DIY Knife Holder: Flea Market Inspired

Do you have any items in your home that are beyond their usefulness yet you still keep them around? That’s how it’s been with my wooden knife holder. I’ve owned it for at least 15 years and it’s seen better days. When I saw a creative DIY knife holder in a recent issue of Flea Market Style magazine, I knew a change was on the horizon. (This post contains affiliate links.)

Do you like home projects that cost no money and only take minutes to complete? Me too! Seriously, I think this kitchen project took me less than 15 minutes to tackle. Everything I needed I already had on hand, so no money left my purse.

Make a knife holder for your kitchen with vintage books.


Here’s my old knife caddy. It’s beat up and my largest knife doesn’t even fit in it. About half my knives are stored in a utensil drawer because they don’t fit either. I haven’t been able to get new knives due to lack of storage. But that’s all changed now.

Old wooden knife holder gets replaced with a DIY knife holder


I have too many books in my home, but I hate to get rid of any of them. I use them to prop up lamps and plants and use them for decorating. When not in use I have to find a place to store them. So for me, it was a no-brainer to create a DIY knife holder using vintage books. I gathered a variety of colors – it would’ve been a neat idea to use old cookbooks, but I didn’t have enough of them that I no longer use.

Vintage books become DIY knife holder


Once you choose your books, arrange them in a pleasing color palette. Cut a piece of rope or twine long enough to wrap once or twice around the stack of books.

Vintage books become DIY knife holder


Tie a simple decorative knot or bow. Be sure not to pull the rope or twine too tight. You want your books to have a little breathing room so you can comfortably slip a knife between the pages.

Vintage books become DIY knife holder


You can see that I’m able to fit all of the knives into my new DIY knife holder. Not only that, but I’ve got room to spare when I buy new knives. Some of my knives are a little old and should be replaced. If six books aren’t enough to house your knife collection, just add another book or two!

DIY Knife Holder made from vintage books


My DIY knife holder made from old books adds more character to my farmhouse kitchen than the old caddy.

DIY Knife Holder made from vintage books

Sometimes it’s little touches like this that add personality to your living spaces. And when they’re free – all the better.

I’ve kept a lot of old issues of magazines, and I still thumb through them for inspiration. You never know what you might find to inspire you!



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  1. What a cute idea. My knife holder still looks fine but I might have to change it just because it has no character ????

  2. Carol Paulus Kalis says:

    This is genius!!! Plus…it is so cute. Thank you for sharing.
    Carol Paulus-Kalis

  3. This is a great idea. Looks cute, serves a great purpose. I like it.

  4. Very clever. I bet it looks perfect in that cute kitchen of yours!

  5. What a clever idea! It just suits your kitchen…well done!

  6. Very cute, Good you can never have too many books. Oh, wait, you can. Ask my kid’s about our last move.

  7. erika wilson says:

    What a fabulous idea………luv it.

  8. This is such a cute idea. My daughter loves books so much and I think I might have to make this for her kitchen. Thanks for sharing. Going to pin this.

  9. One of the best ideas ever. If you wanted things more “decorative,” you could cover the old books with wallpaper or contact paper to match your kitchen decor. Personally, I like them in their original form.

  10. Marlene Stephenson says:

    This is simply the cleverest idea. I love it, thanks Jennifer.

  11. Pat MIller says:

    Carol took the word right out of my mouth…GENIUS!! Thanks for sharing!
    Another great idea for old books!

  12. I am in love with this knife holder!! So cool!

  13. Christine says:

    Gives new meaning to the word “papercut”!
    I love this idea…so cute and practical!

  14. Love this idea! So creative.

  15. How simple and easy DIY idea it is. So great. Thanks for sharing!

  16. This is such a fun way to reuse old books that you will not be reading any more. It also adds tons of character to the kitchen.

  17. Love the way your mind works. I love working with book for DIY projects, this is so cool.

  18. This looks so good! I do have a question, tho. Aren’t knife racks meant to sharpen your knives each time they are removed & placed back? Just wondering if the books would be a determent to that.

  19. I’m thinking ‘Murder Mysteries’ would work well!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. sacrilege. Books are to be read, learned from, not cut up.Shared with friends, donated to thrift stores etc, when no longer needed.

    • These books were not cut up in any way. She literally just stuck knives between the pages. I thought that was obvious, but I guess not…

  21. sylvia turrell says:

    Great idea.
    But it’s a bit of a grease collrctor, no? Maybe varnish the covers and twine……………

  22. I have a knife drawer in my kitchen, but this would be good for the paring knives, might try this for them !!!

  23. So clever & simple! I love this idea!

  24. Nancy chase says:

    Is this sanitary and safe with old books and lead?

  25. A really great idea! Love it!!!

  26. Love this but you might want to put it on top of a board so long knives don’t hit your countertop

  27. This seems hardly sanitary. Maybe apply washable self-adhesive foil to the pages you want to put your knives in between?

  28. I can’t figure out if this is serious or if the author is trolling everyone.
    First off, why waste old books on something like this? You are destroying them. Please don’t use old books in perfectly good condition for something like this.
    Secondly, how do you keep your knives sharp when you are continously putting them into paper, which will dull them?
    I just really don’t see why anyone would do this. You could always just take a photo of book bindings you like, put it on foam core, tie the twine around, and then attach it to your actual knife holder block to camoflauge it instead, and that way you aren’t destroying perfectly good books for a craft project. Not to mention that the knife holder is actually made to hold knives. Books are not.

