Relabeling Worn Stove Knobs





Introduction: Relabeling Worn Stove Knobs

When my wife and I bought our house, this stove came with it. It is a Magic Chef model # 3187VRV and by my estimate its about 20+ years old. The knobs all worked fine, but all of the numbers were worn off.

I found some websites that sold replacement bezels but only for the burners, the oven temperature knob was sold out everywhere I looked. I could use the burners without knowing the settings, but the oven was another story.

I had to find a way to number the oven and I wanted the burner knobs to match. The replacements all looked bright white and would really stand out next to the old, yellowed plastic of the knobs and the other bezels. My solution was to make my own sticker labels to cover the old bezels.

Step 1: Acquire Template Images

If the part you are looking for has a flat area where the letters are printed, you can probably just relabel your existing piece.

There are a number of websites that sell appliance parts online. They all seem to use the same images to show their stock. If you can find images of the exact item you need, right click on it and save it to your computer.

The grid in the background is very helpful. Somewhere on the image it usually tells you the scale (ex. Squares are 1" x 1"). Estimate the length and width of the image and resize it in a photo editor using inches as the units instead of pixels. Convert the image to grayscale and adjust the brightness and contrast all the way up. You want the white parts of the image to be completely white while the black parts are still sharp and completely black. Crop the images down to just what you need to print.

Print these new images on a laser printer. Inkjet printers will not work.

Step 2: Cutting

Items needed for these steps:
Clear Packing tape
Hobby Knife
Cutting board

Cut up the printout. Remove anything but the numbers, symbols and letters. Any shadowing from the form of the knob should be cut out.

Step 3: Taping

The packing tape I had was a little smaller than the knob I was labeling, so I overlapped 2 pieces slightly to make a larger piece. Make sure the overlap doesn't cut through any lettering. Press the paper onto the tape firmly. You want all of the paper to be securely stuck to the tape.

Wet the tape under hot water. Let the water soak into the paper and soften it up. Wet the tape again and let it stand aside again. When the paper is saturated, hold it under the hot water and the paper should just peel away. The paper around the letters is going to stick a little more and needs to be gently rubbed away. The fibers of the paper will stick the laser toner, but will eventually rub off completely. Let the tape dry and it will be just as sticky as it was before the paper.

(The L on the "Lite" didn't come out on this one, but I didn't notice until after I was done. Looks like i will have to redo this one.)

Step 4: Sticking

Pull the knob off the stove and center the sticker around the opening where you get the best fit.

Use the hobby knife to cut away the excess packing tape. If there is a bevel or a curve around the edge, you may want to cut off the tape at the edge of the face so you get a clean edge.

In the last picture you can see another label I made for the oven knob. They worked perfectly! Now I just have to finish the rest of them.



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    Great article! I've started a website called, if anyone needs Stove decals I've got you covered :)

    How could this work with black knobs with white lettering? Any ideas?

    Awesome instructable. I had never heard about that trick with the hot water and tape... i wish i had known this sooner. THANKS -MR

    Hmmm, I wonder if printing directly onto transparency material and taping a transparency 'ring' to the stove would have given better results than transferring the toner to tape? If so, by printing the graphic onto the transparency in reverse (mirrored), the toner would be on the 'back', keeping the toner as far away from fingers as possible.

    2 replies

    The toner is on the back, stuck on the adhesive side. If you used thicker packing tape it would probably come out nicer. If you had the room to use the transparency and the tape that might work and you could eliminate the seem that I had. Maybe you could use some kind of spray adhesive on the back of the acetate to eliminate the tape. I like the tape because it was much simpler and I didn't have to finish the project.

    Maybe use a transparency and glue it, rather than tape it? You wouldn't need the extra room and the effect would be the same if you used a clear drying glue. ~adamvan2000

    this is going to save me some time and money I had the same predicament and am glad to find this solution Thanks Mr.

    Thats a great idea..I have a stove that is missing the lettering off the oven temp dial..Im gonna give this a whirl..

    I think I've seen gin used to make transfers with laserjet printing (you print backwards, then place the paper on what you want to print and put gin on the back like applying temporary tattoo) I don't know if that would work on something like this though. Certainly a good method, but gin is always nice.


    Well done, thanks for sharing.


    Looks great! I'd probably just have used a sharpie and made do with that, but it wouldn't have looked as good. I'm thinking of other uses for this method.

    Pretty slick.