wondering if perhaps it was because pocket knives and multi-tools tend to look too manly.  They are often  too bulky to carry in one's pocket and not something you'd want in your purse.

When coming up with an idea for a multi-tool that women might want, I came up with the following criteria.

It needed to be:
  • Small -can fit into pocket or purse
  • Discrete, not obtrusive,
  • Looked nice
  • Functional
  • Had an assortment of tools
  • Can be made with my skill level
  • Can be created with the tools that I had available.
Here is what I came up with: a multi-tool disguised as a tube of lipstick.  In this instructable I will show you how I made it.

Step 1: What You Will Need

  • Lipstick
  • Magnetic Bit Holder Set (I picked mine up at a dollar store, it looked something like this)
  • Utility blade
  • Sugru or a thermo plastic like Plastimake
  • Nail
  • Magnifying sheet
  • Plastic wrap
  • Ruler and protractor
  • Saw
  • Epoxy glue
  • Hot Glue

Step 2: Clean and Dismantle Lipstick Tube

The lipstick tube that I used was Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick.  As I am sure you are aware lipstick tubes can vary in size and shape so you may need to try some out to see if it would work. 

Mine came apart quite easily. 
  • I first removed the top lid, then the ring labelled with the Revlon logo. 
  • Then I could pull out the silver tube from the base. 
  • Within the silver tube there was a little platform holding the lipstick that moved up and down as you twisted the base, this needs to be removed along with any residue of the lipstick. 
  • I cut off part of the bottom of the silver tube to (the white plastic bit) to provide some clearance for the tools that will be stored in the base.
  • Wipe clean the inside of the tube to get rid of any lipstick smudges as we are going to put some epoxy glue in there.

Step 3: Add Bit Holder

I used a magnetic bit holder affixed to the inside of the lipstick tube as the main tool holder for this multi-tool. The lipstick tube measures 4cm and the bit holder (after part of it was sawed off- see below) is 2.5cm, so when the holder is placed into the tube there will be some clearance at the bottom for tool storage in the base.

  • I sawed off the end of the bit holder, leaving the 'female' end.  This fits inside on the lipstick tube.
  • I needed a strong glue to affix the bit holder to the inside of the lipstick tube as well as fill in the space in between (the bit holder has a smaller diameter).  I decided to use epoxy glue since it does well gluing metal to plastic.
  • I set the lipstick tube, top side down onto a piece of plastic wrap.  I then placed the bit holder (with the holder end down) into the centre of the lipstick tube.
  • I then mixed the epoxy glue and poured it into the tube,  The glue should fill into the spaces between the holder and tube, it should just cover the bottom of the holder (don't fill up the whole tube).
  • I only had a small amount of glue squeeze out at the bottom.  After several hours the epoxy no longer flowed but hadn't completely hardened so I was able to peel of the plastic wrap and scraped off the glue that oozed out at the bottom.  Then I left it to cure completely.

Step 4: Utility Knife

To add a small blade to my multi-tool I used a utility blade from an X-acto knife and made a blade holder from Sugru that fits into the bit holder. 
  • To make the blade holder, first placed some plastic wrap into the bit holder (to prevent the Sugru from sticking). 
  • I stuffed some Sugru into the bit holder so that a small amount sticks out.
  • I then pulled the Sugru out (by pulling on the plastic wrap)
  • I added a small knob of Sugru to the side so that if will give a tighter fit.
  • Once the Sugru had cured I pushed the end of the blade into the Sugru blade holder (you might want to make the sheath first -see step 5) and placed it into the bit holder (it should make a snug fit).

Step 5: Sheath

The utility blade is really sharp!  To protect my fingers when I place/pull it out of the bit holder I made a small sheath with duct tape.  I just cut a piece of duct tape and folded several times to form a sheath.

Step 6: Ruler

I noticed that several multi-tools include a ruler.  That could come in handy and would be fairly easy to incorporate into my multi-tool.  I would use the side of the lipstick tube, it measures 1.5 inches or 3.9cm.  On one side of the tube I marked 1 inch with 1/18 inch increments.  On the other side, I marked out the centimeters with 1 mm increments. 

To do this, just place a ruler on the side of the tube and marked the increments with pen onto the tube.  I then etched these marks into the tube with a sharp edge.  To make the marks stand out more I coloured in the marks with a black felt pen.

Step 7: Protractor

Since we have a ruler, why not a protractor.  I used the top of the tube to mark the angles.  First, I traced the top of the tube onto a piece of paper then measured some angles around the circle.  I included 0,30,45,60,90 around the circle to 360.  You could also do 15
increments if you want.  I then set the tube down on the paper and marked with a pen each of the increments.  Next I etched those marks with a sharp blade.  To make the marks stand out I filled in the marks with a black felt pen.

