DIY Knife Garden – A Universal Knife Holder

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Have you seen those bamboo universal knife holders, where you just plop in a knife? It’s a pretty cool idea.  I’ve seen a lot of projects on Pinterest that try to replicate them, but they all use bamboo skewers or broom bristles. I wanted to make my own, but didn’t like the idea of either of those.  The skewers seemed to0 stiff, and something about using broom bristles to hold my knives just didn’t sit right with me.  Neither option gives you a lot of color choices.

So I instantly had an idea:  SPAGHETTI NOODLES!
They are thinner than bamboo skewers and don’t require a saw, and they don’t have that ick factor that the broom bristles do.  Spaghetti is a little bendable -PERFECT!- and you can make it any color you want.  I was dying to put this idea together.  I must say I’m pretty happy with the results!! 🙂



The Supplies
1.  sturdy container
2.  spaghetti noodles
3. several gallon size or larger Ziploc type bags
4. rubbing alcohol or vinegar
5. liquid food coloring
6. cookie sheets or hard floor
7. aluminum foil or an old water proof tablecloth
8. paper towels
9. kitchen scissors
10. knives!

When you pick out a container, it MUST be taller than your longest knife blade measuring from INSIDE the bottom of the container to the top edge.  This way you won’t break the tip of your knife or cut the bottom of your container when you plop in in there. It can be any shape – round, oval, square, or rectangle, but should be the same shape and diameter from top to bottom.  It should not be graduated or curve in or out.  Make sure it is wide enough to hold all of your knives. This is a great way to recycle – can you say oatmeal container?? 🙂
2. I suggest getting regular spaghetti.  Thin and angel hair might break easily during the dying process.
3. To make this project SUPER easy, don’t dye the spaghetti!! There, I just saved you a ton of time!  But come on.. you know you want to dye it!  So many pretty color options to match your kitchen!! 🙂
4.  Works best if you can work by a window on a slightly breezy day.

Ready??  Let’s make a Knife Garden!!

Start with a clean container.  Make sure it is THOROUGHLY dry.  Start filling it up with spaghetti.  Stop when it’s full, and gently dump it out.  Add a couple good handfuls more to your pile.  This is in case you break any or don’t get them flat enough to dry.  It’s great to have extra, and not have to start at the beginning!

EVENLY divide your spaghetti into Ziploc type bags.  Don’t overcrowd, just do whatever fits comfortably.
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Pour enough rubbing alcohol (or vinegar) into each bag to cover the spaghetti. Try to put the same amount into each one. If you use vinegar, pull your spaghetti out at the first sign of it going soft.  Add your food coloring.  Put the same amount in each bag and use a lot! I used about 40 drops per bag.  Squirt it into the rubbing alcohol, not directly on the spaghetti. Remember, you can combine colors here!  If you’re using lighter colors, you will need a lot of food coloring.  Darker colors like blue and red probably only need 10 drops per bag.  You can always add more later if you want it darker.  You could also do a different color per bag, and make a multicolored garden!

Now seal your bag and put it inside another bag.  We don’t want any leaks! Slowly shake and turn the bag to mix in the coloring and saturate the spaghetti. Put it down flat for 30 mins, shake it around again, and put it down on its other side for 30 mins.  Keep doing this until the spaghetti is the color you want. You’ll be surprised how vibrant the color will get each time you check on it. You should be done in 1-3 hours.  Don’t let it sit too long – your coloring solution will start to look murky and your spaghetti might stick together as they dry.

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Line cookie sheets with aluminum foil and top them with paper towels.  Or put down a large waterproof tablecloth on the floor and put paper towels on top of that.  You could also put a layer of aluminum foil in between the tablecloth and paper towels.  We are trying to spare our drying surfacing of food coloring.

You could use gloves for this next part if you want.  Take your spaghetti out of the bags and lay it FLAT on your drying surface.  Make sure you let as much excess coloring solution as you can drip into the bag before you move it to the paper towels.  Don’t layer your spaghetti more than a few layers.
Now let it dry!  You can help this along by opening a window and letting in a cool breeze.  Also ‘stir’ your spaghetti every once in awhile.  Just rake them with your fingers to help roll them around.

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Once your spaghetti is COMPLETELY dry, start putting it in your container.  I used a square glass vase and found it easiest to lay it on its side to fill it.  That way all the spaghetti went in nice and straight.

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Flip up your container.  Shake it around or do whatever you have to do to get it all to fit right.  You want it mostly packed, with a little bit of wiggle room.  Put your knives in to find the right density of spaghetti.  Fill or take out what you need.

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Now it’s time to do some landscaping on our Knife Garden!  Use a kitchen scissors or a very sharp scissors to trim the top.  I found it easiest to tip it on its side over the kitchen sink, because those trimmings will fly everywhere! If it’s on its side, the trimmings won’t go down into the container either! Make it as even or uneven as you want, but make sure the spaghetti doesn’t stick out much more than an inch from the top.   If the spaghetti goes much higher than the container, your knives might fall out since the handles make them top-heavy.

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photo101 photo102
Plop your knives in, and admire your new garden!

(make sure your knives are completely dry each time you stick them in)

I love how compact this is. Those angled knife blocks take up a lot of room, especially if you have teeny kitchen like me!

Here are some other examples of how you could dye your spaghetti.  I really like the ones on the left. Maybe I’ll make a garden for my craft desk to hold some of my jewelry tools.  You don’t just have to limit it to knives!

I would love to see your Knife Gardens! Post a link in the comments!

Remember, if you post about this project, please be sure to give me credit and link back to me or grab a button from the sidebar. Thanks!


Filed under DIY - Do It Yourself, Free Tutorials, Kitchen, Kitchen Makeover on a Budget

16 responses to “DIY Knife Garden – A Universal Knife Holder

  1. Very cool! Thanks for linking up at My World 🙂

  2. lorijohnston836656258

    That’s a super cute and great idea. Did you just use a glass vase for your container?

    Lori @ A Bright and Beautiful Life

  3. Vanessa

    Very cool! Clever idea 🙂

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  5. Love this, and I love the colors! Much better than a wooden block.:) Thanks so much for linking up to Inspire Me Wednesday!

  6. oh my! you are absolutely the coolest, I’m so glad I found you, I love this idea! 🙂 Michelle

  7. Pingback: Six Dollar Kitchen Countertop Transformation | craftandrepeat

  8. Absolutely love this idea!! Thanks for sharing!!

  9. Mel

    Seriously awesome, what a fantastic idea, thanks for sharing

  10. I love this. It looks super classy, but it’s cheap! Huge fan. Thanks for linking this up last week at the pin it proudly link party. I pinned it on pinterest I can’t wait to see what you link up this week! here’s the link to this weeks party

  11. Thanks for sharing! I have been looking for a diy way to make a light weight knife block in blue for my blue caravan. This will do the trick! Can’t wait to try.

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