Quick and Easy Knife Block




With this instructable I'd like to share how to make a snazzy knife block that you can make in twenty minutes or less (not counting the time it takes to eat 42 ounces of oatmeal).  

The idea for this design came from a commercial product that used plastic rods.  Another instructabler, jliken, has posted a beautifully crafted version which you should check out ( https://www.instructables.com/id/Bamboo-Knife-Block/ ).  But if quick 'n' dirty is more your style you've come to right place.  

This knife block can accommodate any number of knives, depending on the size of the container you choose.  It also fits odd sized knives and kitchen scissors with ease.  I love the modularity and the ease of construction.  For those interested in putting more effort into the appearance of the finished product, check out the last step for other construction ideas.

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

The basic model requires a container, like this oatmeal tube, and a bunch of skewers that are as long or longer than the container is deep (Fig. 1).  Oh, and some knives to put in it, because once you've got all that you're almost done.  

The oatmeal box used is about 5 inches in diameter and I needed about 12 packs (100 count) of 10 inch bamboo skewers.  

 For the fancier version I beefed up the strength of the box's base.  I thought the cardboard base was probably too weak on its own and would deform or blow out after a while, so I used the Optional Accessories (Fig. 2) to make the base sturdier.  If you don't want to reinforce the base, skip straight to step 3.

Step 2: Reinforcing the Base

If, like me, you're worried about the long term performance of the base of your container, reinforce it!  If you're using an oatmeal box like this, simply:

Fig. 1 -Measure the diameter of the base

Fig. 2 -Mark a circle (or two) of the same size on your cardboard

Fig. 3 & 4 -Cut the circles out (and then fiddle with them til they fit nicely)

Fig. 5 -Glue them on and put a weight on 'em while they dry


Step 3: Put the Skewers In

This is also a good time to play a quick game of pick-up-sticks.  

Sure takes a lot more skewers than I thought.  I had to run back to the store three times!  Adjust the amount of skewers the knives you'll be storing in this knife block all fit in nicely; tight but not too tight.

Got the skewers packed in reasonably tightly?  Fantastic! stick a knife in it and you're done!

Step 4: Further Ideas

Here are some ideas for alternative containers that I came up to complicate a simple project.  But if your friends are making fun of you, saying that your very practical knife block is too college-share-house chic, then maybe one of these ideas will be just what you need.
I'd love to see pics of these or any others that you come up with!

Alternative Containers that might fit your interior decor better:

Cover the oatmeal box with contact paper
Paint the oatmeal box

Cut the top off of a wine bottle 

Birch bark forms nice tubes when the wood decays from the middle, would a cloth backing need to be glued around the inside to reinforce it?

A steel can

Don't use a full container at all, perhaps just two large pipe clamps would work to contain the skewers

The knife block could be mounted at an angle to easier see all the handles, or it could be mounted horizontally, e.g. under a cupboard

Have fun and post pics of what you've done!

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    14 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I expect that the skewers aren't as cheap as a box or so of 69ç speghetti which could probably work as well if not packed to tightly. Great idea of yours.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Nice idea! I'm wondering if the spaghetti might be too brittle, but when it's all packed together in the tube that might not be an issue. If you try it I'd love to know how it works.


    3 months ago

    Bamboo skewer knife blocks are brilliant. I originally saw the idea in an Instructables book and looked around to see what I'd already got that didn't involve any actual DIY! The answer was this long redundant biscuit barrel. Works really well. My tip would be: you need far more skewers than you think you will. There's about 1200-1300 in here.

    knife block.JPG

    Reply 3 years ago

    For safety? Lolwut?
    The knives go in easier due to the taper on the top of the skewers. Nobody is going to get run through by a thousand bamboo skewers on your countertop. Hah.

    I actually used a half-gallon mason jar for mine. Here are some pictures. It is still not finished, because I have to use shorter skewers to fill in the space around the inside edges of the jar, but my knife test proved the concept.

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I was going to shell out the $30 for the conventional knifeblock of this style until I started seeing DIY versions all over. Yours is one of the better ones. There is one version I saw that used a cut-off 2 liter bottle with sand in the bottom as a stablizer.

    Also, a bread crumb container or a grits tube is smaller than an oatmeal tube if you don't want to use so many chopsticks. I would most likely want to cut the tips off, I'm too accident prone to keep them.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    It would be cool to use willow sticks sharpend on the end,but not as sharp as the skewers leaving the bark on the rest and maybe use a large antiuqe Mason jar,I have a light green one that the sticks would still be visable through,it would look rustic,good instruct.Im gonna give it a try.

    1 reply

    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is a fantastic idea! The skewers are fairly cheap even if you have to buy 10packs and if you don't like the oatmeal container look, cut down a clear soda bottle or a glass jar, you could even dye the skewers with tea, coffee or food coloring... hmmm... u got the ole brain perculating....


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I have seen this done before on a cooking show, this is a brilliant idea, welldone :)