One-hour Modern Door Handle

4 Materials
1 Hour


With a piece of dowel and two cheap plumbing clamps, we managed to update the barn door between our bedroom and bathroom to a modern farmhouse look!

Check out our blog for the full tutorial!


For this project, you'll need:

  • 1" thick wooden dowel
  • Two 1" bell clamps
  • Black spray paint
  • Wood stain of choice


This was the before - it just had a standard small door handle. It was fine, but boring!

Paint your bell clamps

The bell clamps come in a copper color, which we spray painted black. I deliberately didn't shake it really well so it would come out more grainy and give it a cast iron kind of look, but you could spray paint it whatever color you want or even leave it copper depending on the look you're going for.

Stain the dowel

The dowel rod will come anywhere from 4-foot to 8-foot long. We had some left over from a nursery closet makeover we just did so we used that.

Attach the bell clamps to the door

The clamps will come with a screw already attached to the middle. Just mark the points where you want the clamps to go and drill one hole for that screw. We had the clamps about two inches in from each end of the dowel.

Secure the dowel

The way the bell clamp works is that these two screws on either side secure the dowel in place. If you look closely you'll see one of them has a little 'C' shaped opening, so if you unscrew that screw just a little bit, you'll be able to swing the arm of the clamp open to set the dowel in place. Once it's in place on both of them how you like it, swing that arm back over and screw that screw back nice and tight.

And you're done!

Now you've got a fresh, modern barn door handle and have probably invested no more than an hour total for a high-end look. Check out our blog for the full tutorial!


Resources for this project:
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Shuganne Shuganne on May 29, 2022

    What did you do with the screw holes from the original door handle? You don't mention filling, sanding, and painting, but wouldn't you need to? The screws that held that handle on must have been fairly large to securely hold the handle in place while moving a solid wood door.

  • Fran in OKC Fran in OKC on Jul 03, 2022

    What about the other side of the door?? Also don’t the screws prevent u from closing door all the way??

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