A balisong, or a butterfly knife as it is more commonly known, is a much cooler version of a traditional pocketknife. Originating in the Philippines, this nifty tool can be spun and twirled which makes the simple act of opening and closing the knife look that much more awesome.

Most butterfly knives are dangerous (I mean, they are called “knives” for a reason!), but the one made by Brian of Brains techKnowlogy is totally safe. Why? It’s because it’s made from Popsicle sticks!

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Making this wooden butterfly knife requires a tongue depressor-sized stick, along with 5 regular sticks and a couple of cotton swabs. The tongue depressor will serve as the blade of the knife, while the Popsicle sticks will make up the handles. Finally, the cotton swabs shall serve as anchor points holding the whole thing together.

Fashioning the Handles

wooden butterfly knife

Four Popsicle sticks will be made into handles, while the fifth’s rounded edges will be cut off. These round stubs will be glued on the edge of two sticks, providing the space needed for the blade to fit through the handles.

Making the Holes

wooden butterfly knife

Cut the tongue depressor down to size and make it just as long as the regular-sized Popsicle sticks. This will allow the blade to fit perfectly in between the gap of the handles.

Once the blade is slotted into place, mark center points on the Popsicle sticks somewhere just a bit below their edges. This will provide points of reference which you can use to drill through afterward. Take note that the diameter of the drill bit required needs to be at least near the size of the cotton swabs you will be using.  Too small and they won’t fit. Too big and they’ll fall right out!

Take the handles out so that you can make the holes on the blade bigger. This will make the butterfly knife move better once you start spinning it around! Finally, fill in these holes by cutting off pieces of the cotton swabs.

Putting the Stoppers

To help the butterfly knife keep its center mass, you’ll want to put a couple of stoppers on the blade.

wooden butterfly knife

The first stopper is made by folding the butterfly knife and marking the center point where the two handles and the blade meet. Drill a hole through this point and fit a cotton swab through.

wooden butterfly knife

The second stopper is located on the blade’s body. Simply fold the handles around and drill through the center just like before. This time, your handles should have markings on the side from when you drilled the first stopper. Use these markings as a guide to find the proper positioning. Oh, and don’t forget to fit a cotton swab piece through once you’re done!

Shaping the Blade

wooden butterfly knife

By now, your butterfly knife is almost finished. The last major thing left to do is shape the blade to your liking.

This is where you can get creative. Brian made a simple blade design, but you can totally get crazy with your butterfly knife. As long as the design fits within the boundaries of the tongue depressor, you’re sure to make a knife that flips and folds properly.

Apply the Finishing Touches

wooden butterfly knife

Glue in the cotton swab pieces, sand the whole thing down, and your wooden butterfly knife is ready to go! The only thing left to do now is to learn some butterfly knife tricks!wooden butterfly knife

This is the most bare-bones butterfly knife design Brian has ever made. Nonetheless, he also has a lot of other knives which put a spin on traditional designs. One has a comb for a blade while another has a pencil for a sharp point!

Be sure to check out Brian’s YouTube channel, Brains techKnowlogy, to see how he made each of these knives and some of his other DIY projects.


Carlos wrestles gators, and by gators, we mean words. He also loves good design, good books, and good coffee.