cabinet knobs

Knobs of Note: 16 Ideas for a Cool Cabinet

Are you searching for a way to add some personality to your doors and drawers? Create fun and functional handles with these delightful (and frugal) ideas.

By Sarita Harbour


  • Rope ‘Em Up


    Do you just love nautical decor? Keep it simple and thrifty by using knotted 3/8-inch twisted manila rope in place of traditional pulls on a dresser or drawers. These are the perfect accent for a lakeside cottage or a country home by the river.


  • Rock-Hard Hardware


    For a fresh burst of color and a unique flea-market ambiance, collect polished sea glass, unusual rocks, or beautiful minerals to make custom drawer pulls for a fun kitchen. Remember to use extra-strong glue as the rocks can be heavy.


  • Pull Toys


    Looking for a creative and inexpensive way to customize a child’s bedroom or playroom? Use brightly painted small toys like these dinosaurs as dresser door or drawer knobs.


  • Made to Measure


    Yardsticks cut to size make perfect handles for wide drawers. Either sand and paint them, or leave them as is. These vintage yardsticks are sitting on top of dowel pieces, but old thread spools would be a nice touch!


  • Material Girl


    Delicate fabric handles add a touch of whimsy and romance to a girl’s bedroom and cost mere pennies when made from scrap material. Choose a heavy canvas or burlap for durability.


  • Put a Cork in It


    Did you recently refinish an old dresser, chest of drawers, or cabinet? Celebrate by breaking out the Champagne, and repurpose the corks for drawer knobs!


  • Leather Pulls


    Folded leather strips create this simple yet elegant look, perfect for a modern, minimalist room. Instead of using a bolt, thread a thin leather lace through small holes at each end of the strip (see photo) to hold the strips in place.  You can do the same with old belts.


  • Necklace for a Drawer


    Have a broken pearl necklace? Don’t throw it out—instead, thread the pearls onto wire to fashion a romantic drawer handle for a bedside table or bureau.


  • Clever Cutlery


    A drill, some screws, and a few choice pieces of vintage cutlery can turn old knives, forks, and spoons into delightful kitchen cabinet handles that will charm your guests—and whet their appetites!


  • Tree Twigs


    If you’re crazy about the upscale rustic look, make unique and useful cabinet handles from stripped tree branches. Choose branches from your property, and you’ll have enough to personalize every cabinet in your house!


  • Sewing Bobbins


    Ask the sewer in your family to save the bobbins—they make strong, quirky drawer pulls. Fix them to the drawers using a bolt through the middle of the bobbin to add a little steam-punk style to your bedroom.


  • Wrapped Twine


    Who needs a high-end design store? Not you. Hot glue and twine are all that are needed to achieve this look. Just wrap the twine tightly in circles and glue it to an ordinary knob you already have on hand. It’s got an earthy feel, that’s on trend and economical.


  • Nuts and Bolts


    If industrial is where your design druthers lie, this DIY nuts and bolts drawer pull could be just for you. Ideal for a garage or shop, it will also look great in a modern setting with lots of steel elements. Just secure some eye screws into the hardware holes on the drawer. Then thread a large bolt through them and secure with nuts. Simple and stylish.


  • Paint Brushes


    Old paint brushes can be reborn as cabinet handles. Just drill holes in the wooden handles and thread bolts through, securing nuts to create enough room for your fingers to fit through comfortably. Every paint brush has a story, and they can be immortalized forever in your shop or craft room.


  • Concrete


    Of course, concrete! Why didn’t we think of it before? It’s as easy as creating a form out of a something small, in the shape you desire for your knob. Then fill it, and let the concrete set for a few minutes. Insert the head of a bolt, and let the concrete dry. Once removed from the mold, sand the knob smooth with silicon carbide wet/dry paper and rub the surface with talcum powder to create a shine.


  • Colorful Crochet


    If yarn craft is your thing, pull out your crochet needles and whip up a bunch of colorful covers for your drawer knobs. You can make over a dresser in no time, and bring a textured contrast to the smooth surface of your furniture. They’re slipcovers for your hardware!





Custom Contracting, Inc. 1267A Massachusetts Ave. Arlington, MA 02476 Phone: 781-648-2835 Fax: 781-648-0907 Email:

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