Sunday, March 26, 2017

Faux Geode Knob DIY

Why, Hello there. It has been a minute, hasn’t it?  More like… an entire year!

Here is a quick catch-up before I tell you about my project.

During the last year, I…

…moved into a charming little house that is over one-hundred years old
…read eight books in eight weeks to complete the Pikes Peak Library Reading Challenge
…started grad school (for clinical mental health)
…reached my five-hundred-hour volunteer mark for fostering kittens for the Humane Society
…saw the new live-action Beauty and the Beast movie yesterday and it was am-a-a-a-a-zing!
Image from

It was a wonderful movie: that’s all I can say.  
If you haven’t had a chance to see it yet: GO! Like right now!  Don’t worry about this blog post, you can read it when you arrive home later.  Belle still possesses all the qualities I associated with as a child: she is a little weirdo from a small town that prefers reading over socializing.  Although I didn’t love Emma Watson in this role (we can discuss that at a later date) I LOVED Josh Gad as LeFeu.
  If you are nervous about the controversial “gay” scene, don’t be.  It’s not Brokeback Mountain, only an endearing three-second shot of two men dancing.  
Several questions you may have about the story are addressed.  Such as, how could everyone in the surrounding towns just forget about the existence of an enormous castle full of royalty and servants?  Why doesn’t Belle have a mom?  And, why is the beast such a jerk?   The size of the library is also a bit more realistic for a small, illiterate town.  AND remember that theory about how Belle’s synopsis of her favorite book foreshadowed Aladdin, the movie Disney planned to release next in 1992?  “Far off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, a prince in disguise!”  In this movie, her book was about “two towns in Northern Italy,” so keep that in mind…
Image from

The original cartoon version of Beauty and the Beast was the first movie I saw in the theater (I’m not counting the time my babysitter snuck me into The Blob in Spain with her boyfriend and I was so terrified that I stood up in my seat screaming until she carried me out).  My grandma is responsible for introducing me to the magic of Disney on the big screen.  She took me and a few of my friends.  I vividly remember how impressed I was when my friend Sarah showed up with a purse! How fancy and mature!  And then, during the film, she opened it to reveal a handful of plastic ponies.  Good memories.

Okay, so back to the post:
My new house is fantastic.  Unfortunately, because it was built in 1899, it has absolutely no closets and I needed to find a wardrobe.  Obviously, I would like this one, but we can’t have everything we want, can we now?

Instead, I found an entertainment center at ARC Thrift for twenty dollars - thank you, Half-off Saturdays!  
I removed all the hardware used to hold the television and DVD player in its previous life and installed a heavy duty bar with metal brackets to hang clothes.  I wish I had thought to take before photos.  To add some visual interest, I opted to switch out the original basic brass flower knobs for something more interesting.
I quickly fell in love with geode knobs like these little lovelies for sale at Anthropologie.
My handmade knobs aren’t identical copies, I only used the image for inspiration.  I like how the geode is surrounded by gold.
Would you like to DIY a set of your own geode knobs?  I'm sure you must have some piece of not-so-exciting furniture around that could use a refresh for spring.
You will need:
several textured rocks of similar size
gold acrylic paint
metallic nail polish and 1-3 colors
long screws and bolts (or use the original knobs in place of bolts, you’ll see what I mean later)
Goop Glue

To begin, you need a nice collection of rocks.  
The more texture and uneven surfaces they have, the better.  I found these oddly shaped little chunks of refuse cement in the dirt by my new patio in the backyard.  Determine how many knobs you need and find pieces that are all similar in size.  
My wardrobe needs six knobs and I chose stones that are roughly two inches in diameter.
Soak the pieces in warm soapy water, then rinse and dry. Scrub them if you need to.  
You want your stones squeaky clean before you turn them into sparkling geodes.
If you are lucky enough to find cement scraps, you may want to use tweezers to remove any bits of leaves or dirt.
    Begin by coating the rocks with metallic nail polish.  
The color of the polish is not important, but the sheen will show through the colors you use later.
  Don’t worry about coating every little area with the polish, a few bare spots are okay because you will cover this layer with your colorful polish.
Choose a few colors for your geodes. I recommend using three: one main color (I chose purple), a darker color for shadows (navy blue), and one lighter for highlights (a dusty rose pink).  Your main color should be a rich jewel tone: purple, blue, green, or a deep pink.
**Note – painting the rocks will damage your nail polish applicators, so consider buying inexpensive dollar store polish for the project**
Determine what surface you want to feature as the geode or the part that faces outward.  This is the side you will paint with polish.  The other side will have the screw glued to it and will face the wardrobe. If your stone has a flat side, the screw will adhere best to that surface.  Eventually, you will paint this back half gold.
Use the darker color to add shadow in crevices of your rock’s front-facing surface.  
Next, use the main color to paint the surface, carefully filling in the tiny spaces.  
After, brush the highlight color over the highest bumps and edges of your knob.  
The wonderful thing about geodes is that they are naturally perfectly imperfect.  No two are the same and they are actually celebrated because of their uniqueness.  
Don't concern yourself with making them perfect or identical.  True geodes don't follow these rules at all.  Allow the polish to dry overnight.
Flip the geode over and use the Goop glue to adhere a screw.  
I used the screws that held the original knobs in place on my wardrobe.  
The Goop glue can take anywhere from twenty-four to seventy-two hours to harden.  Because you will pull on these knobs, I recommend waiting the entire seventy-two hours.
Using the gold acrylic, carefully paint the back side of the geode. 
I tried to paint enough surface to have some gold visible around the edges when I look at the knob from the front.  You may need to apply several coats to create a convincing gold layer.  
Allow the paint to dry for several hours and overnight if necessary.
When the paint is dry, install your knobs.  Instead of buying bolts, I used the original knob on the other side of the door to hold my geode in place.
 If I did the project again, I might use larger rocks to create bigger knobs because the wardrobe is such a large piece of furniture. 

  I also want to replace those ornate brass pieces behind the knobs with gold toned pieces. In general, I am happy with the results.

Have you done any furniture conversion projects like this?  Did they turn out how you planned?  
And what are YOUR highlights from the last year?  
As always: if you make geode knobs of your own, please, PLEASE share photos!  I would love to see your gorgeous work!

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