I hope we can all agree the knobs on my new Martha Stewart craft drawer units were a snooze-fest. They screamed country and not in a good way (I do love me a splash of country here and there). I knew they had to be replaced. With the deep savings I got on the cabinets, I did not mind replacing the hardware.
While we were in Dallas last month, I hit up Anthropologie and Hobby Lobby looking for new knobs. Everything at Anthropolgie was just too big for the skinny top drawers. Hobby Lobby unfortunately was lacking in the color department…specifically pretty blues and greens.
As I scoured the Hobby Lobby bins for hidden gems, I kept getting drawn back to small round white porcelain knobs with brass bases. I admit they were a snooze-fest too, but I loved the shape and the tarnished brass. Bonus, there was matching larger oval knobs with brass base. The larger knobs would look great on the bigger bottom drawers. But, I did not want white!
Then, I saw the 50% off sign and decided to make it a project. I bought 8 knobs at $1 each (regularly $1.99) and 4 larger oval knobs for $3 each (regularly 5.99). The 12 knobs cost $20 total. That is only $10 per cabinet for all new hardware. I knew if I could figure out a way to color them, they were going to make a big impact.
My initial plan was to use the Porcelaine pen I had leftover from this hot chocolate on a stick gift project. Unfortunately, I did not store it properly and it was dried up. Since I am in the throws of a month long home spending hiatus and banned myself from craft stores, I needed a plan B.
Goodbye boring, hello gorgeous! Plan B was a huge success and now my cabinet hardware looks like this:
I heard you can use Sharpies similar to the Porcelaine pens. You draw on your porcelain object, let it sit overnight, and then bake in the oven. I happen to have a cute little paint bucket on my craft shelves full of colorful Sharpies. I grabbed the teal one and went to work.
janet @ ordinary mom says
That is brilliant! I love it and love the texture. I am looking for some knobs for my finished office cabinets and may have to consider this idea for a budget friendlly option. :)
mandy @ this girl's life says
They are beautiful! I would have never thought you could do that with a Sharpie! Genius! :)
Brittney F. says
Those look great!
I never would have thought of doing something like this. Who knew a sharpie could do this. Brilliant!
Those turned out wonderfully! I’d never be able to guess how you made them. This makes me want to switch out some of my own furniture hardware! :)
Love the knobs! They look awesome on your cabinet.
These are beautiful!! So unique!
They are so cool!!! I’m going to have a go. Thanks for sharing a great idea.
Oh my coolness…I had no idea this is how you had done this…I initially thought you had molded them out of polymer clay but wasn’t sure how you got the beautiful veins….the dresser looks like a million bucks with them on…..I’m pinning this to our HAPPY HOUR linky party and my personal great ideas board…thank you so much. Hope you have a great weekend…xo
This is such an amazing idea! I can’t think of what project I need to do this for but I really want to try it! I have to hold myself back from buying sharpies in all the pretty colors too….just sooo tempting.
Wow! Those are so awesome. I definitely want to try that out. Thanks for sharing!
So cute! Great idea!! I love your Martha craft desks, if I had not just diy’d my work area I would have totally scoured all the stores near me to get some too!
maureen mcgraw says
You are brilliant. The knobs are beautiful. I will definitely be trying this myself this winter after my kitchen redo is underway. Maureen
This is genius!! I am in awe of what sharpies can do!!! thanks so much for sharing. I can’t wait to go drawer knob shopping!! lol Well done ;-)
Suzy B says
So lovely & expensive looking…great tip. Thanks for sharing.
Taryn @ Design, Dining + Diapers says
Wow, these look beautiful and I would have had no idea they were colored with sharpies. Fabulous tutorial. I’ll have to pin this one for later.
[email protected] says
Wow! I love this…and I’m totally stealing this idea for my home some time! :)
Crystal @ 29 Rue House says
These are awesome and they look fantastic on those drawers!
Stacia@ Feathers&Sunshine says
You are brilliant! I can’t wait to try these with the knobs I have. Looks so awesome! And with no extra moolah to color them, unbelievable. nice work!
Those knobs are absolutely awesome!!! I’m going to do this for sure.
