Make Designer Cabinet Pulls for $1.50 Each!

10 Materials
$6
45 Minutes
Easy

I had this plain-jane cabinet I picked up for super cheap! It served us really well, but it was kind of ugly . I knew I could totally rehab it for about $6 using a crazy inexpensive cabinet pull DIY. This was super easy to do, and my $1.50 pulls came out looking just like Restoration Hardware pulls that cost $25 or more!
Here is the cabinet when I got it. Not much to look at right? The charcoal color looked fine with our couches, and it had plenty of storage space and a nice wide top. Basically, it was totally useful, but totally boring.
Step 1: Gather your supplies
For the actual pulls, I used rings that I found in the lock section of the hardware store - I think they're the kind used to hold key rings. Really, any type of strong metal ring will do. Just make sure that your fingers can comfortably fit inside your rings before committing to them.
To secure the rings to the cabinet, I used size 1/4 galvanized wire rope clips. They each have a U-bolt, a saddle (that's the part with two holes), and two nuts. Wire clips come in a lot of sizes, so choose ones that look right for your rings.
Step 2: Open the wire rope clips
I opened up your wire clip by unscrewing the nuts from the back. After I slipped them off, I put them aside in a pile so I wouldn't lose them.
Then, I slid the saddle off of the U-bolt and put it with the nuts. With everything disassembled (wasn't that easy?), I was ready to prepare my cabinet.
Step 3: Put holes in the cabinet door for the pulls
First, I needed to find the center to place my pulls. I did this by measuring with a yardstick from the top left to the bottom right, and marking along that line, then flipping the yardstick and marking from the top right to the bottom left. I marked the point where the lines intersect with a pencil.
If you don't want to spend time erasing that whole line later, you can mark at about the center instead of marking the whole line, like I did.
Because this pull hangs down, I put it about 1.5 inches above the middle, so that the center of the ring came to the center of the cabinet door. If I had drilled the holes in the center, the pull will actually look lower than the center (strange, but true).
Then, I grabbed one of the metal saddles and placed the middle of the saddle (held vertically) on my mark. Using a pencil, I drew a dot inside the two holes of the saddle. I made sure to return the saddle to my hardware pile, so I wouldn't be scouring the room for it later.
I drilled starter holes (called a pilot hole) before drilling straight through, so that there was no chance of breaking the cheap finish on the cabinet. Make sure to drill at a 90 degree angle.
I drilled two holes the same width as the U-bolt. I found that I had to drill the hole again at a slight angle because my U-bolt flared out a bit at the ends.
Step 4: Assemble your pulls
I started by sliding my first ring inside the U-bolt. When it was fitted, I checked once again that my fingers fit inside comfortably.
I then slid the saddle on over the U-bolt, pushing it all the way to the bottom of the bolt. I know it doesn't look quite finished, but wait til you see it in!
I brought my newly assembled pulls over to the cabinet and slid them into the holes. I pulled them through tightly to prevent them from loosening too much over time.
Inside the door, I added a washer to each end of the U-bolt. The washers are a must - they will save your cabinet from wear and tear.
For the very last step in my super easy drawer pull update, I screwed the nuts over the washers until they felt really secure. I gave the ring a tug to make sure it was nice and tight.
Once the drawer pulls were in place, I decided that the drab veneer of the counter didn't quite go. Using silver contact paper, I covered the whole top, making it fit cleanly with an X-Acto knife.
And there you have it - voila! An insanely inexpensive and gorgeous cabinet update that no one will believe you DIYed.

Suggested materials:

  • A drill
  • Two galvanized wire rope clips
  • Two 2.5" metal rings
See all materials

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Victoria
    on May 27, 2016

    Excellent tutorial! Love the step by step photos! Where did you find the silver contact paper?

    • Kay
      on Aug 3, 2018

      Amazon have a massive variety, gloss finishes matte, different types of wood finishes gold, chrome, marble and almost any color you can think of. Definitely worth a look.

  • Ann
    on May 27, 2016

    Thanks for the tips that can be useful in other projects, too! How is the silver contact paper holding up?

  • Ann
    on May 28, 2016

    How is the contact paper on top holding up with use? ? This idea could save me a lot! And has taught me a lot! The handles are handsome and so clever. Thanks.

    • P Gropp
      on Jun 19, 2016

      Add a plain or beveled glass to protect the top and it will look high-end.

Join the conversation

2 of 53 comments
  • Joy
    on May 26, 2017

    Great idea for the pulls. However I question the placement of them on the doors. Not the best place for lever action as far as distance from the hinges. I think it makes opening the door a two handed job per door.
  • Joanie
    on Nov 22, 2017

    It looks brand new......love the charcoal and the new clips for hardware.....cool idea!!
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