DIY Magnetic Knife Rack Tutorial

I bought a set of six knives from Costco the other day.  They are awesome, but they didn't come with covers or a knife block.  My kitchen has limited counter space (doesn't everyone's?), so I thought a magnetic knife rack would be perfect.  Another problem that my kitchen has is limited wall space!  So, my thought was to get a knife rack that is strong enough to hold the knives and stick to the fridge.  I searched around the internet a bit before I realized that nobody makes a knife rack that doubles as a fridge magnet.  Luckily for you, we did all the trial and error to figure out how to make one.  My husband was a huge help on this project, especially with the metalwork.  After a few failed gluing episodes, I think I have all the kinks worked out.  This is the result:
I love being able to display these knives, since they are so colorful.  They are also much more out of reach to my two-year-old than they were in the drawer next to the oven.  You wanna make one, too?  Here are the supplies you will need:
  • Ceramic block magnets (You can probably get these anywhere; mine were from Lowe's)
  • Strip of aluminum that is just barely wider than your magnets and long enough to go all the way around your magnets (Found at Lowe's in the "metal by the piece" section)
  • Epoxy that will bond metal and ceramic
  • Judikins Diamond Glaze (Found at most craft stores)
  • Scrapbook paper to match your kitchen
These are the tools that will be helpful for this project:
  • A vise or something to hold the metal while you bend it
  • Clamps to hold everything while the epoxy cures
  • A hacksaw or something to cut the metal
Let's get started!  First, you will need the magnets and the aluminum.
This photo shows what kind of a lip you will want the aluminum to have on the magnets.  The lip will keep your knives from sticking all the way to the magnets, which will make them much easier to get off.  Okay, first line the magnets up end to end.
Start wrapping the aluminum around the magnets by holding the metal by the magnets and marking the bends.  I found that a Sharpie pen wrote well on the aluminum.  Do each bend one at a time, marking where it should go, then bending it in the vise until it goes all the way around.  Next, cut the rest of the metal off with a hacksaw.
It may take some adjusting, mostly twisting, to get the metal to sit just how you want.  Once things look good, grab your epoxy and get gluing.  Clamp everything together to get a good bond.  We had to do this part twice to get everything completely bonded.  You can use steel wool to polish up your metal after the epoxy is set, just know that you will have to have a pneumatic blower to get all the metal shavings off the magnets.  Otherwise, you can probably peel most of the exposed epoxy off with your fingernails.
Next, get the paper and cut it to fit on top of the magnets but inside the metal lip.  This part may take some patience, but the closer the fit, the better.  Once the paper is ready, spread the diamond glaze over the entire backside of the paper and press it down onto the magnets.  If you don't get the glaze everywhere, your paper will bubble on the next step, so do your best.  Let the diamond glaze dry, usually half an hour to an hour.  
You can be done at this point if you like, but I took it one step further, and I think it made all the difference.  Fill in the top of the paper with diamond glaze.  If you have any gaps between the paper and the metal, like where the two ends of the metal meet, put some clear tape on the back to keep the glaze from running all over your counter.
As the glaze dries, it will turn clear and keep your paper protected.  If you do happen to get any bubbles at this point, you can scrape it all off and try again as long as the glaze isn't dried yet.  Otherwise, you are done!  Your magnetic knife, utensil, or whatever-else rack is complete!

Good luck!  Let me know if you have any questions.
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Kathey said...

Just visiting from homepodge (:
Will any magnets work for this project, or did you buy special super-strong ones? I would love to try this, but I really don't want my knives falling off the fridge!

Audrey @ the audzipan anthology said...

Kathey, as far as I can tell these are just normal magnets. As long as you get the ceramic block magnets that are about 1" x 2", they should be plenty strong. Once they get to that size, they are considered heavy duty.

Erin said...

I love this idea! I found your blog at the DIY Showoff. You have such great ideas and I'm your newest follower! I'd love it if you'd follow me back: http://stillwaterstory.blogspot.com/
Again, you did a fantastic job with this!! :-)

Jessie said...

I cannot run to the store fast enough to make one of these! I live in an apartment so space is tight, but I am ALL ABOUT showing off my knives AND having some extra counter space.
Great Ideas!

Melissa said...

Great Job! I am crushing on your knives! Wish I had a Costco near here!

Oh Sweet! By Norma Jeans said...

This is an awesome idea! Love it!!

Laurel {Make and Takes} said...

Thanks for this great tutorial! I should really make one of these. My son was always getting into the knife drawer so we had to put the knives way up on top of the fridge...and I can never see what I am looking for! I'd love for you to submit this to the M&T Spotlight at http://www.makeandtakes.com/spotlight

Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage said...

This is amazing!! Great tutorial!! Thanks for auditioning for OMTWI!!

Audrey @ the audzipan anthology said...

Thanks everyone! It really turned out way better than I hoped.

@Laurel, thanks for including it in your spotlight!

@Erin, thanks for the follow!

Kimbo West @ a girl and a glue gun said...

holy awesome knifes. the whole of it is AWESOME!!!!

Audrey @ the audzipan anthology said...

Kimbo, the knives really are great! They are nonstick, so they are really wonderful to use.

The brand is Pure Komachi 2, and I got my set at my local Costco.

Jori said...

You are brilliant! I just bought those same knives, now I know what to do with them. Whoohoo!! I am your latest follower. :)

Holly said...

Of course you have to display knives that fantastic...what a great idea. I am a new follower.
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Audrey @ the audzipan anthology said...

Jori and Holly, thanks for the follow!

Lsg Industrial said...

What a brilliant idea Audrey. Thanks for sharing this. I followed your blog for more DIYs.
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