January 22, 2013


Adding colorful hardware is an easy way to add some character or a little bit of your own personality to a piece of furniture, to spice up something plain, or to tie in to your existing decor and color pallet.  There are lot great options (Restoration hardware, Anthropologie, UO, Hobby Lobby  and World Market - all have a pretty good selection and great sales).  But what about something custom, a little more personal?  I will teach you how to make your own custom drawer pulls.

You will need:
  • wooden spools (or large & medium size dowels to make your own)
  • 8/32" diameter installation screws (2" long)
  • 1 nut & washer per each screw/bolt (to tighten to your drawer)
  • epoxy or other strong quick drying glue
  • wood filler
  • Mod Podge (It comes in matte & gloss finish)
  • scrap of fabric, scrapbook paper, photos, vintage postcards, maps, stamps, etc. (there are lots of possibilities!)
  • fabric marking pen or pencil if you are using paper 
Not pictured:
  • drill + various drill bits (size will depend on your screw/bolt)
  • hand sander
  • scissors
  • vice/clamp - it is very helpful to use a vice or clamp to counter sink your screw into your spool 
  • something to grip your spool as you cut it - because it is round it is difficult to hold onto, so I used a kitchen grip pad for opening jars

1. Using a hand saw cut your spool in half exactly (you will be able to make two pulls from each spool). *If you do not have spools, you can make many pulls by cutting a large dowl (1.5+" diameter) into even sections and using a small dowel (.5"+ diameter) to make the 'neck' of your pull. Then you would glue them together and drill a hole down the center of both and follow the rest of my instructions accordingly.

2. Sand down the cut side of the spool so that it is flat and smooth.  You can sand it by hand or make quick work of it with a hand sander of any type.

3. Since I do not have a vice I could not use a paddle bit for this step.  If you have a vice, tighten down your spool and drill 1/4" down with a paddle bit or drill bit the same size as your screw/bolt head to counter sink the screw (so that it sits just below the surface of the spool).  If you do not have a vice you can make do with a small drill bit used like a Dremel tool and grind away just enough wood to let your screw sit below the top of the spool (see pictures - just be very careful you don't scratch your fingers). Then apply a small amount of glue inside the rim of the hole & insert the screw/bolt.

4. Next, fill the hole with wood filler and let dry (an extra spool makes a perfect drying spot). Once it is dry use fine grit sand paper to sand the top smooth.

5. Place your pull face down on your paper or fabric, trace and cut.  Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the top of your spool and place your fabric/paper.  Allow to dry for few minutes ( you can use an extra spool to set it on to dry).  Once it is set in place you can add Mod Podge over the top and edges.  Allow to dry completely.


6. Your  pulls are ready to be added to any drawer or cabinet! Just use the nut and washer to tighten and if needed use a bolt cutter to cut the excess length off your screw post. This is an excellent and inexpensive way to add a touch of your own personal style to a piece of furniture.

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