diy project: kate’s vintage brooch knobs


for february i have picked vintage jewelry as my diy material. these knobs are made from vintage enamel brooches, which i fine everywhere these days: flea markets, thrift stores, and ebay. these brooches have such a nice vintage color palette and pretty details, and i never find two alike. while i was on ebay i found some other good options like vintage cameos, art deco rhinestone brooches, and bakelite pieces, all of which would make great knobs for a dresser or side table. happy crafting! -kate

CLICK HERE for the full project instructions or just click “read more” below.


What You’ll Need:
1. brooches
2. size 8/32 brass flat head machine screws (1.5″ long)
3. size 8/32 brass nuts (you need at least three nuts for each knob)
4. brass washers
5. pliers
6. epoxy or strong bond glue (make sure it works with metal)
7. sandpaper

Instructions:
1. using your pliers, pull off the pin fastening from the back of each brooch. they should pull off pretty easy if you bend them back and forth and pull away from the brooch.

2. use pliers to snip the nub left over and sand the back of the brooch in the center.

3. apply glue to the head of the machine screw and a little dab on the back center of the brooch. tape the screw in place.

4. let sit overnight to harden.

5. to attach to the drawer, put a couple nuts on the screw and then the washer (this allows the knob to pop out so its easier to grasp). place through hole in drawer and put another nut on back side and screw up to the wood to tighten.

VOILA!

  1. Erin says:

    I think I want to do this in my kitchen, I’ve never been able to settle on a theme there but this might spruce up the joint. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Annie says:

    I have been collecting some bakelite pieces and have been debating on what to do with them. I can not wait to do this!!! Thanks for the tut.

  3. Emma says:

    Yet another simple, brilliant, beautiful DIY project! I love it! Wednesdays are definitely my favourite d*s day.

  4. Kate says:

    cute! But, make sure the drawers slide easily and don’t tend to stick, these pulls are not going to be super functional, and shouldn’t be tugged on too hard.

  5. What a great idea! Off to look for cool vintage jewelry now…

  6. Lynne says:

    That’s funny – because I have started collecting vintage brooches – because I intend to decorate my (very small) Christmas tree with them next year. I never thought of doing something like this!

  7. Feng Shui says:

    This is such a great idea! Turns a simple set of drawers into a great focal point. This idea could also be applied to bed-side tables of night-stands to dress up any boring bedroom. If you don’t have the time, money, or patience to find vintage jewelry and transform them into knobs, Anthropologie is another alternative. They sell a wide range of knobs with a vintage feel. Instead of buying matching ones, mix it up! Visit Anthropologie’s website at http://search.anthropologie.com/?q=knobs

  8. I love the brooches! It’s a great way to recycle!

  9. Cara says:

    loooove it. can’t wait for a trip home to the States to scope out my old thrift stores. (Norway is seriously lacking in….well….just about everything.)

  10. mackenzi says:

    This is so totally charming! Great idea.

  11. Crystal says:

    Thanks for this! I love it.

  12. Sarah says:

    what a wonderful idea! I love it!

  13. SkitzoLeezra says:

    Fan-freaking-tastic!
    SOOO gonna copy that!

  14. Katy Kristin says:

    That’s great! I just inherited a bunch of cool brooches from my grandma but they aren’t really my style to wear. What a great way to make something useful, see them everyday, and be reminded of her. Thanks!!!

  15. Sara says:

    EEEK!!! I love this, I’m so doing this!! Thanks for the tip

  16. Bethany Rose Hildenbrandi says:

    Love it! New hardware – unique hardware, can be pricey! This is an excellent idea.

  17. April says:

    Pretty! Couldn’t you adapt this to make a knob from which to hang art from a ribbon? My SIL gave us a beautiful handmade (by her!) quilted banner for my son’s room that hangs from a covered dowel with an attached ribbon. So the hanging hardware would be visible on the wall. So I want something attractive. This might just work somehow. Advice out there?

  18. Carrie says:

    That is very cute but it makes me kinda sad to see those awesome brooches “wasted” like that (I collect 60s flower pins just like those).

  19. Toshi says:

    Love it!
    I have some vintage enamel brooches.
    But I do not hit on such a wonderful idea.

  20. marymary says:

    Very cute. But definitely an example of form-over-function, don’t you think? I mean, can you really imagine grabbing hold of those every day to pull open those drawers? I can’t help but picture getting poked, having metal flower parts breaking off in my hand . . . Am I the only one?

  21. Becky says:

    I’ve got a huge collection of these floral pins that I don’ t wear as often as I should- looks like I just discovered a use for them after all! Thanks!

  22. Elise says:

    These are so cool. They would also be great as MAGNETS :)

  23. Michelle says:

    Has anyone tried this? I want to….but wonder if the glue will hold?

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