If you have ever painted or redone an old piece of furniture, you know you also have to either paint or replace the hardware. If you have to replace the hardware, sometimes that can be pretty pricey. In my case, it was going to cost me more to replace the hardware than the piece of furniture was worth. In this post I am going to tell you why I decided to make my own drawer pulls instead of investing in expensive new hardware and I am going to show you how to do it yourself.
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Here is the furniture piece I painted. It was an office credenza I used in my law office back in the day and I bought it along with a desk for about $200 back in 2005. The desk is long gone, but I hung on to the credenza because I thought one day I would come up with a way to paint or redo it.
Notice that at least one drawer pull was broken and missing, not to mention I just hated them. They really dated the piece. Once I figured out exactly how to take those drawer pulls off, I never wanted to put them back on.
Okay. Skipping straight to the finish line, here is what it looks like now. To see the transformation check out that post here.
Once I finally had this piece painted and I was ready to move forward with my update by adding hardware, I started looking online. First of all, I did not find a lot of options for this particular size. To measure for hardware, you measure from the center of one hole to the center of the other hole. My measurement was 4 1/2 inches from center to center. That turned out to be a pretty large drawer pull when I started shopping. It might be an irregular size because it was office furniture? I don’t know. Second of all, I did find one modern option that I liked, but as you can see, I needed eight of them. That option would have cost me over $250. I just didn’t think this credenza was worth it, so of course, I decided there must be a way I could make my own.
DIY DRAWER PULLS
Here are the materials you will need to make leather drawer pulls.
- Exacto knife and/or rotary cutter
- Cutting Mat
- Screw Driver
STEP ONE: REMOVE OLD HARDWARE
On this particular piece of furniture, I had to remove the drawer facings to get the hardware off.
STEP TWO: FIND YOUR MEASURMENTS
Measure the distance from the middle of one hole to the middle of the other hole on the drawer. My measurement was 4 1/2 inches. Decide how thick you want your drawer pulls. I decided to make these 1 inch thick. Decide how long you want your drawer pulls. My straps are 7 inches long and my screw holes are 1 inch in on either end. This makes my center to center measurement on the strap 5 inches.
STEP THREE: CUT YOUR STRAPS
I used both an exacto knife and a rotary cutter because I found that the rotary cutter worked best on the shorter cuts and the knife was best on the longer cuts. I used my cutting mat and my metal yardstick to cut straight.
Since the leather was curved at the corners, my first cut was small. I just cut the end off so I would have square corners.
Next I cut my piece of leather in 1 inch x 7 inch strips. I was able to make three straps to each piece of leather I had.
STEP FOUR: MAKE YOUR HOLES
One inch from either end I poked a hole with my exacto knife by making a small x. I was careful not to make my hole too large. It was basically just a small hole to get started. Then I pushed a small screw driver through the hole to open it up.
STEP FIVE: ATTACH YOUR NEW DRAWER PULL
Once I had my holes, I attached the straps to the drawer face with screws, washers, and bolts I bought at Home Depot.
I measured the thickness of the drawer facing and took my old screw to Home Depot. I fit it into their display to figure out what size screw it was. Then I bought screws, washers, and bolts. My screws are machine screws #8-32 x 1 inch. My bolts are #8-32 and my washers are #8S. Since I knew the thickness of my drawer face, I was able to choose a length that would allow me a little bit of room for the thickness of the leather. The washer is on the front of the strap and just gives a little reinforcement to the hole in the leather.
Tighten the bolts and put the drawer faces back on the cabinet. I learned to tighten my bolts on the back of the screws as hard as I could to help the straps stay in place when you use them.
These leather strap drawer pulls cost me about $25 to make. Wow! That’s a lot less than the $240 I would have spent on actual hardware. I used four pieces of Art Minds Genuine Leather from Michaels and two packages each of screws, washers, and bolts from Home Depot and I made eight drawer pulls. If anyone is counting, that’s about $3.13 per drawer pull. Not bad and I love the way they look.