LOVE how your knobs turned out. So glad I found the pin on Pinterest. The closet in my bathroom needs replacing and now I know for sure I can have what I want!
Cara, glad you found me. What a great idea to use some fun knobs on your closet door!
Great idea and great finished product!
Did you have any problems with the color changing during baking? It doesn’t look like it in your photos. I tried this with a Bic permanent marker and mine went from a beautiful turquoise to a lovely jade. Sadly, the lovely jade doesn’t match the room… Perhaps I’ll have to mail order the Sharpie (we live in a very small town, very far away from any real stores)
Jan, I would definitely try the sharpie. Mine did not change color at all during baking. Good luck with the next try.
Can u do this on a door knob
If the doorknob is porcelain it should work.
love this idea….I’m just starting a major kitchen renovation and now I know what I’m going to do with the old porcelain knobs. Now they’e definitely a keeper!
Impressive! I love it.
Vicki - Glitter Frog says
This is insanely genius! Love it! And today is payday…methinks I’ll be buying a LOT of sharpies, haha!
What a cool idea! I wonder who discovered this…how do you stumble upon baking Sharpie ink?! Genius. Lovely. Well done.
Such a terrific idea and great tutorial. I’m repinning!
melissa*320 sycamore says
WOW! These are so cool…thanks for a great tutorial. Love this idea :)
SheilaG @ Plum Doodles says
These knobs are gorgeous- wow! I would have never guessed sharpies. Definitely got to give this a try!
[email protected] says
I have never heard of this! I love the way these turned out. Pinning for later!
Lucy Designs says
this is the greatest thing EVER! I love it
I agree with everyone else. You rock! Not only beautiful but this is something I can use! Thanks.
awesome! i wonder if you were to spray them with a clear coat-if that would help avoid any of the baked on marker from wearing off from lots of use?
Kerry @ Made For Real says
AMAZING!!! Linking to this project tomorrow!
I absolutely love it!! And it gives me some fantastic ideas for other craft projects with porcelain. I will definitely be trying this knob idea, though. I have several pieces that need a pinch of color, personality and pizazz.
I was thinking the same. so many ideas for anything porcelain and so many colors to try! red, purple, blck, green, so excited!
I didn’t read over the other comments, but if you’re worried about long term wear and tear on the knobs because of frequent use, you should coat them with a clear spray or Mod Podge!
Rachel C says
I LOVE LOVE THE IDEAL FOR THE KNOBS!! IVE BEEN TRYING TO FIND SOME OLD GLASS DOOR KNOBS FOR MY HOME.. WE ARE RE-MODELING OUR HOME BUT I AM DEFINATELY GOING TO USE YOUR KNOB IDEAL ON A FEW PROJECTS , I LOVE THE WAY THEY LOOK!!! GREAT JOB & IDEAL ;))
Hi, I was wondering if you could tell me the color of the Sharpie? I know you said it was teal but I didn’t know if that was the actual printed name on it. Thanks :)
Shyan, There is actually no name printed on the Sharpie. It came in a pack of 8 colors. Hope that helps.
Tips and pointers: I bought a 25 pack of porcelain knobs on ebay from designerknobsandpulls.com for SUPER cheap. I first tried the Bic permanent marker and baked it for 30 minutes and as another commentor said, it turned jade (and cracked). I tried it again but only baked it for 10 minutes and it kept its color and did not crack. However, I’m hoping someone can tell me the purpose of baking it because I don’t know if 10 minutes is long enough. Either way, thanks for the GREAT idea.
I tried this with a like green sharpie and had a it turn to a dark jade on me as well. The jade doesn’t match the room or the dresser the knobs are to go on, so I think I may give it a go again with maybe a lower backing temp and shorter baking time. I LOVE how yours turned out, just out of curiosity, what color did you use to get that shade of torquoise?
*Lime green, not like.
Hi Holly. Too bad yours changed color. Was it a Sharpie brand marker? Other readers have reported other permanent marker brands changing color. I used a Sharpie brand teal marker and the color stayed the same after baking. Good luck with your next attempt!
Thanks for the great tutorial! I pinned it and just tried it out now. A dark blue Sharpie came out a perfect cobalt blue. I blogged about it and linked back to your site.
