Turn an Old Knife Block into a DIY Crayon Holder

Watch This Project in Action


Do you ever walk by something at the thrift store and your brain says, “Whooooa, hold up–I can make something with THAT!!”

Well, that’s what happened when I stopped by the thrift store one day. I was walking past this section of knife blocks and inspiration hit. I’ve got a great idea for a DIY knife block! I can’t even say what that inspiration was.  I just saw all that wood sitting there and I started salivating. I just knew I was supposed to buy one. And boy am I glad I did!



Make a DIY Crayon Holder From an Old Knife Block (1)



….Because now one of those old knife blocks is a DIY knife block that holds crayons for my kids!


Turn an Old Knife Block Into a DIY Crayon Holder - Thrift Diving Blog

Materials List – DIY Knife Block

The good news is that the things you need for this project don’t cost much dinero. You may even have most of it lying around!

  • Old knife block – Find one for about $2.00 – $3.00 at the thrift store, but you can also buy an empty one from Amazon!
  • A power drill
  • 3/8 drill bit – Use the size drill bit for the thing you’re storing in your knife block. For crayons, the 3/8 bit works well.
  • Milk Paint – I used General Finishes Corinth Blue.
  • A few metal two-hole straps – About $1.50 or less.
  • Wood shims – $1.00 for a pack – Or any small, thin piece of scrap wood will work.
  • Screws – Use wood screws in the blue pack – About $2.00 or less (#10 x 3/4″).
  • Washi tape – Or you can use scrapbook paper and Mod Podge, or duct tape or anything sticky, really.
  • A couple small mini nails – To attach a wooden shim.
  • A small hammer


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DIY Knife Block Ideas: Why This Project is Easy, Easy, Easy

It’s hard sometimes when you read a blog, isn’t it? There are all these great projects, but many of them require you to have things you don’t own or can’t afford to buy, like circular saws and craft supplies out the ying yang. Plus, many of you have crappy thrift stores that offer hardly any good selection (I know!! **SOB SOB**). But this old knife block you could probably find somewhere in middle America in the worse thrift store on a little corner where no one visits :). Okay, I can’t guarantee that, but I highly doubt people are grabbing old knife blocks off the shelves of thrift stores like there is a knife block famine or something, so I bet you wouldn’t have any problem finding one to make this project! LOL

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Make a DIY Knife Block

Step 1: Paint and Drill

When drilling, you’ll want to map out where you want to place your holes. There are no rules here other than try to keep the drill straight. Because of the knife slats, the wood can chip easily if you drill too fast. Go slow. Use the tape on the drill as a stop marker so you can keep the holes uniformly deep. I think 2″ is about good.

How to make a DIY crayon holder from a knift block - how to drill

STEP 2: Cover Up Your Imperfections

….Aaaaaannnnd even when you take your time drilling, there’s always mess-ups. That’s why I added the washi tape. Putting strips of it around the holes helped to cover the knife slots and distract from the poor drilling job I did. LOL. You can use scrapbook paper and Mod Podge, or even duct tape or fabric pieces to cover up the areas in between instead, as other options.

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STEP 3: Add the Hardware

Keep a steady hand. You might want to pre-drill a little hole so that it helps it easier to get the screw in. Get creative! Add the hardware wherever your little heart desires. Here, I added one that would sit at an angle so the scissors would be angled, too.

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I put some on each side, and some on the back. I didn’t show you in this pic, but I added two more pieces of hardware at the bottom of these brush feet so that they wouldn’t slide around. I just forgot to snap of pic of it :). Forgive me!

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STEP 4: Add a Little Foot Rest

Yep, those paint brushes back there need a little foot rest to keep them from falling out. Or if you’re holding some markers or pencils back there, they will fall out without a ledge to stop them. That’s where the wood shim comes into place. Use a sharp pair of scissors or something and just score right through a thin piece of shim. Thankfully, most (if not all) knife blocks come with this little raised butt in back. LOL. It flips up and is just enough space to add a little wooden shim (you can even use an old paint stir from Home Depot). Then paint it to blend in with the rest of the crayon holder!

