A few months ago, back in the midst of a number of other projects, and a lot of sickness, I created these fun Super Hero knobs with vinyl, paint and Portia, my Silhouette Portrait. Unlike most of the crafty things that I make for our home, or for gifts, the knobs were a special project. I wanted to hold off on the tutorial until after the big reveal of the entire super hero dresser. You see, a few months ago, Erin, over at DIY on the Cheap, invited the Atlanta Home Bloggers to participate in a very special charity project with an organization called Dwell with Dignity. The charity is based in Texas, but wanted to open an office/branch her in Atlanta. The goal of Dwell with Dignity is to help redecorate and create inviting home spaces for families who have recently experienced homelessness and poverty– they want to create homes for the families who need them the most! The apartment that we were working on was a perfect fit for me– it was for a mom with two boys! Boys who loved super heroes and legos. Erin led the team of bloggers to create a stunning decoupaged dresser— it was gorgeous, and made from a basic pine Ikea dresser! I volunteered to make these knobs for the dresser:
Okay, I have to be honest here… I did also try to make some other designs, including Superman, the Green Lantern, and the Flash, and I have learned a lot through a number of major craft fails with these designs. Even in the picture here, you can tell that the knobs are hand made and have flaws. I had to work through some of my perfection here, and realize that I was giving a homemade gift to these two little boys. This project is the most advanced Silhouette crafting project I have ever done, and it requires patience. I am saying this not to discourage anyone, but rather to let you know that if you try to make knobs like these, you may encounter some challenges.
The best knobs to use are plain, unstained wood knobs that are flat, or only slightly curved. If you don’t have any to recycle in your home, I know that you buy them on Etsy. The bigger and flatter they are, the easier they will be to make! . Measure the diameter of the knobs several times (as Mellow Man is always telling me, Measure twice, cut once!) After I knew the diameter of the knob, I made a series of circles in my Silhouette file that were slightly smaller in diameter. Then I put the logos of the 3 super heroes to the circles and sized them to fit the knob design.
I then thought about color, and spray painted the knobs. I sprayed 4 knobs white for the Captain America design, yellow for Bat Man, and red for Spiderman. I let the knobs dry overnight. (I’m not normally this patient, so I want to emphasize– let the base coat dry completely!!!) Once they were completely and totally, and in every way possible dry, I put the vinyl on the knobs. I did this very slowly and used my weeding tool and a popsicle stick. By doing this, I could make sure that all of the little pieces were wrapped onto the knob correctly and thoroughly smoothed down.
Once all of the vinyl was securely attached to the knobs, I painted the knobs with acrylic paint, referring back to the color design for the Captain American knobs. I used toothpicks to get into the small edges of the designs. I had to paint several coats to get an even and dark coverage with the acrylic paint. Here’s a tip, while you can paint over the vinyl, and it is good to paint over the vinyl slightly to get complete coverage: if you paint multiple coats over the vinyl and allow the paint to completely dry, it is going to be more challenging to remove. It is easier to paint over the vinyl only as needed, and remove the vinyl when the paint is almost or nearly dry.
When you remove the vinyl from the knobs, there were probably be some paint mistakes and errors. Depending on the size and severity of them, you have some choices. What I found was that some of the crisp edges were lost, and needed to be repaired. I did this again with toothpicks and a pencil. I dipped the toothpicks and pencil into paint and touched up the mistakes. After the mistakes were corrected to my satisfaction, and the paint and completely dried overnight, I painted over the knobs with Mod Podge Hard Coat to seal the paint. I just used one light coat, and again, let it dry over night.
The knobs looked perfect with the dresser, and I was so proud to have the opportunity to help make something for this wonderful charity. The picture below is from their photographer during the reveal party. You can find out all of the photos of the project here, and if you’d like to learn more about Dwell with Dignity, check out their website or their Facebook Page.