Details: DIY Beaded Drawer Pulls & Ring Pulls

It’s Friday, y’all!  Woohoo!  I’ve had such a great, productive week this week — finishing my buffet makeover, and also finishing my niece’s built-ins (bookcases, daybed, and trundle bed) for her bedroom makeover.  I love that feeling of accomplishment at the end of a week.  Don’t you?

And speaking of buffet makeover, I had quite a few of you request details about the DIY beaded drawer pulls and ring pulls that I made for the buffet.

buffet makeover painted with Behr Japanese Kimono - 3

These are the easiest things ever.  Seriously.

I started with unfinished wood beads, some little silver spacer things, and some heavy gauge wire.   I found the silver spacers and wire in the jewelry-making section of Michael’s.  The wood beads were with all of the unfinished wood crafting supplies.  I cut a piece of wire about eight inches long, and then strung the beads and spacers onto the wire.  To get my desired look, I used three sizes of wood beads, and I stained them using Rust-Oleum Dark Walnut stain.

DIY Beaded Drawer Pulls - 1

Before I attached the “handles” to the drawers, I hot glued these flat silver things over the screw holes on the drawers.

DIY Beaded Drawer Pulls - 2

I don’t know what they’re called, but I found those in the jewelry-making section as well.  The reason I glued those on is because the holes in my drawers were rather large, and if I just strung those onto the wire and put the wire through the holes, the wire would fall to the bottom of the hole in the drawer, leaving the top of the hole exposed over the silver thing.  So I had to glue those on, perfectly centered over the holes in the drawers.  Once the glue was dry, I stuck the wire through the silver things.

And then on the inside of the drawer, I bent the wire over on one side, and then pulled the other side as tight as possible and bent that side over as well.

DIY Beaded Drawer Pulls - 3

The gauge of the wire is heavy enough that bending it alone should keep it in place.  However, as soon as I get my air compressor and staple gun back from my mom’s house, I’m going to add a staple on each end of the wire to be sure it really holds in place.

For the ring pulls, I took a couple of brass ring pulls that I already had…

DIY Beaded Ring Pulls - 1

…and I removed the brass ring.  It took quite a bit of prying to get that thing out of there, but I finally got it out.

I used a little bit of Dark Walnut stain on the remaining metal piece so that it would blend in with the wood beads, and let it dry really well. (Yes, Rust-Oleum wood stain will work on metal, but I would only use it on metal that won’t be handled much at all.)  Then I strung more beads onto wire, and fed the wire through the large hole that the brass ring came out of.  If you look closely, you can see that I pulled the wire through, and then bent it up to keep it in place.  Then I cut off the extra wire so that what remained was as short as possible.

DIY Beaded Ring Pulls - 2

If you really study it up close, the part where the wire is bent and cut kind of looks sloppy (which may be why these rings pulls aren’t really my favorite, but I do love the drawer pulls!).  But from a distance, no one would ever notice that.  I mean, when was the last time you ever went into someone’s house and really studied, up close, their cabinet hardware?  🙂

So now the main question:  “Do they feel sturdy?”

Surprisingly, they really do.  Again, the wire is such a heavy gauge that it doesn’t lose its shape when I pull on it.  I think the wire I used is 14-gauge.  I do know it wasn’t the largest that Michael’s carries.  The largest wouldn’t fit through the little silver things, so I got the next size down.  It also helps that I pulled the wire as tightly as possible before bending the wire inside the drawer, so the beads are pulled right up next to each other which also helps to hold the shape and make everything feel very substantial and sturdy.  And I think the staples will help as well since they’ll keep the wire bent right up against the inside of the drawer, which pulls the beads even tighter.

But with that said, let me emphasize that I would never use these pulls on something that is used daily, like kitchen cabinets or bathroom cabinets, not only because I would question the durability if they’re used every day, but also beaded pulls in areas like that would be a nightmare to keep clean.  I would only use them on something that’s more decorative and used only rarely, like a buffet filled with seasonal items or your fanciest serving pieces that aren’t used regularly, or a writing desk or dresser in a guest bedroom.  Again, they’re very sturdy for what they are.  But the fact is that beads strung on wire, regardless of how heavy the wire is, just won’t ever be as durable as real solid metal pulls attached with screws.  And if they’re used every single day (especially in a kitchen or bathroom…ugh…just, no), they will get dirty and grimy and will be almost impossible to keep clean.  Know what I mean?  So have fun making beaded pulls, but just be sensible about where you use them.  🙂



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  1. Those are amazing & so simple! I have had trouble finding the correct size of pulls and never thought of making my own and spent hours looking online for the exact right size. You are defiantly an out of the box thinker & that’s why I love your blog, when I read posts like this one I want to smack myself upside the head for not figuring it out on my own, LOL 🙂

  2. Hey there it’s just me, crabby Appleton, Love your nieces bed and bookcases. I am sure she is thrilled. Looking at the whole thing, I would throw a piece of crown molding up between the book cases. I just think it would add to it. Still can’t believe your mom painted those flowers freehand. When you get a close up wow, they are amazing. You come from a very talented family. I think I posted about your buffet. I really like how you have done it. I love the color and the stain still not on the fabric train, or the black and white chairs. Don’t know what or how that is connecting to anything.I keep thinking about your music room, and what could be done with it. You have to connect it to the foyer in some way. I would love to see a beautiful floral rug, with the coral color and whatever color you choose for the piano, I am kind of leaning towards a spa blue/green, something in that hue but darker..as for the bead handles…..don’t hate me, but I hate them. I think they look like an arts and crafts project from Michaels or Hobby Lobby. Sorry. The buffet is so beautiful, they just kind of junk it up. Sorrrrrry. I am sure that Renovators Supply would have the size you need. They deal in older furniture. I am really sorry, they just don’t go with it. Blessings

    1. And on the flip side, I’m not usually fond of anything that looks like an “arts and crafts project…” and yet I love the beaded handles – particularly like the ring-pulls – and was quite surprised when I first saw them and discovered that you’d made them rather than lucked out in finding such unique pieces in a shop somewhere. I think they add just the right touch of whimsey to the buffet!

  3. Niiiice!!! Even in the first photo of the previous post the first thing I noticed was the lovely drawer pulls! And I do love the buffet!

  4. Your buffet is gorgeous! Love the color, and the hardware you designed. If you wouldn’t of said you made the pulls, I would have thought you bought them someplace I’d enjoy shopping at. So amazed by your creativity!

  5. I didn’t know you made them I thought you bought them somewhere….
    Now that makes them even MORE precious and cool!
    Disregard my comment of yesterday!

  6. It’s funny that the round pulls you like the least are the ones I like the most. Well, we all have different likes and that’s a good thing!

    A few years ago we searched high and low for drawer pulls for an old dresser my Mom found that was missing them. Finding ones that fit the odd spacing took awhile. I wish I had seen this then. LOL We even still had the part of the hardware that held onto the bail pulls. We were just missing the bails. Totally could have done something like this. Ingenious!


  7. Another ingenious application. I’m already in the process of making mine! lol Thanks for the information and idea!

  8. Those “things” are called bead spacers, they come in cheap metal, silver plated, gold plated and .995 silver. Terri

  9. I adore those handles! They look so lovely and proportional with the piece. Nice choice! I never would have thought of that. You are a delight to follow, Kristi! I love the way you think out of the box and I am enjoying your makeovers so much.