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STEP 5: Add the Awesome Crayons and Supplies

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More Uses – DIY Knife Block Ideas

Here are some other ideas for things to hold in your DIY knife block:

  • Markers
  • Knitting needles
  • Crochet hooks
  • Add skewers and hold spools of thread
  • Colored pencils
  • Makeup brushes

My kids loved how it turned out!

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Make a Crayon Holder from an Old Knife Block - Thrift Diving Collage




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About the Author ()

Hey there, I'm Serena, a 38-year-old working mom of 3 young boys who can't get enough DIY! If you actually made it to the bottom of this post to read this, it means you're really enjoy my blog. That means SO much. If I can inspire just one person through my passion and energy for DIY, then I'm fulfilling my life's purpose. Thanks for joining me, and I hope you'll subscribe so we can keep in touch! ~Serena

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  1. Maxine Warner-Rasheed says:

    Hi Serena, My name is Maxine from Upstate NY and I just wanted to let you know that I DID Finish the Whole Video (smile) and It was Very Inspiring. I’m Not Sure WHAT Yr. you posted the vid. (I heard you mention 2015 as being your Goal Yr), but it is 2016 NOW, so I Hope you were Able to Reach That Goal……..Many Blessings to You on Your Endeavor and Keep Doing What You Do…..I LOVE Your Work (smile, Again).

    Much Love, Maxine

  2. Judy Shepard says:

    So cute- gonna make one for grand kids!

  3. Caddie says:

    Lovely! What paint did you use? Water or oil based?

  4. Tisha Mondy says:

    Ok. So I am in process of making second one. I didn’t drill the holes on the first one because she said she would. I decided to drill the holes on this one. It is awful. It is really hard and I can’t get it to go all the way down to 2 inches. Guess I am going to have to have my husband do that part of it. I wish I could have done it all my own. The video you show makes it look so easy to drill them in. Ugh!!

  5. Tisha Mondy says:

    I did this and it turned out awesome. I donated it to the Serenity Center for their autistic kids to use. Wish I knew how to post a picture of it. I am doing a second one soon because the first one turned out so well.

  6. Dawn Andress says:

    Just made one for my colored pencils, using it to make gift tags! Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. This is SUCH a cute way to store art supplies! My son would love this! Pinning and sharing!

  8. sheryl says:

    I’d use it to hold all my crochet needles,if I didn’t already have them in a handy zip lock bag,thrown into my handy walmart cloth shopping bag holding my latest project and all the yarn I need,as well as scissors.but if I wanted something for ,say,a craft room,that would work.

  9. Nannette says:

    Found you thru Hometalk! This is a wonderful idea! Going to make one for my 3yo nephew for Christmas!
    Thank you so much for sharing your creativity!

  10. Kelly says:

    I found this link on Blog Frogs – love it! What a brilliant idea. I am now going to be on the look out for knife blocks at my local op shop (that is what we call them in Australia!) Thanks so much for sharing your brilliance

  11. I wonder if you could drill angled holes along the sides to fit even more crayons? I don’t know enough about woodworking to even know if you can drill at an angle. I see knife blocks all the time and have racked my brain for other uses. Bravo!!

    • You know, I’m sure there is a way! Do you have a kreg jig? I have a small pocket jig and I’m thinking that maybe I’ll try it on one of them! 🙂 That’s how you drill at an angle, using a jig, but it’s when joining 2 pieces of wood. I could see it working, though!

  12. Nina says:

    Soooooo cute

  13. debbie says:

    Very clever and cute!

  14. angie says:

    Awesomeness!!!! You should share with your fav local Thriftshop….they will be happy to see all those knife blocks find new homes.Very creative 🙂

  15. Ruth Martinez says:

    OMG, you are amazing, this is very pretty .
    I’ll make one for my daughter,for her makeup brushes.
    Thanks for sharing.

