I’ve always found that the tiniest little accent can make all the difference in the world. A plain-old boring dresser can be completely made over with a simple change in knobs and drawer pulls. But sometimes, if you’re like me, you want something totally out in left field. In that case, you have two options: Pay through the nose or DIY.
Dinosaur molded knobs
All it takes to make some fantastic knobs for your (or your kid’s) dresser or cabinets is a little bit of crafty DIY and some molds that you love. Now these can be molds for soap, clay or even Jell-O. Yep, I totally rocked the Jell-O molds to make these cute and multicolored dinosaur knobs for my nephews.
All in all, you can make a set of 4 knobs in about 30-45 minutes (not including dry time), which is pretty darn nifty if you ask me.
- Plaster of Paris (there are brands guaranteed not to break)
- Nuts and bolts or small existing knobs
- Acrylic paint, brush
- Heavy-duty glue (may not be necessary)
- Sealer (like spray polyurethane)
If using preexisting knobs, be sure that they fit within the shape of your molds.
Mix your plaster or concrete according to package directions. Wet your molds to help the finished knobs come out more easily.
Fill part of the way with your mixture and tap the molds on the table to help the bubbles settle. You can also use a toothpick, straw or skewer to help with that.
As your mixture sets, prepare your nuts and bolts.
Slide the nut onto the bolt as far is it can go without the bottom of it touching the bottom of the mold.
When the plaster begins to set, place the bolt into the plaster until the top edge of the nut is even with the top of the plaster.
Allow the mold to sit for at least an hour. Carefully loosen the plaster from the edges by prying the mold away just a bit. Once all edges have been loosened, pull the bolt straight up to remove the whole piece.
Allow to finish drying for a day or so. Alternatively, you can turn your oven on very, very low and dry the plaster in a few hours, but keep a close eye on to make sure nothing burns. For me, I set mine at 170 degrees for just under 3 hours.
Brush your knobs with a bit of acrylic paint, and once dry, seal with spray polyurethane to protect the finish. Especially if grubby, sticky hands will be making contact, like on a kid’s dresser.
In the case of any knobs made with a nut and bolt exclusively, you may find the need to securely glue the nut into the space with a heavy-duty glue. Allow to fully dry before attaching to prevent any accidental gluing to your furniture.
I chose to paint these guys fun, bright colors. But if making something a bit more mature, perhaps for your own dresser, feel free to use metallics, or even leave the knobs white and simply spray with poly to protect.
Just keep your eyes peeled for some awesome molds, and prepare to have some one-of-a-kind hardware.