An Inspirational Doorknob

(So last week’s project is still in process. Fortunately, my beloved wife had another Wifey Wednesday post that she wanted to share. Enjoy! ~Andrew)

My boss recently (and somewhat suddenly) got a well deserved promotion. I’m super excited for him and can’t wait to see where our department will go from here with him at the helm!

He’s an inspirational guy and I wanted to get him a congratulations gift that might be an inspiration to him. So where does one go to find inspiration other than inspiration central…Pinterest!

I don’t remember what criteria I used to search but when I came across the picture, but I knew Andrew and I had to make it. It was super easy to make (which is great for me since Handyman Jr. likes a lot of my time :)) and it screamed my boss.

I think all in all, it maybe took an hour (max!) to make and part of that was waiting for the Cricut to cut and paint to dry! If you like the sentiment, follow the directions below, feel free to make your own and show us pictures of your completed work in the comments below!

What you’ll need:

1 piece of wood (We used a 1×4 cut to 11 inches)

Some stain (We used Varathane Carbon Gray)

Cricut – We use the Cricut Explore Air; You could hand draw the words on but I liked the typewriter look and knew I wouldn’t be able to hand draw that.

Cricut Stencil Vinyl

Cricut Vinyl Transfer Tape


Doorknob (We bought ours at our neighborhood Habitat for Humanity Restore for like $2!)

Hammered Metal Finish Spray Paint

Stencil Brushes

Mod Podge

First, Andrew cut a piece of wood and sanded it down just a bit to get off any jagged edges. Since the sentiment was “Old ways won’t open new doors” we didn’t want it to be too clean or new, so we left it kind of rugged looking.

Next, Andrew stained the piece with Carbon Grey stain. The piece on Pinterest doesn’t look stained and you don’t have to stain your piece but since our doorknob was more of a goldish color vs. their dark bronze, I wanted some contrast so we went with a dark stain color.

Then, Andrew sprayed the doorknob with a hammered bronze spray paint we picked up on clearance at Walmart. You don’t have to paint the knob. We just did it because we wanted to mute the gold of the knob we bought.

Once the pieces were dried, I started on the lettering. I went into Cricut Design Space and started searching for the perfect lettering. I think I went through 2 dozen fonts until I settled on….Cricut Alphabet.  Yes, like the default lettering in Cricut. It works though! It looks typewriterish and while old ways won’t open new doors, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel either!

I then sized the phrase to fit the 1x6x11 piece of wood. And printed the phrase out on my Cricut. I used the weeder tool to remove the letters for the stencil and applied transfer tape over the top of it before applying the stencil to the board.

In order to know where the doorknob would approximately sit in relation to the phrase, we eyeballed where we wanted it to go and then lightly outlined it in pencil (You can just barely see the circle at the bottom of the picture above.)

With the stencil on the board, I then picked an acrylic paint from my stash that I thought would look older but stand out against the dark stain – Toasted Marshmellow. I used one of my smaller stencil brushes to tap on the paint over the stencil. I then let the paint dry for a little while. Most of the time when I stencil, I pull the stencil off less than 5 minutes after because I don’t want the paint too dry so much that it sticks to the stencil and crack off. With this piece however, I wanted that kind of look so I let it sit a little longer (about 30 minutes). And I probably let it sit a little too long (whoops!!). While I did get the crackly look I was looking for, I almost had a whole word peel off (Eek!)! Luckily, I was able to keep it on and ModPodge over it to stay stuck. So if you’re going for the crackly look, don’t let it sit longer than probably 10-15 minutes!

Andrew then attached the doorknob and bada-bing bada-boom I had myself a gift.

My boss thought it was awesome, especially when he found out we had made it. He does  blacksmithing in his spare time so he totally respects handmade stuff and now proudly displays our gift in his office by pictures of his family.

Now let’s all get out there and open some new doors! 🙂


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