Barbara @ DIY Home Staging Tips says
I read about your Sharpie project on Maureen’s blog, All Things Connected, and had to come over and take a look. Very impressive! I have GOT to try this.
Brilliant! I amy take this a tiny bit commercial through my website…most importantly, they look exquisite in my home. Thank you, dear Jackie!
Kelli Fawn says
I love these! Hmmm, now I want to see some colored in circles! Guess I have to those, huh?
Cheryl@ Sew Can Do says
These look terrific and thanks for the great tip about Sharpies. I had no idea you could do that! Would love for you to link this to my Craftastic party:)
Those came out so pretty, thanks for sharing the great idea
Gorgeous! Never would have guessed Sharpie! Perhaps it would be helpful to add a coat of clear nail polish to help preserve them? It would be too big of a pain to attempt a clear finish paint, maybe, but I don’t know if clear nail polish yellows over time or not. Just thinking of a way that could help protect them & that’s what I came up with.
I baked mine twice first for 10 minutes and then again for 30 minutes, but when I went to install them onto the dresser the sharpie was wearing off on the edges. So I took your advice with the nail polish… and it looks amazing! They have a beautiful gloss finish now and do not wear off :)
I have a tall thin set of draws I just used sharpies on the knobs that came with it, to snap it up, but totally going to get the porcelin knobs and do it again. I had no clue. Thanks.
Nancy Jane York says
Oh my gosh did you ever discover a fantastic trick to liven up plain knobs. I adore this color, now I want some knobs to try this on!!
Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick says
Such a clever idea! I’d like to invite you to join me at the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week! http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/11/clever-chicks-blog-hop-8-turkey.html
I hope to see you there.
Kathy Shea Mormino
The Chicken Chick
that was a good idea, thank you!. i’m from South Africa and don’t know what is a sharpie! please can you explain to me. thank you.
Hi Vicki, Sharpie is the brand name for a permanent marker.
Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl says
No way!!! Those are gorgeous! And I can’t believe you restrained yourself from buying something else to use. So, glad you didn’t because this is a show stopper. Pinning for sure!
Thanks Brittany. That means a lot coming from THE Pretty Handy Girl…love your blog!
Cheryl @ The Creative Me and My McG says
found this post through Pretty Handy Girl…lovely job – I have one question though…after backing them, did you varnish them or use a clear coat of any kind? I am looking for knob ideas, and might just try this!
Cheryl, I did not do anything after baking them. So far they are holding up just fine. If they were in a more heavily used space like a kitchen, I might consider that, but then you could skip the baking part, too.
Cheryl @ The Creative Me and My McG says
sorry – that should have read “baking” and not “backing”
These are beautiful! I am worried about fading though.. Do you think a clear coat of fingernail polish would help that?
Barb Miller says
I would love to do this but was wondering what temperature you baked them at and for how long?
350 for 30mins
Oh thank you for sharing this!! I have a bin full of “yard sell knobs” almost similar to these and NOW I can finally finish my cabinet!!! I’m also wondering if I can do this for a Tea Set. I’ve been planning a Tea Party for my granddaughters to welcome in spring (I know winter isn’t over…..) but my daughter found me this “paint your own tea set” since I couldn’t find anything I liked for the girls. I was going to do the porcelain pens too but they are so expensive. What do you think? Is this permanent? You’ve got me sooo excited and I have months to plan this!!!
Bridgitte, That is how I got the idea. I saw other people on Pinterest using Sharpies on mugs and dinner plates. It inspired me to try the knobs.
I, too, have seen all the websites for using Sharpies on dishes, but most of them have comments that say it doesn’t work. It seems it is not recommended for anything that is going to be washed a lot. It comes off in the dishwasher and only has a limited time with hand washing. Sharpie makes oil-based markers that can be used on dishes and, while more expensive than regular Sharpies, don’t seem to be totally outrageous in price. I have only bought them from their website so I have no idea how much they cost in a store. I _would_ be interested to know how your knobs hold up to constant use. I will be checking back! Love them!
I love it…..can you do that on any door knobs or is there just one in general?
