18 Silhouette Pen Holder Blade Hack Tutorial

You were promised you a Silhouette Blade Hack on Monday, when I used the ‘hacked’ pen holder for the DIY Planner tabs, and I shall deliver! In other quick news: Yay for staying on top of my goals/resolutions this week with three posts this week!!.

Silhouette Pen Holder Blade Hack Tutorial | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

Alright so you see, I’m a huge fan of recycling. Reusing stuff not only helps the planet but makes one feel less, well wasteful. We’re no strangers to repurposing- from using doors as shelves, to using cardboard as chipboard, to making over some tired directors chairs.

Now you may be asking yourself, “but there’s pretty sketch pens, specific pen holders, a sharpie pen holder, and even transform a sketch pen holder to fit different pens, why should I follow your hack?”

Because if you’re like me, you like to repurpose what you have lying around, in this case dull blades. That or you have a teeny-tiny personal vendetta (which may or may not have involved a mini-meltdown) when you burned through your VERY FIRST blade. You know, during your frustrating learning curve-- aka trying to figure out how the dang machine operates! Newbies, the trial period is totally worth the struggles- pinky swear!!

Enough of my rambling, let’s just jump into the tutorial, mmk?


Yep only four items! You can totally substitute the Dremel for a sawsall or any sharp, yet durable cutting tool you have lying around paired with a drill and drill bits. Oh and for those of you intimidated by power tools, I promise once you get over your fear of power tools/sharp objects, you can TOTALLY accomplish this! Or just find a friend that isn’t a scaredy cat afraid to dig in.


1. Ratchet your DULL blade to zero and then keep turning until you have a small gap (see photo). Remove the ratchet (the thingy with numbers on it) and the white piece. Do this by twisting REALLLY hard until the ratchet comes apart (I had a little help from the beau). Save the ratchet piece. Please be careful, even though the blade is dull, still proceed with caution.
Silhouette Pen Holder Blade Hack Tutorial | Step 1 Remove Ratchet| www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

The blade should look like this:
Silhouette Pen Holder Blade Hack Tutorial | Step 1- Ratchet Removed | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

Note: Some older silhouette blades don’t have this capability to remove these pieces as such so you may have to improvise and wear a little more protection (like long sleeves, maybe even a rubber apron ha!) incase pieces fly.

2. Clamp your silhouette blade to a workbench leaving the sharp end, where the ratchet and white piece used to be, extend past your work bench.
Silhouette Pen Holder Blade Hack Tutorial | Step 2 Clamp for Safety | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

3. Using the Dremel’s cutoff wheel, cut through the black casing where the ridges end (see photo below). Be careful as the silhouette blade is being removed as the pieces may fly.
Silhouette Pen Holder Blade Hack Tutorial | Step 3- Cut Black Casing At Ridges | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

Silhouette Pen Holder Blade Hack Tutorial | Step 3- Cut Until Ridges End | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

4. Using the Dremel’s high speed cutter accessory (or a drill bit close to the hole’s diameter), carefully drill a hole where the blade used to be. This will enlarge the existing hole to fit various pens. Replace the ratchet cap.
Silhouette Pen Holder Blade Hack Tutorial | Step 4- Drill Hole | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

5. Since the Dremel is such high speed, it may begin melting the plastic. If so, simply use a small screwdriver (ours was included with the Dremel kit), or dowel to scrape out the excess plastic.
Silhouette Pen Holder Blade Hack Tutorial | Step 5- Remove Plastic | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

That’s it, folks! Really, it’s just that simple. It only took 5 minutes max. Gosh, it took me longer to take the photographs, that’s how quick it was! You’re now set to experiment.
Silhouette Pen Holder Blade Hack Tutorial | I have a few dull blades just lying around, so doing this!! www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

I found that medium-fatty pens, like pictured, fit best.

You can also use narrower pens, a slight modification is in order. I haven’t tried this yet but you could line the hacked pen holder with thin craft foam. Attach the ends of the foam with a little glue- creating a ring and you should be able to remove it when switching pens.

