Apr 4, 2013

Make 'em: Ikat Knobs

I always swoon over the gorgeous knobs and drawer pulls from Anthropologie, but at up $10 a pop, they can quickly become an expensive, little update.  We recently acquired a cabinet for our TV on craigslist, and I wanted an inexpensive way to give it a fresh look that didn't require purchasing knobs that cost nearly as much as the cabinet itself.  

My solution? DIY ikat knobs made with wooden knobs that cost less than a dollar each and some bright paint.

Hand-painted Ikat Knobs


  • unfinished wooden cabinet knobs
  • scrap paper
  • pen or pencil
  • paint (I used leftover house paint samples from Lowes)
  • a small, thin, pointy ended paint brush (for the details)
  • a larger paint brush (to paint the background)
  • polyurethane 
  • cup of water and a paper towel (to clean your brush)


(a lighter color is better to begin with)
I found that the best way to achieve the ikat squiggly look was to paint diagonal line-like strokes extending across the width of each diamond section, filling in the diamond shape one brush stroke at a time.  

As you begin adding colors the paint may be transparent, so you will probably need to do a few coats.  I painted my design one color and one coat at a time.  (First all the teal, then all the yellow, then all the coral.)  I allowed each coat to dry completely and then went back in and touched up my top coats (just the yellow and coral).  During the touch ups you can try to better define the ikat-look with your short, diagonal brush strokes. 
Allow your knobs to dry overnight before coating them with a thin layer of polyurethane (apply according to the instructions on your can of poly).

Let me know if you make these, I'd love to see how they turn out!  Not into crafting, but want some hand painted knobs? Send me an email, I'd love to work with you to make some! 

Fonts used: Rochester, Type Keys 

Tutorial Images by Clare Wilkinson for C Squared W.

Ikat patterns: a: champagne culture // b: madeline weinrib // c: shumacher // d: greenwithglamor

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