Melissa Marro says
These are fabulous! We are in the throws of refinishing a bunch of furniture pieces for a home staging job, so we’ll be trying this technique if we can get our hands on some porcelain knobs!
Just checking in to see how they were holding up? I LOVE the look and tried it, but after a week I started seeing white spots. I don’t see it on my hands, but just wondering how yours held up….
Mine are holding up well, but they do not get daily use yet. They are on my new craft cabinets for my studio, which is still being finished. Maybe try clear nail polish or a clear top coat as other commenters have suggested.
Terri T. says
I LOVE this idea. Do you think it would be possible to do this on already colored knobs? I have round yellow porcelain ones on all my kitchen cabinets. Maybe I will try doing just one. Also, maybe the Poly-something-or=other – I think it’s polyurethane – clear coat would be best for a kitchen/bathroom applications as those knobs not only get a lot of wear, but must be cleaned often, too (grease and dirt).
polyurethane will yellow. need a spray varnish that specifically says won’t yellow.
I read on another pin to bake @350 for 30 min., I used the bic perm marker and mine didnt turn to jade or crack just thought I’d let everyone know :-)
have you tried spray-varnishing them? the varnish should protect the sharpie from rubbing off.
i made a mug using this technique and it eventually started rubbing off and needed touching up, but varnish wasn’t an option then obviously.
Those are awesome looking knobs. Thanks so much for sharing. I would like to do this for my daughters dresser.
Cathy Wingo says
Just what I need for a shelf I’m making for my grandson! been struggling with ideas for the knobs for awhile! thanks for a great idea!
Hannah Leigh says
These look fantastic! They really pop on that white cabinet. I must admit I shouldn’t even be reading this post, I already have too many knobs hoarded in my studio area waiting for a home!
I think I’m in love! These are awesome
Great use of the sharpie. I love and use them myself for furniture touch-up on a regular basis. I always have extras around of all colors. I have also used them to cover up scuffs on various leather products. I have found endless uses for the sharpie and today you can find them in so many colors.
You can use a clear gloss on the knob . In my case I would cover up the brass. They look amazing.
With glass knobs I wonder if you could do like cracking marbles. bake the put in cool water for a different affect?
Very nice idea. Will have to try it out. Don’t touch them with chemicals – isopropyl alcohol and acetone (rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover) will dissolve sharpie ink, even after baking. Over time, finger oil will also degrade them. Might want to coat them all with a clear gloss-coat spray-paint to protect the color.
“these look like marbling” or “a piece of jewelry” is what my husband-to-be said when I showed him the pictures! He is amazed at how easy it was to created the look with a simple sharpie! Thanks for the detailed tutorial on how it was done!
Iona McCubbin says
Hi I love these but being British I don`t know what `sharpiss` pens are? Help please
Hi Iona. Sharpie is a brand of permanent marker in the US. They come in “fine tip” which I used for this project. They are also available in a huge variety of colors.
I redo furniture and I am always looking for fun pops of color…cannot wait to try it.
LOVE the way they turned out! This inspires me to do something similar for the desk in my craft room!
Super cute. I saw some knobs that would work perfect for this project on eBay the other day.
Can’t wait to try it for myself!! Thanks so much for the inspiration. :)
Could you do the Sharpie trick on pewter?
Pam Zirbel says
You have a bazillion comments on this!! As well you should!!! This had my heart racing reading step by step how you did this! I tell you..I ‘like’ teal…but now…I LOVE TEAL!!! LOL…well done. I found you thru a Pinterest pic!! Love it and will be checking on you now!!
Suzy @ Worthing Court says
Just ran across your awesome project from someone’s pin on Pinterest. These are gorgeous! Definitely pinning this project to one of my boards too.
Those are amazing! (I don’t usually comment on blogs, etc., but these warrant it!) Thumbs up to you!
You just blew me away with this. I just have to try it!! Going to feature this on my FB page in a couple minutes :) Thank you for the inspiration Jackie! ~ Julie
I followed the directions to a T…they did turn out beautiful, however, the color rubbed off after a few uses. Kinda discouraged. So, my suggestion is to do this with knobs that are strictly decorative – which I don’t have. Bummer.
