Hi, guys! It's Mandi. The wooden handles on my heirloom dresser finally gave up the ghost, but instead of heading to the store to buy replacements, I thought I'd try my hand at making them! It was much easier than I had even expected, and the new handles look just how I had imagined. Whether you like saving money on furniture updates, or just like to get your hands a little dirty with an easy craft, I promise this little project will not disappoint! Check out the easy instructions below.
-white polymer clay—$3.50 for two 2 oz packages (I only used about four ounces for eight knobs, though a one pound package is shown)
-gray polymer clay—$1.75 for a 2 oz package (I only used 1/4 of the package shown)
-parchment paper (optional)
-rolling pin (I used an acrylic roller meant for polymer clay)
-skewer or drill bit the same diameter as your knob screws
-two small round caps (I used a 1.25" cap from a makeup bottle and a .5" cap from a tube of lipstick)
Step One: Warm up a hunk of white clay, making it soft and pliable. Do the same with an even smaller piece of gray clay. Add strips of gray clay to the white, smooshing and pulling the clay to somewhat blend the two colors, creating streaks of gray.
Continue working the clay until you get a variety of wider and thinner streaks of gray. Roll the clay into a ball, making sure the prettiest gradient you see is facing upwards before you continue to the next step.
Step Two: Roll out the clay until it is evenly 1/4" thick. Using the caps as cutters, cut out as many circles as you have space for. For every large circle, you will need two small ones. When cutting the circles, make sure to wiggle the cap in a circular motion, or the clay will end up stuck inside the cap.
Step Three: To create the post for the knobs, stack two small circles on top of each other, smoothing out the edges with your finger. Make a slight indent on the back of the knob platform (the larger circle) with the small cap, and then gently push the knob post (the two stacked small circles) into the indent. Make sure the surface is flat and even.
Step Four: Using the drill bit that's the same size as your knob screws, create the holes in the back of your knobs. If you don't have a drill bit handy, you can use any type of skewer that is about the same size as your screw.
Step Five: Bake the knobs in a 275°F oven for 15 minutes per 1/4" of clay. I ended up baking my knobs for an hour, and they came out nicely.
To install the draw knobs, I was able to use the original screws from this dresser, simply twisting the new knobs into place with the assistance of a screw driver. If you find that the hole you make in the knobs isn't wide or deep enough, you can use a drill and an appropriately-sized drill bit to increase its size. I ended up needing to do that to mine, but it was pretty quick and easy. If you don't have a drill, you can always just buy some narrower screws to fit the holes. Also, if the platform breaks off from the post of the knob, they can be glued together again with super glue. That shouldn't be a problem if you make the holes deep enough, though.
These drawer knobs were so easy to make, I keep thinking about what other kinds of knobs our house needs. Maybe faux bronze ones in the kitchen? Just be aware that if you make these for your kitchen, it would be a good idea to seal them with a polymer-safe varnish, like Minwax's Polycrylic. Then the knobs can be safely cleaned with a damp rag. Easy peasy!
Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson, Photos edited with Spring and Valentine of the Signature Collection.
lovely idea! the knobs look great on your dresser.
I think that they would easily break where they are jointed. Beautiful effect but not durable enough as a drawer knob.
These are so great. They really look like real marble. Great DIY
So far they’ve been super sturdy! I use them multiple times a day, because they’re on my toddler daughter’s dresser. Just like the wood ones, though, I’m sure they will eventually wear out around the screw.
These are genius! I have so many colors of sculpey, this would be a great project!
This is so creative! Drawer pulls can be so expensive, and they really add up fast when you need a lot of them. These ones turned out great!
This tutorial looks simple, I wonder if it will be when I try it? 😉
These are so cute and they turned out awesome! I love it!
This is so great! And you can do it with so many different colors (glow in the dark!) Thank you. 🙂
I LOVE this idea and want to try all sorts of styles! How sturdy are you finding them? I know the pieces can be glued back together but I wonder about actual breaking/cracking of the clay front.
Sometimes I come here and I hear my voice in my head like a game show host: WHAT WILL THEY THINK OF NEXT? By the way, that is a compliment
What a brilliant idea, love it! xx
these are so cute!
Wow – they look like real marble! Great DIY! 🙂
woooooah! this is way too cool! thanks for sharing this amazing DIY! so accomplishing too! HeartofChic.com
These are so cool! They look just like the real thing!
Oops. I did. ?
Yes! Certainly you do want to use a polymer safe (not a polymer based) sealer. That was noted in the last paragraph, but you may have missed it. 🙂
This is AWESOME! I wanted to add a bit of advice after discovering the hard way when working with polymer clay. I recently sprayed a project with “polymer sealer” and the project ended up sticky (and me heartbroken). Apparently since polymer clay is a water-based product, care must be taken when sealing a project. Do not use anything that is not water-based. But furthermore, even water-based sealers are not all safe. I contacted a clay artist for advice and she recommended Rustoleum water-based varathane. I ended up using the spray versus the pint, and it worked perfectly. My work as sealed without a hint of stickiness. It does go on a cloudy white, but then dries clear. Hope that helps!