Monday, September 26, 2011

How To: Stone Cabinet Pulls/Knobs

When our home was first built I skipped the option of upgrading the knobs on the cabinets and just kept the chrome knobs that were standard. The builder wanted some ridiculous sum of money ($350 ish if I remember right) and I just figured I'd do it later. 3 years later and now I have been looking at options and at $3 a knob, which only affords the plain and kind of ugly cabinet pulls, it would cost me about $120. Yikes!

This is where we started:

Then I saw a link on Pinterest to these and LOVED them. But, they are $75 for 4 of them. So, um, that's $750 for my kitchen. Right, keep looking.

It was at this moment I noticed a jar to my right. It was filled with rocks my grandmother had once collected, I believe from Washington. I had kept them for sentimental reasons after she died since I collect random rocks myself and didn't want them tossed into the flower beds, which is sadly where they were headed. As I looked at them I realized that better than random rocks with no history for a ton of money was rocks for no money with a ton of history.

I started by picking out all the rounded rocks that could make good knobs as there were quite a few that were too oddly shaped for this purpose. Then I started matching them into pairs so each place that two were next to each other would look like they belonged together. I super-glued a flat head screw to the back of the rock and added one nut to go between the rock and the cabinet so it wasn't flush and hard to grab.

One more nut is also needed to hold it on the back side.

I started with these ugly things:

And now we have some knobs that are not only pretty but also have memories. And instead of spending $120+ (or $750!!!) I spent a total of $20 on the screws, nuts, and glue. I did consider using an epoxy that was meant for metal and stone instead of the super glue but I think it wasn't needed. When I attempted to break the screw off of the stone I didn't break the glue, I broke the stone and stronger glue isn't going to change that I can break the stone so I kept it simple.

Now the only thing I'm wondering is if I should seal the rocks or just leave them be? It's possible they might stain if I don't but stones are mostly washable as is so maybe it's fine. What do you think?

Oh, and if you're wondering which type of super glue I use it's Loctite Gel Control. I LOVE that it's not runny and doesn't get all over my hands so it has quickly become my go to glue.


  1. awesome! I love it! also b/c it shows that you can actually USE all that interest inspiration...I should remember that....

  2. I would never have thought of that... great idea!

  3. Wow! I'm always looking for something new to do with my cabinets and drawers. We have it even worse than you: 50. Oy. Love the storage, though.

  4. I ADORE this idea and I love the thought of putting that extra nut to keep it extended a bit. I did branches on cabinets once and that was the trickiest are brilliant!

    I would leave them unsealed! ...or maybe just rub some mineral oil on them...but I think any kind of gloss would kill the look!

  5. I love the idea and the look. I don't think you have to seal them.

    I'm your newest follower. :)

  6. I drawer pulls like these years ago in a rustic specialty shop in Sandpoint, ID, not far from where I live. They were lightly sealed with mineral oil I think and had some kind of spacer that was pretty cool. I thought these would be perfect for our someday house....but the price tag was between $9 and $12 depending on the type of pull. I thought the same thing you did...I can do this! So, here it is 10 years later and I am really going to try it. You just proved to me I didn't need a 2 part epoxy or even a spacer, our house will be finished in a few months and I can't wait to get started on this project. Thanks for the confindence boost I needed to see that I could do it!

  7. If you need room between the pull and cabinent, you could buy PCB spacers from an electrical company, say McMaster-Carr or Digi-Key, the threads will be covered with a nice smooth hexagonal spacer.


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