How to Build a Knife Display Case

Updated February 21, 2017

Building a display case, to show off your collection of knives, is relatively easy, if you know how. It is true, collecting knives may seem like an out of-the ordinary hobby to some, but to those who do, it's an interesting and exciting one. However, most knife collections usually land up in drawer chests, rather than displayed in a wall-mounted, case that will not only justify their beauty, but reflect the collector's sense of style and taste, too. Follow these steps to create your own.

Purchase a rectangular (or square-shaped) wooden frame from a furniture store near you. Choose a size that will be suitable for the number and size of knives you wish to display.

Arrange the knives on the backer board in the manner you wish to display the knives.

Measure the inside of the wooden frame or case. Use the framing square and pencil to mark an outline on the backer board, all around the knives. Ensure that there is enough space on all four sides around the knives.

Cut the backer board, along the outline drawn using a table saw.

Upholster the backer board. Cut the padding to a size about 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch than the (cut) size of the backer board. This will permit overlapping of the padding and cover fabric on all four sides of the backer board.

Cut the cover fabric 1 inch or 2 inches larger than the (cut) size of backer board. Spread the right side of the fabric down and then place the padding over it at its centre. Now set the backing board atop both, and then carefully trim the corners. Overlap the backer board with the padding and fabric cover, then firmly glue or tape both to the backer board.

Drill the required number of holes through fabric, padding and board to bolt or screw in suitable, metal or wooden knife hangers. Alternatively, you may use brass cup hooks, if you wish.

Mount the wooden frame or case to wall. Drill suitably-sized, holes in the wall and insert wooden plugs to support screws firmly. Align the pre-drilled, holes of the wooden frame or case and then insert support screws, ensuring they are securely embedded in the wall.

Insert the backer board into the mounted wooden frame or case. Now hang your knives in the manner you wish.


Hardboard is preferable to cardboard for the backer board, as it will hold both knives and support screws more firmly and efficiently than the latter. Get a carpenter to build the main, outer frame, if you cannot find one in suitable size to match the size and number of knives you wish to display.


Do not hang knives unless you are convinced wall-mounting of the case (and the hangers/hooks) is strong enough to support them. This will avoid injury and possible damage to knives in the event some slip and fall to the floor. Do not use a red-hot nail or bit to drill holes through fabric, padding and backer board as this can damage them. Use a moderately, heated nail tip or bit instead.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden frame/case
  • Backer board (1/8-inch thick hardboard)
  • Padding and cover fabric (for backer board)
  • Masking tape (wide width)
  • Hooks or hardware to hang knives
  • Wood glue
  • Table saw (suitable for cutting backer board)
  • Drill (with set of appropriate bits)
  • Tape measure
  • Framing square
  • Scissors (for fabric/padding)
  • Pencil
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About the Author

Giselle Diamond is a freelance writer and has been writing since 1999. Diamond is experienced in writing in all genres and subjects, with distinguished experience in home and garden, culture and society, literature and psychology. Diamond has a Master of Arts in English and psychology from New York University. Diamond has articles published on both eHow and LiveStrong.