I plan to dissect my blades make a few extra pen holders as soon as my blades run their cycle. You know, for projects that require multiple pens.

So, what do you think of the hack? Do you have a few dull blades lying around? 

P.S. We were not paid or perked from Dremel; the beau simply had this ridiculously handy tool since he was in high school.

My little disclaimer: I cannot be held liable for hurting yourself or others when attempting to recreate this tutorial. Please use your beautiful noggin and wear the proper safety equipment. Additional disclaimers can be found here.



  1. New to silhouette, so, how/what do you use the pen/hack?

    1. Thank you for asking!! Within Silhouette Studio, you have the option to use a sketch pen to draw on your material. I kind of think of it as printing but with a pen and using your silhouette. The reason this is beneficial (like for the DIY Covers project) is for the fact that you don't have to trim down your materials to 'fit' in your printer. Also, like the covers, some materials simply won't run through a printer since the material may be too thick. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!!

  2. Had planned to figure out how to do this. I caved and got starter set on sale but still can use to have many colors ready. I got the rubber pencil grip to work a while back. Now to stop reading & pinning and use them! Such a chicken!

    1. It's super easy and never too late! It's totally perfect for that ONE color that didn't come in your set, Am-I-Right?!

      I hear ya girl! Whenever I get a new toy, there's this intimidation, maybe I think I'll breaking it because I'm just that excited to use it!

  3. This is Genius Trisha! I LOVE IT!

    1. Thanks girl, it's still working like a champ! I'm even on the hunt now at the stores to find some pretty 'medium-fatty' pens!

  4. Oh my gosh! Thanks so much for linking this up to my Silhouette tips. I actually gave my dad my Dremel since I never used it. Will be mailing him an old blade and a link to your post. Genius :)

    1. Thanks Allison!! Thank you for having me at your link-up! Sad to see you hadn't found a use, but at least he'll be willing to make the tweak for you. Let me know how it works for ya!!

  5. Do you find that the regular pens write well on the paper? Sometimes my sketch pens don't write well. I am always anxious when I use them. Will they work or will they not work?!! Excited to try this and pinning it now! Plus I am following you on Pinterest too :).

    1. Hi Lisa!

      Great questions! I've tried this hack on regular paper and on cardboard. As with all silhouette pens, you just have to ensure that it's adjusted at just the right level for your material. It's kind of hard to explain but basically that they're in the 'holder' correctly.

      I always try on scrap paper, or an inconspicuous (oh look at that big word!) place on the material- which is more often the negative or scrap material. I've had to make a few adjustments to ensure that the pen doesn't drag.

      Moreover, to answer your question- using the regular pen + hacked holder = normal pen writing. I guess if you had a junky 'bubbly inked' pen, then it would continue to write blotchy.

      Hope that makes sense!

      Much love,
      Trisha D.

  6. Genius! Thank you.

  7. I actually broke my Silhouette the night I got it. The guide pieces at the sides - I managed to push one TOO far out to the side and it got stuck inside the body of the machine. My poor (extremely long-suffering!) husband had to spend about 40 minutes to get it back out. And of course I felt pretty stupid.

    So that's my Silhouette-newbie story! lol

    1. Oh no, I was so worried I would break mine when I first got mine!! I'm so glad you stuck in there, and your husband was able to fix your machine.

  8. This is great! But since I don't have an old blade (yet) I will have to wait..but your comment about thinner pens and craft foam made me think...why not wrap a rubber band around the pen for thickness and extra grip? Not sure if that would even work...just a thought ;)

    1. That's a great idea! I'd love to know if you try it!

  9. Great idea. I've used washi round my narrow pen to make it believe there was a holder and it worked after a bit of adjustment but am looking for something more permanent and I like to reuse. I tried the icypole stick flat under the pen nib to work out the distance required. Saw that on another blog.

  10. Any suggestions on knowing how far to put the pen in?

    1. What I found helpful was to have a regular blade next to the pen holder and moved the pen up or down until the pen tip was where the pen blade would be. Testing on scrap paper was also a lifesaver. Hope that helps!


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