I’ve recently been obsessed with using leather belts and remnants for drawer pulls. I love painting dressers and am always looking for cheap and easy ways to update the knobs. I’m thrifty and thought this could be an easy DIY project. I was right! I was so excited and loved the final look so much that I wanted to share this tutorial with all of you. These are a few dressers that inspired me to start making my own leather pulls:
Veronica Loves Archie
The Merry Thought
Leather Dresser Pull Tutorial
1. Visit your local thrift store on the 50% off days or put out a Facebook request for old belts out to friends. I try to stay under $5 per belt, but if it’s a really special one, sometimes I can’t resist paying more. I usually stick with genuine leather. Bonded leather also works, but the edges take a little bit more work. These five were from my trip last week to the ARC. Each was $3.99 or less.
2. Gather the tools you will need: an old leather belt, rotary cutter or utility knife, cut mat (like the Olfa one shown), ruler, power drill with desired drill bit, screwdriver, screws/nuts/bolts/washers, piece of scrap wood, pencil, optional template for 3-5 inch holes. The standard handle size for most kitchen and bathroom cabinets and dresser drawers is 3-5 inches.
3. Start measuring! Measure the length of the existing dresser or cabinet holes. Measure from the center of one to the center of the other. Before you decide on the length to cut each pull, you need to consider these two questions:
How many fingers do you need in the raised center of the pull in order to easily pull the drawer or cabinet open? This is usually 1-2 inches. If you don’t allow room for fingers, you’ll get a flat handle like the one below. This won’t work!
How much leather would you like to leave on each end? The picture below shows 3/4 of an inch from the end.
4. Cut both ends of the belt with the rotary cutter or utility knife to remove the buckle and loop holes.
5. Measure what is left of the belt and divide by the decided length. I am usually able to get between 3 and 7 5-inch pulls from one belt. The majority of my pulls need to fit 3 inch holes, so I cut my pulls 5.5 inches to allow for a raised center and some extra on each side. Once you have your length, cut your pieces.
6. Using a template or ruler, mark with a pencil each hole to be drilled. Use the same size drill bit as the diameter of the hole and size of the bolt.
7. Drill both sides of each hole to allow the bolt to easily screw into place. You could also use a leather punch, but that wasn’t in the budget for this project. Be sure to use a bolt and not a screw. Bolts require a nut in order to lock it in place.
8. Place washer (if desired) on the bolt, screw bolt on to the pull, place your new (old) leather pull on the dresser drawer, and attach the nut on the other side of the drawer to secure it in place. If the existing hole is too big for the bolt, use an eyelet or washer to cover it. That’s it!
Below are a couple of samples of the leather handles I’ve made to update furniture and that are available in Mrs. White Twig’s Etsy store.
Mrs. White Twig Weather Leather Pull
Mrs. White Twig Black Leather Loop Pull
Below is another work in progress using DIY leather pulls. A before and after with the stitched leather handles. I wasn’t able to save the top left drawer, so Whitey and I are planning to build a shelf for additional storage.
If you want more ideas on using leather belts as drawer pulls, please visit my Pinterest board Upcycled Leather Belts.
Thanks for visiting!
Sharing at ShabbyNest Frugal Friday