DIY dresser knobs?
September 14, 2012 4:16 PM   Subscribe

DIY Dresser Knobs?: Is there some way we can avoid spending $30 on what was meant to be a free to very low cost project?

The boyfriend and I found an ugly dresser on the street, sanded and painted it, and now it is awesome. However, looking at dresser knob prices threw us for a bit of a loop. $3 for one? We need 10! We were super excited about getting this awesome piece of furniture for free, and don't want to spend much more. there a way to DIY dresser knobs? Secret places to buy super cheap ones? We were hoping for just the standard round ones, nothing fancy, but other suggestions are more than welcome! (For instance, we saw a suggestion on pinterest for using spray-painted toys as knobs, but no actual instructions.)

Thanks in advance!
posted by dysh to Home & Garden (21 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You can use ribbon or rope drawer pulls :)
posted by DarlingBri at 4:22 PM on September 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

I have ordered stuff online for $1 or less. Example: Deals

Or try to get them free off some other dumpster-diving/street-corner-find type dealy.
posted by Michele in California at 4:22 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by decathecting at 4:25 PM on September 14, 2012

A quick look for just 'knob' on Amazon got some metal ones ten for $12.55. So you might look there.
posted by gracedissolved at 4:25 PM on September 14, 2012

Oh, and I apparently get a lot more, cheaper results searching for "drawer pulls."
posted by decathecting at 4:26 PM on September 14, 2012

A drawer pull is basically something you can grab onto, with a threaded bolt sticking through it. You put a washer and nut inside the drawer bit, tighten the nut, and you're done. This can be as cheap as buying a bunch of bolts, nuts and washers that are the right length, and sticking them through various objects. It would be easier if you had a drill, but you could even hot-glue the bolts to stuff, if you're not opposed to re-gluing them later if they pop off.
posted by dubold at 4:27 PM on September 14, 2012

I would totally go with spray-painted army men. Drill hole in the base, thread the bolt through, and robert is your mother's brother, as they say.
posted by dubold at 4:29 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

I see them in dollar stores, in packs of more than one for a dollar.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:30 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Make 'em out of clay! You'll have to figure out the screw situation before you bake.
posted by sageleaf at 4:39 PM on September 14, 2012

Custom mushroom style drawer pulls can be made cheaply with air hardening clay, cheap at the dollar store, and long 8-32 machine screws and nuts.

All you have to do is form a mushroom shaped knob over the screw making sure enough is left bare to put a nut on the end once the screw goes through the drawer. If you have a decent pair of wire strippers they should have a threaded hole in them used to cut 8-32 screws so you can make the screw just the right length.

Obviously if you are crafty you can make what ever shape you want out of the clay.

Another approach is to thread first a 1" or so bead onto the screw and then a 3/8" or so bead onto the screw and then thread the screw into your drawer.

Finally you can carve wooden pulls with nothing more than a hobby knife and some sand paper. Embed a nut in the handle using dollar store 5 minute epoxy. I've seen some furniture with pulls made from small tree branches, say 3/8" in diameter.
posted by Mitheral at 4:54 PM on September 14, 2012

Bigbox hardware stores sell pulls by the bag. Might be a cheaper route than $3 per. Good luck.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:16 PM on September 14, 2012

Look for another trashed dresser on the street that has knobs you like? Keep the knobs and put the dresser back on the curb.

Someone else might want the dresser for the price of the knobs.
posted by vitabellosi at 5:43 PM on September 14, 2012

You could use some empty thread spools. Paint them. Put a bolt through them and attach with a washer and nut on the back side of the drawer. You can get bolts of all kinds of sizes and shapes.
posted by JayRwv at 5:46 PM on September 14, 2012

Also -- check etsy.

And it might be possible to get unfinished wood knobs for cheap and paint them any color you like. Or decoupage. has them for about 23 cents each.
posted by vitabellosi at 5:47 PM on September 14, 2012

IKEA does some great hardware, like knobs for drawers. You can buy bulk packs there. They do SATTA drawer handles @ $2.99 for 6.
posted by Susurration at 7:28 PM on September 14, 2012

Bend forks, curling some of the tines horizontally and vertically, as long as they are still comfortable to hold, and drill holes through the ends to affix to the drawers. If uncomfortable, they are easily and cheaply replaced with those that are.
posted by goo at 7:36 PM on September 14, 2012

I am with dubold. Go to a hardware store and look at every fixture asking yourself "Would it work as a knob?". A few years ago, I ended up using U shaped fixtures made for holding piping: two holes in the door, two nuts et voilĂ ! Very clean, modern, metallic knobs for a few bucks.
posted by bru at 7:51 PM on September 14, 2012

Freecycle or craigslist/free are good places to post a request. Somebody else has a pile of drawer pulls they replaced. Or get bolts, and use 2-part epoxy to glue on something interesting.
posted by theora55 at 8:24 PM on September 14, 2012

You can use my roommate's drill if you go with dubold's suggestion.

Personally, I'm in favor of the army men/other random dollar store toys.
posted by (Over) Thinking at 7:01 AM on September 15, 2012

Thanks all! We will try to go with the spray painted toys, and if all else fails will look into getting unpainted dollar store/internet sale knobs. We're thinking gold spray-painted horses leaping out of the dresser...if anyone still reading has suggestions of how to cut these potential horses in half so only their front is attached to the dresser, please do let us know! A hack-saw maybe? (Presuming plastic horses.)
posted by dysh at 8:31 AM on September 15, 2012

If you live in or near a city that has a Habitat for Humanity ReStore, you can likely find drawer pulls there very inexpensively. ReStores are the "Salvation Army"/"Goodwill" for hardware, home fixtures, and appliances.
posted by Ardea alba at 8:36 AM on September 15, 2012

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