The Reclaimed Knife

A few years ago, I owned a “credit-card sized foldable pocket knife” – until it broke. But the blade was good, so I decided to make a new handle.

The original knife ( is made from plastic, and will break some day due to constant folding and unfolding.

The Handle

A friend of mine had some off-cuts from their cherry tree lying around, and kindly donated a sizeable branch piece to me. Cherry wood not only has a nice color, but is also relatively hard.

I eyeballed the rough shape of the handle, so that it would fit comfortable into my hand, but also be usable for precision work. All in all, the handle is small for a knife, but very fitting for this blade in my opinion. The knife isn’t good for stabbing, prying or other grunt work – but excellent for cutting fruit or vegetables, crafting with paper, opening boxes and general household tasks.

The rough cut, with fastening bolts in place.

After the rough cut, I put in and hammered several fastening bolts, and also sanded the handle to a smooth shape. Then I used epoxy to additionally secure the blade.

Handle after sanding.

Then, I applied some wood stain and furniture wax, to harden and protect the wood.

The stained handle. I also sanded the paint off the blade to give it a more “rugged/used” look.

The Sheath

After building the knive, I made a leather sheath from an old sandal. I added a snap fastener and sewed the leather by hand, using a nail and hammer to pre-punch the holes.

The sheath, closed using the button.
The completed knive with its sheath.


All components of this project were pretty much junk at one point. A broken plastic knife, an off-cut branch, an old single sandal. But by using your DIY skills and your creativity, it is possible to create a heirloom with personality from trash. Also, do something for our planet and reduce your waste.

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