Friday, March 22, 2013

Knives from turned toothpicks

Knives from turned toothpicks

Full toothpick, cut to knife length, one side shaved, both sides shaved, rough tip ready for shaping with emery board.
The blades are shaped roughly with an X-Acto knife just slaving the uncarved part of the toothpick (after it's been cut to desired blade length) down bit by bit on either side until it's a thin as possible then finishing the shaping with emery boards. Then the blades are painted silver with my Pilot pen and the handles stained with a Minwax stain marker or painted with nail polish.

(Step 1) Cut the round part of the toothpick off about 5/8" from the edge of the carved part. Rest the 5/8" part on the edge of a table or book (something hard and flat) and hold on to the carved part.

(Step 2) Using a new X-Acto blade, shave about four thin strips of wood as evenly as you can make them off the top of that piece (or until you're shaved away about 1/3 of the thickness of the toothpick). Don't try to take off too thick a layer at once.

(Step 3) Flip the piece over, lay the flat side against the table and do the same thing on the other side.

(Step 4) When you have the second side down to about 1/3 (or less) of its original thickness, you can take your X-Acto blade and cut off the end of the 'blade' at an angle to begin shaping the tip. 

Once that's done, you can again rest the "blade" flat side down and sand it smooth with an emery board. When both sides are smooth, take your emery board and sand across the blade one side at a time at an angle until you have an 'edge' to y our blade.

The blades are actually pretty sturdy and I've yet to break one but I have (more times than I care to think about) taken off way too much when I've been shaving the wood off. In which case I simply make a paring knife instead of a carving knife. LOL

Once you get going, you can make any length and shape blade you want.

1. Once the knife is completed, paint or stain the handle first. (I just finished a batch and used red nail polish to paint the handles. This way I get the colour and sheen at the same time. I've also used permanent marker and clear nail polish or gloss varnish. Or Minwax stain markers for a wooden handle. I don't advise using acrylic paint as it raises the grain of the wood and you get straggly ends. It also tends to fill in the grooves. Then stick the knife blade into floral oasis and let sit until the handle's totally dry.

2. Once dry, you can hold it by the hand while you use a silver Pilot pen to colour the blade. Then you can just put the whole thing on a sheet of wax paper until the blade is dry.


  1. Hi Maureen! These are Wonderful! What a great idea and I have added it to my Pinterest tutorial collection, as I write this! Knives are always in demand in a mini kitchen but usually non-existent except for butter knives and you can't do any serious carving with a butter knife, can you? hahha
    Beautiful project and looks like a winner! What about a sharpening steel?


  2. Thanks Elizabeth. Please note I have re-done that post. I tried to save time by cutting and pasting from my original tutorial and it looked okay originally but the formatting really got fouled up when I posted it.

    I've often thought about doing a steel but have just never gotten around to it. One of these days....

  3. Thank you for your wonderful tutorial. I'll try it.
    Hugs from Craftland

    1. Best of luck with it. It's hard to follow I think if you haven't seen one of the knives in person. So if you have any trouble following the tutorial or have any suggestions how it can be improved, please let me know and I'll try to help.

  4. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.