Decoupage your knobs!

Hello and welcome, or welcome back if you’ve visited before.
Today I thought I’d talk about handles!
Changing them can make such a difference to the look of a piece of furniture but as you know they can be quite expensive. So I thought I’d give you a tutorial on how to decoupage a wooden drawer knob. Decoupage, such a posh word, all it means is to decorate a surface with paper!
I like to use pretty tissues or paper napkins (especially my favourite Cath Kidston, I love her patterns), the paper is thin, which makes it easier to work with.
ma and das coffee table rose handle closeup

Here's some I made earlier!

Here’s some I made earlier!

If you’d like to have a go you’ll need: A wooden drawer knob, paint colour of your choice, a small brush, PVA glue, spray varnish, scissors and a pretty tissue or napkin.
I also like to use a small piece of wood with a few long screws through it to hold the knob whilst it’s being worked on. I know it looks like an instrument of torture but it really works, just be careful how you store it!

att-104″>decoupage items

Before you start painting you need to make sure the drawer knob is clean and lightly sanded, so you have a good surface to paint on and then apply a couple of coats of your chosen colour. I’ve chosen a contrasting colour to the paper so you can see what I’m doing but if you match the paint to the paper the effect is even better!

decoupage 010

Whilst this is drying take your tissue or napkin and cut out a circle that will fit on top of your drawer knob, choosing a good part of the pattern.
Make sure you don’t use the bit of the tissue with the indentations on as this will show on the finished item. You can get a slightly different effect by cutting around the pattern as with the rose knob above but we’ll keep it simple for now.
decoupage 2 peel (2)

Now you need to peel away the top, thin layer with the pattern on it, away from the other layers. This makes it easier to paste to the rounded drawer knob with less creasing.

drawer knob paste

Thoroughly wash the paint from your brush and then take a small amount of PVA glue and thin it down slightly with a drop or two of water, just to make it easier to spread. Apply a thin layer of this mix to the drawer knob and carefully apply your paper. Very delicately use the brush to smooth outwards from the centre of the circle to avoid creasing the paper. The paper is extremely weak at this stage and you can have an issue with the ink in the paper bleeding, so gently does it!
Don’t worry if it looks slightly cloudy at this stage the PVA will go clear as it dries.

Now let the whole thing dry fully before finishing with a couple of layers of spray varnish for a durable finish. If you use a gloss varnish your drawer knob will almost look like china for a fraction of the price.

decoupage finished

Just do as many as you need and add to your furniture for a new exclusive look. Ta Da!
I hope you found this little tutorial helpful and don’t forget I’m always here if you need any help.



20 thoughts on “Decoupage your knobs!

  1. Bought some cath kidston napkins to do this then found your tutorial , they’ll be on the dresser by the end of the week x

  2. Hiya
    Just wanted to say that I’ve just finished this decoupage technique on my bedroom furniture, and it looks amazing! Such a simple idea, but there normally the best ones. 🙂
    Now I’m looking about my house for more handles, lol.
    Christine x

  3. Hi
    I can’t find napkins in the colour I want – can I use anything else?
    Or if not, can you recommend some good napkin sources? (Apart from Kath kidson)

    • Hi Clair, You can actually get special paper for decoupage and I know that Hobbycraft sell it or have a look online for a stockist. Alternatively you could have an experiment with wrapping paper, although this maybe trickier as it’s thicker and may be more prone to wrinkles. I Hope you find something suits your colour scheme. Gill xx

  4. This is a good tutorial. Before i saw this I sanded the handle and then put the napkin on without painting it. It now looks as though the glue has decintegrated the napkin. Why was this? The glue i used was for decoupage and it stated it could be used for the top coat (the varnish layer) although its a mat glue i wont be shiney i know.

    • Hi Clare, Thank you x Without seeing your handle it’s difficult to know what the problem is. It may be that as paper napkins are more delicate than specialist decoupage paper, (which is more like strong, shiny tissue paper) the glue you’ve used hasn’t reacted well to them. I used watered down PVA for mine but I still had to be very careful not to over brush the paper or it could have easily fallen apart. Hope that helps, Gill xx

  5. Hi love this ! – quick question though I have some old plastic knobs that I would prefer to use rather than buy some new ones – will it still work ? 🙂

    • Hi Sandie, I’m glad you found my demo helpful x I’ve never tried using plastic knobs and they might be tricky as they won’t absorb the glue for a good bond. You could always try one and maybe give it a light sand first to help with adhesion.
      With regard to using fabric instead of paper, as long as the fabric is fairly thin and malleable it should work. Although you may find it has more of a raised edge to the cut circle, as the fabric will probably be thicker than paper. You could try layering several coats of glue or varnish on top to seal and blend it in but make sure each coat is fully dry before adding the next.
      I hope that helps and I’d be interested to know how you get on. Gill xx

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  10. Just what ive been look for to revamp my old bedroom furniture. Thank you. I notice you used chalk paint. Is there a specific reason? Was intending to use left overs from the walls but now am wondering if the paper will adhere?

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