Thank you for all the kind responses about the London Underground dresser!
First off, I have to give credit to The Muse (otherwise known as Geralyn)! Almost everything I do gets run by the The Muse for approval and tweeking before execution. In this case she helped me nail down the city and then worked with me to come up with a good design for the knobs. We tried the Union Jack but finally settled on the logo for the Underground.
OK onto the “how.”
I’m going to use my Underground image to illustrate but this method would work for any kind of graphic you wanted to work with.
Steps 1-3. Sand, Prime, Paint!A good sanding is key (wooden knobs seem to be doused in evil paint resistant shellacks and varnishes) and I ‘ve become a big fan of Zinzer’s BIN Shellac Base Primer which creates a great finish. And I painted it with a couple of coats of flat black spray paint.
I then put a black background behind the image. This made it easier to cut out and let it blend in a little better on the knob.You can do this in MS Word too. Just thicken the outline around the circle (mine went up to 50) and add some small, black boxes behind the ends of the “Underground” text.
To be honest I was a little too lazy about my cut out on this one. The black edge gives you some wiggle room but you do want to cut as close to the edge of the image as possible (ie, cut it out better than I did this time around).
Mod Podge: If you’ve read my Mod Podge Rocks tutorials you know that to create a smooth bubble free adhesion I like to soak my images for a few seconds in water before applying them (test your image first – some inks won’t hold up to a bath).
So, soak it, mod podge it on there and wipe up any excess glue. After that was thoroughly dry I went in with my sharpie and touched up those tiny white edges that always appear. If you were using a more unique color you could do the same just using a fine brush.
I did a couple more sealing coats of Mod Podge to minimize the edge where the paper meets the knob and after the Mod Podge had thoroughly dried (and I mean thoroughly, like, overnight or longer if you can swing it) I did a very light sanding and then top-coated with a couple of passes of an acrylic sealant.
And there you go. A totally specific knob for almost nothing.