8 Innovative Ways To Repurpose Your Old Knife Block

Having knives on hand is obviously important in just about any kitchen, but it's equally important to find a way to store them where they're both safe and accessible. One of the most common ways to do this is through investing in a knife block. Many knife sets already come with these storage blocks included, but they're not your only option. If you're trying to find a way to make the most of a small kitchen, a bulky knife block can take up valuable counter space. Additionally, knife blocks on the counter can present a hazard if you have children that can reach, so it's often best to stow them away somewhere that's a bit more difficult to access.

If you find yourself reevaluating your knife storage, however, don't be so quick to toss your old block into the garbage. Few homeowners regularly upcycle items in their home, despite the fact that this can help reduce waste, give you a chance to get creative, and even help you save money. A knife block might seem like a single-use purchase, but with a change in perspective, you can use it as a base for a wide variety of projects. Knife blocks are typically made of high-quality wood, so they're surprisingly durable and present plenty of upcycling opportunities if you have the correct tools on hand.

1. Cookbook stand

Cooking is an often messy process, so having a place to prop up your cookbook so it's out of the way while still visible can be a major help. To make your cookbook stand, take an old knife block, and attach a cutting board to the angled side. Add a piece of trim or a small scrap of wood along the bottom to help support the book, and you're good to go. After everything is assembled, you can also give the entire thing a fresh coat of paint and add on some decorations if you want a piece that vibes better with your kitchen.

2. Trailer chock

When you're storing a trailer or RV, especially if you're working with an angled surface, adding a chock under the wheels can help prevent them from rolling around and moving unnecessarily. This piece is incredibly simple — typically just a triangle of heavy-duty material — so in a lot of cases, you can easily make your own with what you have in the house. Despite being designed for an entirely different purpose, a knife block is the perfect triangular shape for the job, and can handle a fair amount of wear and tear even when exposed to the elements. 

3. Crayon holder

Crayons can be easily transported and organized in the original box they came in, but after a few trips riding around in bag, it's not uncommon for them to rip or refuse to stay closed. For a more permanent solution, consider making a knife block crayon organizer. Take your existing knife block and drill crayon-sized holes along the top surface to give each and every crayon its own place, making sure to not go very deep. This way, you'll know exactly what colors you have and you can rest assured that they won't get lost or broken.

4. Paint tool holder

You may not be using your block for kitchen knives anymore, but there are plenty of other crafting tools that can fit into the existing slots. Some of the most popular, of course, are palette knives that are used to mix paint and add texture to your canvas. These tools are flat and have handles just like your kitchen knives, so they slip perfectly into place without you having to do any extra drilling or sawing. You can keep this block by your easel or on a utility cart with the rest of your paints so you have easy access to your tools.

5. Thread organizer

Storing rolls of thread can get messy, especially when you're dealing with tiny bobbins for machine sewing, but a kitchen knife block can provide an organizational solution with a bit of modification. You'll need wood filler, wood glue, dowels, and a drill. Begin by filling the existing holes in your knife block with wood filler to create a smooth surface, then re-drill holes with a slightly wider diameter than your dowels. Place the dowels in the holes and secure with wood glue. Once everything is dry, you'll be able to use the dowels to hold your spools and bobbins in one convenient and easy-to-access place.

6. Tablet stand

Tablets, from e-readers to learning pads, are becoming popular with just about every group of people out there because of their portability and large screens. If you're missing the hands-free experience of a laptop, however, consider making a stand so you can watch shows or read books without having to constantly hold your device. Take an old knife block and add an edge on the angled side made of scrap wood or trim. The angle will ensure you can still see the screen, and the ledge will provide more security so you don't have to worry about your tablet slipping off and potentially getting damaged.

7. Faux flower display

Decorating the home with flowers is one of the easiest ways to freshen up a space and bring in some springtime cheer, and it becomes even easier when you invest in faux stems rather than having to swap out the real deal after they wilt. If you're looking for something more unique to display them in rather than a vase, however, consider using an old knife block. The pre-cut slits in the wood are the perfect size to slip in some thin wire stems, and the slight angle can help to make each flower you pick for your bouquet more visible.

8. Desktop organizer

If you like the idea of creating your own crayon storage but want to take it up a notch, consider making your own desktop organizer out of a knife block. Fill the existing holes in with wood filler, then drill new holes to store whatever office or crafting supplies you most frequently reach for, like scissors, pens, and paintbrushes. From there, add on a couple cups on either side to really boost the amount of organizational room you have available. This idea is great for kids' crafting stations, but it can also do a fantastic job as an addition to your home office.