How to easily install drawer pulls

Look closely….

Notice anything missing?

Look closer….

 

So, we’ve had knobs on our cabinet doors for months and months. But no drawer pulls. Why?? Well, because I’m cheap. It’s the only reason I’ve got.

About a year ago, I came across three packages of the cabinet knobs in the above pic on clearance at Target for 11 bucks per 10-pack.   That equaled thirty brushed nickel knobs for thirty three bucks. And thirty was more than enough knobs to cover every cabinet door in our house. Kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room. All cabinets. So, it was a go. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any drawer pulls available at the time (on clearance or otherwise), so we just installed the knobs and decided to buy drawer pulls somewhere else.  I looked for pulls at several places, but couldn’t justify spending at least four bucks a pop when we needed 21 of them.  I’m much too stingy. And I’m picky. Which, of course, meant that I only wanted the pricier pulls.

About 3 months later, I found a six-pack of these pulls on sale at Target for 11 bucks.  Less than two bucks a piece!! Score!  (Ignore the $8.74 sticker… I’ll explain that later)…

The pulls were simple, but had a little beefiness to them, which I really liked. I thought they would be perfect for the master bath since we have six drawers in there.  But then, for no rational reason at all, the package remained unopened in our cabinet for, oh, another 9 months. Ignored. Uninstalled.

So, color me excited when I discovered another package of these exact pulls on clearance at Target for 11 bucks just last week.  I figured that if I could just find one more package, then I could use that, plus this package plus our current package at home for our kitchen drawers.  We have fourteen drawers in there so that would leave four extra pulls to use for various other projects.   Then, I’d just worry about the master bath later.

I asked the sales associate if I could order an additional set of pulls online and he said yes, so I purchased my pulls and went home. I logged onto Target.com to order my final pack, only to discover that low-and-behold you CANNOT order them online.  Bummer.

So, I called another Target and spoke with an angel. She told me that not only did they have 2 packages (enough to finish both the kitchen and the master bath), they were on sale at that location for (you guessed it) $8.74!!!!  And I thought I got a great deal before!  To go the extra mile, she actually walked over to verify that they hadn’t already sold and she held them behind the guest service desk until I could get there. I love that girl. I wish I could remember her name because I would love to send her props to corporate.

So, I drove up there and picked them up.  After I arrived home, I began installation, which was a breeze thanks to this little gadget…

It’s a drawer template that comes in a set with a corner piece for installing knobs on cabinet doors.  They help to ensure that the holes are drilled in the same place on each drawer (or door).

All you do is line up your pull to determine which holes match up….

In my case, it was the center holes. Then, you measure and mark the middle of your drawer…

…line up the middle line on the template with the mark you just made…

And determine which row of holes are the closest to the middle of the drawer vertically.  Our shallower drawers are 5 1/2 inches high, so I chose the 2 1/2 inch row since that was closest to the middle…

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The fact that it’s about 1/4″ off from the exact middle is undetectable to me.   It seems centered when you look at it.

Once I knew to choose the 2 1/2 inch row for our narrower drawers, I only had to measure the middle of the remaining drawers horizontally, since the template, once laid in place over the drawer, would dictate the same placement vertically each time…

Now, keep in mind that the row used on the template may need to change depending on the depth of the drawer. We had two depths of drawers in our kitchen, so for the deeper drawers (which were about 7″ high), I used the 3 1/2 inch row to keep the handles centered on the drawers.  It may also be useful to tape off the holes on the template that you aren’t using to help from accidentally marking the wrong ones.

Once you have your holes marked (my marks were pretty faint, so I tried to point them out for ya.)…

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…drill your holes…

And install your knob…

I had 14 pulls to install in our kitchen, so I did everything in shifts. I measured and marked them all first, then went back and drilled holes, and finally installed my pulls. Doing it this way kept me from having to change my drill bit thirty times, which was nice.

And here’s our newly bedazzled kitchen…

 

It always amazes me how hardware on cabinetry makes the room feel so much more custom and cared for.   After I finished installing all the pulls, I stepped back and nearly busted with the feeling that the room felt so much more “us”.  It may sound silly, but it’s true.