  29. What! Books should never be used like this!If you have too many books donate them don’t abuse them. Good grief

  30. Cute
    But will you dull the knives, slipping them through the paper?
    After all, a butter knife will do the same job as a dull knife.
    And since there is no place for the sharpening hone…you are not doing yourself any favors just being cute.

  31. I love this idea. I have old books coming apart at the spine that would make a perfect knife holder. THANK YOU.

  32. P f jackson says:

    Looks like a murder mystery to me.

  33. Wow I find it incredible that anyone thinks they have the right to belittle someone for using something THEY OWN in a way that is pleasing to them. How dare she use HER books to decorate HER house.. Really people get a life!!!… SERIOUSLY Sacrilege ??? These are not first edition collectors items. They are simply books she no longer used…

    I love your creativity and I might have to copy! Please keep posting!

    • I was thinking the exact same thing but you commented first.
      If people don’t like this idea then simply don’t make it but keep the snarky comments to youself.
      I think it is a nice diy idea for a country kitchen.

    • Right on Pat and Victoria. Some people are so snooty! If you don’t have anything nice to say, then shut up!

      • Agreed ๐Ÿ˜‚ who knew that some folk would have such strong opinions, so strong that they’d happily insult someone, over a knife block! It is quite hilarious.
        I love books I have lots….too many really…. and I love this idea! Sacrilege, not sanitary? Oh come on, unless there’s a serious issue with someone’s immune system most folk can healthily bat off the everyday pesky little organisms and other invaders that enter our system.
        How many of us book lovers have books on our shelves that are there just because we love seeing them there? Well…thesebooks are still there..theyre just being given a function as well as being a pleasure to see. And….if you want to read them again they can still cut it:)

  34. I like it and if you have old books you aren’t using then why not. If you take the books to the thrift store they will take them to the dump in a few months if they don’t sell anyways. Dulling the knives is not a big deal either, it would take a lot of time for that to be an issue. Since I hone my knives every 3rd use and sharpen once a year it would never be an issue for me.
    Much more interesting that a knife block.

  35. Many people who buy books at a thrift shop want them for craft projects. So why not use them for crafts yourself? This is not Fahrenheit 451 after all! Most knife holders don’t include a knife sharpener. I don’t know about the comments saying that the paper pages will dull the knives. It could be true…but is it any worse that having the knives rattling around in a drawer?

  36. Bicka Hall says:

    Looks cute but is it good for the knives? Seems to me the knives would get dull when you push and pull them out of the pages.

  37. I just made mine last week. I glued the covers of the books together and then used decorative hemp twine. Wish I could share my picture.

    • After the books are glued together we could put modge podge over the outside to protect and make it easy to wipe off.

  38. Marianne Aldrich says:

    Oh my gosh. This is really cute but I can’t help thinking about how every old book is its own ecosystem…. very much the opposite of clean!

  39. I absolutely love this!!

  40. That looks so cool, but not very sanitary, with the years of page turning.

    • Germs don’t live that long. I don’t think I’d want to go pick something up at Goodwill and use it right away, but if you already have them…

      And all this talk about “sacrilege” is just silly. It’s an inanimate object people.

      Super cute idea, btw!

  41. Ruth and Melissa are the nitwit Sacrilege Police. Why not use what is yours to make something useful. Reusing old books for things like this is a great idea. I am going to make my holder from my1980 shorthand books and some old romance paperbacks too. Do you think that is sacrilege? LOL I would use mod podge and also mount on a board .

  42. I am really torn with this one. Super cute! However my first thought was ewww, germs. Secondly, I discovered by accident that D.V. shelters beg for books so I donate my old ones there. I will, however, have to give this some thought. I am sure that I can come up something that will look like books but will answer MY personal concerns. I love the idea of ‘cook books’ being the titles showing..Thanks for the inspiration!

  43. Deanna Mayes says:

    What a great idea! I only had to use one huge book of knowledge it’s bigger than an encyclopedia! Works for all of my large knives. I also would love to use my collection of old cookbooks but you can’t buy them anymore so maybe next time I’m thrift shopping I’ll look for some that might not be possible if I find them I’ll probably want to use them nothing like the old one’s especially Betty Crocker all my kids now call to ask Betty lol

  44. R Carpenter says:

    Donโ€™t get me wrong, I think itโ€™s a super cute idea ๐Ÿ˜. I was thinking of the sanitary aspect of it like another commenter. Iโ€™m also wondering if the books would fray after a while?

  45. I work in a library and, just as cautionary advice, would like to throw out there that, as cute as this is…book pages are notoriously dirty and full of germs.

  46. This is a very attractive idea instead of the standard knife block. Since it has been a while since you posted this, I am wondering how it held up and if you could add an update with pictures to your post. Please and thank you!

  47. My mom was a college English professor and when she passed away at age 85, I ran out of places to donate her books. Even the thrift stores said, “No more.” I trolled Pintrest to find ideas using old and new books. This is a great idea! You are not destroying the book. You can undo the rope anytime and take the books out, and if they are put together loosely enough, the knives should slide in and out without dulling the blades. I am about to make one for my house, one for our beach condo, gifts for my daughter-in-law and granddaughter and make a dent in some more of those books. Thanks for such a great idea!

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