Step 8: Magnifier

The top of my lipstick tube has a clear window, this seemed like a good opportunity to add a magnifying glass.  I used  a plastic magnifier sheet which provides about a 3X magnification.  I cut a small circle from the sheet to fit inside the lid.  It was a fairly snug fit so I just pushed it into the top of the lid and it was wedged in placed (I didn't need to glue it).

Step 9: Awl

To make an awl I used a 1 1/4 inch long nail.  When set into the bit holder the magnet holds it in place, but it needed some stability.  I used hot glue around the nail so that it doesn't wobble.  To do this I placed some plastic wrap in the bit holder then set the nail in.  Then I place some hot glue around the nail.  Once the glue had cooled, I pulled out the plastic wrap and pealed it off of the hardened glue.

Step 10: Other Tool Ideas

When starting on the project I did a bit of research as to what tools are commonly found on multi-tool sets.  The choice of tools I included in mine was based on what I though I might need.  I was also limited in that you can only fit about 4 tools into the base of the lipstick holder.

Here is a list of some other tools that you might consider:
  • Scissors                                            
  • Pliers
  • Tweezers
  • Serrated knife
  • nail file
  • Wire cutters
  • Can/Bottle Opener
  • Safety whistle
  • Mirror
  • Light
  • Flint
  • Pen/pencil
Some of these may not be easily incorporated into my multi-tool design such as the scissors, pliers and tweezers.  And some things like the mirror, tweezers and nail file you may already carry in your purse.  The bottle opener seems like an obvious choice to include, but for me personally I tend not to drink any beverages requiring a bottle opener.  Another item, the safety whistle, was something that I really wanted to include in multi-tool (since it is an important item for women to carry with them) but unfortunately I couldn't think of a way how to do it.  If you have any ideas or suggestions or criticisms please leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you.
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    94 Discussions


    5 years ago

    I think this is an amazing idea. I can't believe the people on here attacking sexism and things of that nature. The comment section is for comments on the ible, not to debate over sexism. You should be proud of yourself, this is really fabulous.

    2 replies
    Althea MaeH

    3 years ago

    I ABSOULTLY LOVE THIS!!!!!!! I'm not sure why this is causing so much controversy... if a woman doesn't want to carry a swiss army knife or a hammer in her hand bag, I agree with her!!! (I actually did carry my hammer in my purse with me for 8 months when ever I left my house, but then, I was a 7-year-old girl who had just gotten her first tool.... but those things are HEAVY!!!) This is a great idea, and one I will be trying right away....

    p.s. I dont see this a statement on gender or whatever... all this is is a very cool and creative idea...


    4 years ago

    this is pretty cool I'm tempted to make it for my wife I bought her a multitool with scissors and she loves that so probably this too


    5 years ago

    I've never really considered tools as having a gender. The lipstick is a handy vessel for a multi-tool but it's not something I would want. Perhaps some women would like it but I can see how it might be perceived as sexist by others. You say tomato... :-)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I. LOVE. THIS.

    I tend to remix my own lip color pallets, so I have a bunch of these lipstick containers left over all the time. I also can never remember where I put my exacto knife or my interchangeable screw driver. This solves it all--it's in my pocket!



    6 years ago on Introduction

    I think this is a clever idea. The main reason I would want it would be so my husband wouldn't end up "acquiring" it, as he has some of my other tools. BTW, he gave me my own power screwdriver for Christmas.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    That is the great thing about it, guys probably wouldn't want to carry around lipstick even if it is a tool.

    I wonder if there would have been so much discussion if this were just called 'Make Your Own Multi-Tool'. You call it a 'multi-tool disguised as a tube of lipstick' but it could just as easily be a multi-tool encased in a lipstick tube...which could be decorated with sparkly unicorns or spray painted matte black - depending on one's taste.
    Regardless of gender, making your own multi-tool is a great idea, and a lipstick tube is a great choice for a casing (lightweight, inexpensive and comes with a cover). Awesome project!

    1 reply

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Clever, but at the same time, I can't get past the idea that women might not carry tools because they "look too manly." Have we really not made any progress????

    4 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    TBH "my woman" doesn't carry tools because she doesn't know how to use them! Not being nasty but she just doesn't.

    That said it's a great idea for those women that would like to carry tools in a "lady-like" way.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Have tried, taught her to solder and change a mains plug, even got her through he ham radio ticket (Intermediate) but she is, by her own admission, "not good at this sort of thing".

    Get her in the bedroom and it's a different matter!!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    "...it's a different matter!!" . So she's great at making beds, vacuuming, arranging pillows, and such like, huh MW0GKX?