DIY Magnetic Knife Holder With a Vintage Ruler

I've seen posts about creating your own magnetic knife rack, but I decided to use something a little different for my knife holder. I also figured out a couple of tricks along the way that made this project a success!
diy magnetic knife holder with a vintage ruler, diy, how to, kitchen design, repurposing upcycling
I found this massive ruler in the corner of a garage at an estate sale. $1.00? I'll take it! It was painful to cut it, but I have a couple of other projects planned for the rest of the 4 foot ruler, so I think I'm happy with my decision.
diy magnetic knife holder with a vintage ruler, diy, how to, kitchen design, repurposing upcycling
Instead of sitting in the corner of a garage, it's now a unique, and functional addition to our kitchen.
diy magnetic knife holder with a vintage ruler, diy, how to, kitchen design, repurposing upcycling
1/2" by 1/8" thick neodymium magnets worked perfectly for this project, but boy are they strong.
diy magnetic knife holder with a vintage ruler, diy, how to, kitchen design, repurposing upcycling
I drilled holes with a 1/2" forstner bit, and the magnets fit in perfectly. I just continued to drill holes across the entire back, making sure to drill close to the thicknesses of the wood, but not through it.
diy magnetic knife holder with a vintage ruler, diy, how to, kitchen design, repurposing upcycling
As I added new magnets to the empty holes, I made sure to cover up the magnets that were already in place. If not, those magnets just wanted to jump right out of their little holes.
diy magnetic knife holder with a vintage ruler, diy, how to, kitchen design, repurposing upcycling
Those knives at the back are pretty heavy, but with the amount and type of magnets I used, it's strong enough to hold them!
diy magnetic knife holder with a vintage ruler, diy, how to, kitchen design, repurposing upcycling
Check out the full post on the blog!
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Jenny @ Refresh Living

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

7 questions
  • Francisco Cano
    on Apr 23, 2016

    Does it also hold the meat (translated from Spanish): aguanta tambien el acha de la carne

    • Mai2201198
      on Apr 23, 2016

      I would say yes! Excellent work, no? (translated from Spanish): Diría que sí! Excelente trabajo, no?

  • Doreen
    on Apr 23, 2016

    Where did you get the magnets??

    • Ste5602189
      on Apr 23, 2016

      You can buy various magnets on e bay

    • Renee
      on Apr 23, 2016

      The Container Store had them at one time.

    • Shari Allen
      on Apr 23, 2016

      Harbor Freight has them cheap. They are strong too.

    • Kerri Bishop
      on Apr 24, 2016

      Lowes and Home Depot also carry them.

    • Rebecca
      on Nov 19, 2016

      Hobby Lobby has them

    • Eileen913R
      on Feb 13, 2017

      My Mom had a janitorial firm and she bought heavy magnet incased in a medal frame that was screwed onto the vacuums fronts to pick up staples and paper clips. I'm sure if you go to a vacuum store you can use them for your knives, and they came with screw holes...

    • Andi Risley
      on Mar 31, 2017

      Omg! I've never heard of that! What a great idea for the vacuum!

    • Mary Hofstra
      on Apr 1, 2017

      Amen to that! My husband just took home a bunch of SUPER strong magnets that they were throwing away at his work. I'm going to ask him to figure out a way to attach it to the front of my vacuum! I bet vacuums last a lot longer when they don't have to pick up all those items. Now we need something that will pick up the tiny fuzzies that vacuums can't seem to suck up! They can pick up bowling balls but not fuzzies!

    • Merri Peplinski
      on Jul 17, 2017

      Hahahaaaa Mary Hofstra! You're right! Can pick up bowling balls, but fuzzies!
    • Dana Ellebracht
      on Jul 17, 2017

      J&K Magnetics is my preferred shop. They have any size you can think of.
    • Sha4775837
      on Aug 1, 2017

      CMS Magnetics, Inc. They have all kinds of magnets. Located in Dallas and you can pick up or order on line
    • Minnah Page Kreations
      on Sep 13, 2017

      Check American Science and Surplus, for all kinds of magnets (and other fantabulous stuff!!!!).
  • Liliana Wells
    on May 18, 2016

    How many magnets per knife did you use? Thanks for the tutorial.