I had a problem with the color rubbing off on my hands. But I didn’t let them dry very long before baking. I think I am going to try again but wait 24 hrs until baking and then see what happens. But they have turned out great and I’ve bought more colored Sharpies and more knobs.
Have you done this on ceramic knobs? I was just wondering if they would work.
What a great improvement of the dresser! You know how to help yourself.
Just came across your site and i just love this idea. I have 2 dressers that could use a face lift and what a great way to do it. thanks for posting.
So does this have to be ceramic knobs. I have metal ones in my kitchen was wondering if it would work on those?
Melissa, I honestly don’t know if this would work on metal. I have only tried Sharpies on this one project. If you have an extra knob I would say give it a test run.
Would this work on metel?
Sarah Fisher says
Absolutely brilliant – thanks so much for sharing! I just know that this is going to come in useful. Gorgeous and thrify, my favourite combination :)
I just saw this on pinterest,it’s amazing! The knobs look like beautiful pieces of turquoise stone & If I did this I think I would paint the base with copper spray paint to match it! Makes you want to go out & buy a bunch of porcelain to try different colors on!
Beautiful! The teal color is perfect for the white furniture. Thanks for sharing!
Does this only work with porcelain handles? Is there any other material that it would work with? (Metal or wood, etc)
I was so excited that I wanted to share.
I’ve been looking for Sharpie pens in pretty colors and at a reasonable price for awhile, so I could try this project. My wait finally paid off today. Office Depot has them on sale this week for $.50 each (regularly $1.69 each)! Even the 12 pack set was $19.99, so you can’t beat the individual price. Plus you get to pick your colors. I don’t know if this is everywhere, but you may look at the front page of the sale’s flyer. http://officedepot.shoplocal.com/OfficeDepot/Entry/LandingContent?storeid=2502053&sneakpeek=N&listingid=0
My store had at least 25 colors in fine pt, extra fine, and some in paint brush style. I believe the color you used is Turquoise. I even bought a bunch to make up a gift ‘group’ for one of my sisters.
Thank you for the info. I am going to have to make a trip to Office Depot. Some new color Sharpies are in my future :)
I’m sorry Jackie, I meant to first say how beautiful the knobs are. I can’t wait to try it myself. Good for you for being frugal and thank you so much for sharing your amazing talent and creativity.
That is so awesome, I can never think of cool stuff like that I always have to steal someones idea. I have to go check all the sharpie colors.
This might be a silly question but how safe is it to put these in the oven? I have never attempted a project like this.
Wow, they look smashing! But it’ been a few months now. How are they holding up?
Hi Nancy, Mine have held up pretty well. They are rubbing off slightly on the back of the knob where my fingers touch. I plan to touch them up and give them a clear coat like other commenters have suggested.
does anyone think this would work on gold knobs? or what else would possibly come up with this result for gold?
DignA WILSON says
wow..they look stunning im going to try that idea..you did a great job.thank you for shharing this idea….
Olivia Kuebler says
You are a very brave and talented woman. I love them.
Rachael Dixon says
Those are absolutely beautiful. They look exactly like a precious stone. I cannot wait to start replacing knobs in my house.
Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing and using the great pictures.
Love this! I will try it for sure. So many uses! I want to do doorknobs:)
lovely idea and the turquoise is great!
Hi Jackie – I did exactly as you said and they looked gorgeous before I baked them…. when I took them out of the oven after 30 minutes at 350 degrees, they BOTH were cracked right down the center. Any ideas what went wrong???
I loved them before the bake, but I’m sure if I didn’t bake the finish on – it wouldn’t hold for long. BUMMED!!
Kathy, So sorry to hear that. It must be the type of knobs could not handle the heat. You could try coloring a new set, skip the baking, and use a clear spray finish to make them permanent. Even mine that were baked are rubbing off. I plan to redo and spray them with a clear coat. Hope that helps.
What type of spray are you speaking of?
Joyce Shaffer says
Have y’all seen the Sharpie Paint pens? I love those for my craft projects. They are different from the regular Sharpie pens. And I just love your drawer knobs!
I love this technique and tried it out with a dark azure blue sharpie. I put the knob in the oven at 450 after I had cooked something, and after about 20 minutes, it had melted. Oops! I will try it again with a lower temperature.