All in all, the hardware (all of the knobs and pulls for the entire house) costed us around $75 (give or take).   Considering that most cheaper knobs run about $2 each and pulls about $4 a piece (which would have equalled at least $150 for the number of knobs and pulls we purchased), I think we did pretty good.   Sure, it took over a year to acquire said hardware, but I’m glad we waited.  We ended up with knobs and pulls that we love for half the cost, which is enough to put a smile on my face any day.  🙂

 

Try and try again

Trial and error is a HUGE part of making a house a home.  I have no training and or expertise when it comes to DIY home stuff.  What I do have is ‘try it’, ‘live with it’ ‘change it’, and ‘repeat as necessary’.  Just basically jumping in, learning from my mistakes, and determining what I like (and don’t) by living with stuff and changing it if need be.  Our photo wall is a perfect example of this. It’s come about via a LOT of trial and error over many months (and many, many holes in the wall. Heehee! Whoops.) So, in good ole’ Linda Richman fashion, lets “discuss”…

The wall was originally started as an attempt to get as many frames off the floor and onto the wall as possible to clear out some space. I had seen frame collages on Pinterest and various design blogs and thought they were neat, so I figured “Why not? I can always patch the holes if I hate it.”.

I started by laying out the frames on the floor and playing with them until I was happy with the arrangement.

Like this…. (sorry for the picture quality)

Then, I decided that I needed a template to assist in hanging them. I found this tutorial on Young House Love and followed their lead. To start, I unrolled some brown paper onto the floor and laid the frames on it in my preferred arrangement (In hindsight news, if you’re planning a project like this yourself, put the paper under the frames first. Not sure why I didn’t think of that myself.). Anyhoo… Next, I traced the outline of each frame onto the paper with a pen. I measured where the hooks were located on the back of each frame and marked them with “x”s in their corresponding boxes on the brown paper. Then, I hung the brown paper on the wall with painters tape and moved it around until I was satisfied with the placement. It looked a little like this….

(Warning: Low quality miniature reenactment.)

Then, I simply hammered nails (and inserted screws with anchors for the mirror) straight through the “x”s on my paper. Once they were all placed, I tore off the paper and hung my frames.

And this is what I was left with….

Repeat after me… Meh. Although I liked the arrangement, it was too much black once I got it up there between its neighboring mirror, chair, and end table. (Also, feast your eyes on the original living room decor.) So, I decided to remove the frames to spray-paint them white. At this point, I realized that I had accidentally purchased flat finish spray paint. Dang. But being the impatient girl I am, I said, [the less classy version of] “Oh well!” and painted them anyways. Luckily, I ended up liking them better with a flat finish. So, happy accident there.

Here’s an “in progress” shot for ya…. Eventually only the mirror was black.

After living with it for a while, I decided there was too much “square” going on, so I added a few more frames, like this…..

Then, a few months later, a good friend commented that it would look better if the photos were all black and white. I had thought about that previously, but honestly, was just too lazy to get the pics reprinted again. Her tactfully put and appreciated comment got the wheels turning. I printed the B&W pics on plain old computer paper first to make sure I’d like them (I printed some of them in larger sizes as well to do away with some of the matting). ….and I LOVED them, so I got them reprinted in higher quality photos (as in, higher quality than computer paper), and I was left with this….

….Which I liked, but thought was too much black again! Jeepers. I also thought that the photo collage felt unbalanced next to the height of our new Ikea shelves and accessories. So, I decided to spray paint the mirror red and add a few more frames up top to give some much needed height. Which leads us to today….

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FINALLY! It took a small journey of change, but seriously, stick a fork in her. She’s done. I’m loving the asymmetrical arrangement and the little pop of red. It feels like bling to me. Like a good pair of red pumps with a neutral outfit. Thus, she will remain in her happy place for a while… at least until Christmas when I plan to jazz her up a bit. Oh. Yeah.