  • Instead of nailing into my backsplash will heavy duty Command strips hold it up with about 5 knives?

    • Faith Prescott
      on Jul 19, 2017

      I dont trust command strips, they get weak after a while
    • Sylvia allsop
      on May 8, 2018

      Mine have held up. As long as the part you are using isreally cleaned well.

      Plus the command hooks are the only thing I could get to hold up any large racks on tiles in my shower.

    • Leslie
      on May 8, 2018

      I used a heavy duty double sided tape and stuck my magnet bar to the side of my fridge since it is near to my prep area. make sure the refrigerator is squeaky clean and free of dirt and grease before applying.

    • Jolene
      on May 8, 2018

      I find also that if I hold the command strip for 30 seconds (as recommended) When first adhering and then waiting at least an hour before hanging,!they really hold up for a long time! I say try it!

    • Kc
      on May 8, 2018

      Command strips may hold this project in place if you aren't messing around with it, but when you start pulling your knives off the bar I think that tugging action will bring it crashing down...knives flying everywhere!!!

    • Diane
      on May 9, 2018

      I think her whole point of doing this project was to use the antique yard stick, and with its thickness it makes sence to use the heavey duty magnets!

    • Maxine Waller
      on May 9, 2018

      Omg. I didn't even think pf that! Thank you!

    • Maxine Waller
      on May 9, 2018


  • Linda Lim
    on May 8, 2018

    How did you cover (or what did u use) to the individual magnets to prevent them from "jumping" up from their holes to the neighboring magnets?

    • Leslie
      on May 8, 2018

      Hi Linda, I would use duct tape or a heavy duty tape that sticks well to wood. The other thing I would most likely do is glue the magnets in their holes with E-6000 glue and then back the ruler with felt or any cushy fabric, Maybe a strip of leather. Be careful with these magnets they are extremely powerful and can give fingers a good bite.

    • Itsmemic
      on May 8, 2018

      you're not kidding...those magnets have really done a job on my fingers more than once.

    • Debra Wallace
      on May 11, 2018

      Where can I purchase that type of magnets? I live in Auburn, Indiana.

    • Tammy Roads
      on May 17, 2018

      It shows her covering them with one hand while placing the new magnet with the other hand.

      I love the idea about gluing them in and covering with felt or other think fabric!

  • Adele DuranGO
    on May 8, 2018

    You say you "added" magnets, but I missed HOW. Glue? What kind? If just inserted in the holes, won't they eventually pop out?

    • Tara Brown Holmes
      on May 8, 2018

      they are sandwiched between wall and ruler. they have nowhere to go.

    • Leslie
      on May 8, 2018

      Adele I would most likely use E-6000 glue and then cover with a strip of felt or leather. This type of magnet is extremely powerful and if not very secure they very well may "jump" out. :)

    • Buffy Edgar Bandley
      on May 9, 2018

      Sad, to bad the ruler had to be cut. It would have made a great conversation piece on a wall. I love old rulers .

  • Nancy Ellis
    on May 17, 2018

    What brand of kitchen knivesare those?

    • Sandra Niven
      on May 17, 2018

      They look like HINKLES ,

      German knives of very good quality. Very sharp.

      Plus a good heft & feel in your hand. Pricy too.

Join the conversation

2 of 57 comments
  • This is a fantastic idea. I WHANT to try it in a small version over my desk, but with the magnets spaced farther apart. Then use it for misc desk supplies, then put a tiny flat magnet on the back of pictures to add randomly on the board.

    Thanks for thinking idea

  • Kathy A
    on Jul 3, 2018

    Awesome job!

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