  16. Alys Milner says:

    I had no idea where you were going with this. That is adorable.

  17. Nina says:

    This project is very imaginative ! One could be done to house markers or art supplies for adults.
    Love it. Great job! I think that you should post it to Pinterest. I love Pinterest and I have 43 boards at present. I get great ideas from them.
    Nina from Southern California

  18. Breanna says:

    What a crazy unique idea!!

  19. Donna D. says:

    Who’da thought!? How cute and clever is that!? Sweet job!

  20. Wow Serena! That rocks! I will never look at a knife block the same way again!

  21. kathy wolfe says:

    You are such a clever and smart person. I love the creativity. Great job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Debbie E says:

    Wow! I would never have thought of that in a million years!
    You are so creative!

  23. Joan says:

    This was Way better than what I envisioned….you did a great job. Even the colors were so peppy and fun.

    This has endless possibilities. You could also make one that was just for artists’ brushes. What a great way to re-cycle something that often gets in the way on the kitchen counter.
    Makes me wish I had some of those tools. You are an inspiration.

    • Awww…thanks, Joan! Some women here have had some great ideas–even making it for crochet hooks! I LOVE that idea. I’ve got a bunch of knitting needles, and it would be nice to display them to easily change needles. I don’t knit often, but have been wanting to get back into it when I’m not sitting in front of my computer :). I think I’ll attempt one for knitting needles! 🙂

  24. Debi M says:

    Just Brilliant!

  25. Super cute! I wish I could carry you in my pocket to feed me ideas when I find stuff in stores.

    • LOL, I think I”ll have to lose about 150 more pounds for me to fit!! I can barely get off these last 10…… HA! 🙂 Just kidding! Thanks, Amber! I’ll try to keep sending ideas for everyday things I find at the thrift store!!!

  26. Gwen says:

    This is most creative!!! I love the Washi tape added. Did not know Scotch made it too. Thanks for tip on angling for scissors. This would be handy for sharpies and portable to use at a table. But I think the crayons look best. We made gifts one year. This would be a project for my three year old grandson sans sharp scissors!

    • Yes, don’t use the sharp scissors! Get the small kiddie ones. Yes, washi tape is just thin, colorful tape, and you can add it to anything to make things more decorative. I have never used it on anything before but I had gotten a free sample of it at one of my blogging conferences and decided to use it to disguise the original knife slots. 🙂

  27. Marilynn Hood says:

    Very creative, and it turned out super cute! Is Washi tape a special type of tape or just cool colored tape? I haven’t seen it before. This could be adapted so many ways–office, kitchen, etc. Thanks for getting our creative juices going!

  28. Angelena says:

    Aww! This is sooo cool! Color pencils, here I come!!!!
    : ) I will paint mine purple or lavender!

  29. Laura says:

    This is a great idea and could be a great gift for some of the little kiddos in my life! <3 it!

  30. Nita says:

    Oh, I want to come play! Here in my rural area we don’t have thrift stores and the ones in nearby towns aren’t much. Your sources look great and the way your mind works is fabulous. Keep sending ideas and inspiration our way!

  31. Beth says:

    This is super cute Serena! I see those old knife blocks all the time. Great way to reuse them!!!


  32. Ellen says:

    Very creative

  33. Cheri says:

    Great idea! Could you do something like this for make up brushes? Hmmm Christmas idea!!

  34. Carolyn says:

    Creative and fun. So appreciative of your step-by-step instructions making it possible for others to complete. Thanks for sharing.

  35. connie says:

    You did it again Serena. That is just so clever. I can see that on my desk with my set of gel pens. Or even on the counter with wooden spoons. So cool!

  36. Sara says:

    Ahh so cute I love it! I bet I could do something similar for colored pencils on my craft table….hmmm

  37. That is a super cute idea! Love it!

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