Angela’s crafty DIY atomic starburst cabinet pull backplates

starburst backplateReader Angela loved the vintage Amerock starburst backplates that Kate used on her bathroom vanity So when she needed hardware for her kitchen cabinets, Angela wanted starbursts. Angela found them on Ebay, but at $28 each it would have cost nearly $1,000 for just the 34 backplates she needed. Instead of giving up, Angela got creative — and made an army of sparkly aqua acrylic copies from one Amerock original.

starburst backplateAngela writes:

I really wanted atomic starburst backplates in my kitchen, but good grief they were expensive. I didn’t want the Rejuvenation Hardware version with four measly points, I wanted a vintage atomic with eight points! I found a whole hoard of new old stock on eBay, but ouch! $28 each? I needed 34 of them!

So, I purchased one of the eBay versions and got to work.  I made molds with Easymold Silicone Putty. (affiliate link)

starburst backplateThen, I cast the backplates using Craft Casting Clear Epoxy (affiliate link).  It took quite a bit of trial and error as the color I was trying to achieve was teal … not blue, not green, not turquoise, teal!  I was trying to match the original tile sizzle stick in my kitchen’s backsplash. I started by practicing with colors I didn’t care for, with the most inexpensive craft glitter, then went into the teal attempts. By the time I was done, I had more than 100 extras! Did I mention I am obsessed with atomic starbursts?  Yeah.

starburst backplateTo get matching knobs, I purchased very inexpensive ceramic dead stock from a junk shop near my home, 0.33¢ each. I coated the knobs with the matching glitter mix, then with numerous coats of clear acrylic.

starburst backplate starburst backplateLong story short, the knobs and backplates came out great. And, they’ve been up in my kitchen for about 6 months with no issues on durability.

starburst backplate

Two bonuses:

starburst backplateI traded all of the extra knobs and backplates with my favorite MCM second-hand shop owner.  I got a fabulous floor lamp … with starbursts on it!  He’s using my leftovers to googie up his finds.

vintage oven knob
This was pre-repair.  Someone else had already tried to fix the knob.

vintage oven knob

I was also able to fix the knob on my yellow Deluxe DeVille model O’Keefe & Merritt stove I bought off Craigslist from L.A.  I couldn’t find another knob anywhere.  Apparently, the DeVille model was only made for a few years, so I:

  • Found an old knob with the same shaft
  • Removed every piece of the shaft from the knob I wanted to keep
  • Broke apart the replacement knob and sawed out the shaft
  • Glued the shaft on with the right stuff and really let it dry (like a week)
  • Filled the inside of the knob with acrylic to support the glued-in shaft

So far, it’s working great!


NOTE: The acrylic is really sticky!  Keep it in a safe place, away from foofy dog tails, while it’s drying!

As the fellow owner of a dog with a ‘foofy’ tail, I agree — keeping curious pups away from sticky substances — like wet paint or uncured acrylic — is a must. Wow — way to be resourceful Angela! Mega thanks for sharing your tips and tricks with us.

  1. Laurie Louise says:

    Cookies…great idea! Kate, will you make us some atomic starburst cookie cutters for Christmas this year?

  2. Angela says:

    If Pam & Kate want it, they can have an article on the kitchen when done. Just need one little cabinet in between yellow stove and yellow fridge and I’ll be done. ;o)

  3. lynda murray says:

    You sound like such a fun creative person! I laughed when I saw your fuzzy knob, I thought stuff like that only happened to me!

  4. Colleen says:

    Thanks for sharing your very very, (just one more time) very clever idea for the wonderful knobs you made. What a difference they make. Thanks again.

  5. Brenny says:

    I am attempting this project. May I ask what is the length of your starbursts? I finally found ONE to choose from (lol) and it may be too short for this project. You just cannot find these (the 3 dimensional ones) any more. I’ve been looking for months and only found this one.

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