Brilliant…I LOVE them
You really should contact the Sharpie company and show them what you did with this project.
Using this on a set piece. It’s going to be awesome.
These are awesome but when I tried doing, the sharpie ink seemed to separate during the heating process and the white underneath showed through. I tried doing twice just as the instructions directed and came out with the same results. Any thoughts or suggestions on what might be going wrong? Thanks!
Sorry Denise. It is really hard for me to troubleshoot for you. I am guessing all Sharpies are created equal, so it must have something to do with the knobs, like a coating they have on them or something. Sorry I can’t help more.
I was just wondering – after a few months of use, how did the finish hold up? This is such a creative way to add a pop of colour and with an all (well,mostly) white color scheme i need all the “pop” ideas I can get ! thanx….
Krysti, My knobs are holding up well. I have seen some small areas of wear, where the color has rubbed off to reveal the white knob color. It hasn’t been enough to bother me yet. When it is, I plan to recolor them the same way and then use a clear finish spray (like polycrylic) or clear nail polish to seal them.
I usually don’t reply to posts like this, but you went into such detail and this is such a SUPER easy project! What a unique thing to do. You could literally do this for any room in any color! This is going on my pinterest board! Thanks for posting!!!!!
Those came out gorgeous! You’re absolutely spot on by describing them as having “movement”.
p.s. You weren’t in the “throws” of a month-long home spending hiatus. You were in the throes.
What a great find! I recently redid a small side table and I have been going crazy to find some knobs I had planned to use for this project. All I could find was a pair of very plain Jane porcelain knobs, but it wasn’t the look I wanted, tho the style would have worked. I am so glad I gave into the impulse purchase of a set of colored Sharpies! I didn’t get the marker marks you got, but I was able to get a color I needed to go with the cabinet. Can’t wait to put them on!
The is awesome,love them
Kathy S says
They make me wanta get to work, on my cabinets!love them.
Christy @ Creating a Beautiful Life says
Jackie, I did it! Had pretty good results and used the knobs to add a punch of color to a dresser I repainted. Here’s a link if you’d like to see…
Thanks so much for your tutorial!
Christy @ Creating a Beautiful Life
Christy, Thanks for sharing. The blue knobs look great on the white dresser!
margot grummon says
Today’s the day! Have an old martha washington sewing table which needs a new more colorful, modern life. The sharpy knobs will be the finishing touch :)
Jen McCarthy says
I was wondering how many Sharpies you used fir your project. The first knob I did looks great, but every subsequent knob after that had less and less marker adhere to it. By the 5th knob it had more white than color. I am using a metallic Sharpie. Do you think that might be why?
Jen, I only needed one Sharpie for all my knobs and the color was perfect all the way through. I have tried Metallic sharpies for another project and found they run out super fast. In fact, I bought several of them, but still was unable to finish the wall project I was working on. I decided it wasn’t meant to be. I know the metallic ones need to be stored tip down, so give them a break and let them rest point down…hopefully there is more ink in there.
Debbie Mayfield says
Wow!!! Can we say fabulous!!! They are gorgeous!!!
Angelica Perez says
WOW! I’m so hitting the flea market tomorrow! I’m gonna look for knobs like these!. It’s going to look great on my old desk drawer’s… Thanks for the idea!!!
Wow!!! I am so trying this! Thanks for sharing such a great idea (and your tutorial instructions are excellent). By the way, I am totally green with envy re: your craft room/studio pic. It’s gorgeous! You’re so lucky! Due to space restrictions most of my crafting/DIY-ing is done either at the dining room table or in the garage. Not exactly conducive to ‘creative inspiration’ :(
Awesome idea! But how long did you bake them and on what temperature?? I was wondering so I could try it out too!
Just found you on Pinterest and LOVE this idea, as I have the same, boring, yucky knobs on those great Martha Stewart pieces, (in green). I am now TOTALLY inspired to do something really artsy with the knobs – thank you!!
I am wondering – how did you find/get a “deep discount” on your MS piece(s)? I am going to buy two or three more pieces and REALLY need the discount as I was laid-off in February. :/
Thanks for any insight you can give me!