Hello and welcome to Old Raven Creates. This blog is in conjunction with my Etsy shop Old Raven.
My Etsy shop is stocked with my handmade altered art, unique crafts and upcycled items and also has a wealth of Vintage and Antique items that I’ve found in my travels.
Today I’m sharing how I make my Kitten Knobs. These knobs have been a big favorite in my shop for years and I’ve shipped them all over the world.
I make these knobs in two sizes, 1½” and 2″. Today, I’m making the more popular size – the 1½” knobs.
I buy my knobs from a wholesaler but you can find these raw wood knobs at most building centers.
I’m all set up to make these in as efficient a manner as possible as I usually make a dozen or so at a time.
This is a paper egg carton, turned upside down and filled with sand or rock salt. I tape up the seam so nothing leaks out. I have also punched a hole in the center of each egg cup. This holds the knobs while they move from step to step, drying in between.
I have taken bamboo skewers, placed a ring of masking tape around the top inch and then when I put the knob on, I sort of mash the tape down so it creates enough body to hold the knob firmly in place while I’m working on it.
I use an acrylic paint – giving each knob three coats, letting each completely dry in between.
This is the decorative part. Years ago, I found an old greeting card from the 30’s or 40’s. It had nine adorable kittens on it and I knew with a little work and some imagination I could make these into something for my shop.
I wish I could show you the card in its original condition but that went away a long time ago, but these are the original kittens, cut out.
I spent a day with my copy machine, shrinking each kitten to the right size – remember – the knobs I’m going to put these on are only 1½” wide.
Once I got each one to the correct size, I made multiple copies and cut them out roughly and then I store them in their own glassine envelope – ready to go.
These six kitties are the first round for refilling my shop stock from a recent sale that depleted the ranks considerably.
You can see just how tiny they wind up being and that is some serious fussy cutting folks. But they’re worth it because they are just so darn cute!
Of course, you’re not going to be able to come up with this exact set of kittens, but there’s always opportunities like this old card that you could upcycle into your project. Just be sure you’re not stepping on anyone’s copyright – especially if you plan on selling them.
At this stage, we’re ready to apply the cutout kitten to the painted knob. I use ModPodge Matte and just paint the glue all over the back side of the kitten.
Make sure your placement is good before the glue starts to dry!
These kittens are Vintage art and I want to emphasize that fact so I always add a little smudged border around each knob. It also makes the kittens pop out.
See what I mean? Now, you might be thinking that the paint looks a little rough, some brush strokes can be seen and the knob shows a few tiny pits, etc. There’s a final step that’s going to take care of a lot of that, and, these are ‘handmade’ and a bit of ‘character’ only adds to the overall ‘made by hand’ patina.
I prefer a glossy finish on my knobs and this is what I use to do that, as well as, seal the knobs.
DecoArt/Americana Triple Thick. I apply two coats of this, allowing the knobs to dry COMPLETELY in between each coat.
The trick to adding a thick sealer like this is to load your brush with a generous portion of product and then roll the knob/skewer as you apply the sealer. I hold mine over the jar so extra can just drip right back in. Don’t overwork the sealer. Paint it on and be done. Never shake or stir this (type of) sealer, you’ll only create air bubbles that will show in the final product.
These cute little Kitten Knobs are available in my shop, each under their own listing. Here’s the link to my shop’s home page and once you’re there, simply click on the “Drawer Knobs & Pulls” category to see all the handmade knob listings in one place.
Trying to photo really glossy items is almost impossible (for me) but you get the idea. I also make these in larger 2″ knobs.
This is one of the large 2″ knobs.
I also make Bluebird Knobs. These are from a Vintage greeting card, as well. I love the old timey look of the art work on these two sets of knobs. Like the saying goes “they just don’t make them like that anymore”. But, I hope, with my crafts, that I’m helping to keep these old and unique creations alive for another generation to enjoy.
How appropriate to turn around to get my envelopes of kitten prints to find Smokey laying on the folder.
Stay safe and well, thanks for joining me. – Kriss