For a few years I collected drawer pulls and door knobs. I had no idea what I would do with them but I was fascinated with them. For a while it seemed like I found them everywhere. Used surplus shops, thrift stores, EBay auctions, all sorts of places. They can be really pricey brand new, especially the crystal or glass door knobs. I found door knobs that looked like animal heads and drawer pulls that looked like animals butts. I would remove the round or oval metal drawer pulls from office furniture that had been discarded. I ended up with close to 100 drawer pulls and maybe a dozen door knobs. Some were whimsical or funny, some were beautiful, some were just plain. The plain drawer pulls were transformed into beautiful sparkly pulls by gluing rhinestones or beautiful large buttons or jewelry on the top of them. Wooden pulls were sanded and covered with polymer clay or painted and then lacquered and polished. These are the most interesting, but they require a lot of work and time.
So I had all of these beautiful, interesting pieces, but I couldn’t figure out an equally interesting or beautiful way to display them. Most of them were one offs. I had some sets, but at this point I had run out of furniture that needed new drawer pulls.
One day I was browsing at the local ReStore and found tons of drawer fronts for $1 each. I bought like 20 or so because I knew I would use them in many projects. I actually wished I had bought twice as many. I used lot of them for shelving, and I finally found a use for my drawer pulls and door knobs. Racks to hold coats, caps, masks or whatever you need to be hung up.
Last year I gifted about 10 of these racks and was asked to make a couple more for their friends. I took pictures of most of them but I broke my phone before I could save them to a safe place.
They aren’t difficult to make except for the math involved. I had to figure out how to distribute those drawer pulls evenly across the drawer fronts. Aha! A chance to actually use that algebra from my junior year in high school.
Well, unfortunately, it is true; if you don’t use it, you lose it. Since all of the drawer fronts that I bought were the same size, instead of using algebra, I went the trial and error route. It wasn’t exactly even and it took more time than I care to admit. I’m no perfectionist, so they looked great to me and nobody else seemed to notice.
I’m going to go off topic for a minute because if you’ve never shopped at a ReStore you have been missing out. ReStore is a warehouse type of store that sells salvage (and some new) home building supplies and their revenues are earmarked for Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit that builds houses for the needy.
I love this place. You never know what you’ll find but if you find something you want, you’d better buy it then. It will be gone the next time you shop there. I’ve scored some awesome deals, like a Maytag dishwasher for $10. My friend installed it in their kitchen and it worked great for several years. They have tons of doors and windows, every size and shape. They sell furniture (mostly office stuff), and shelves and plumbing supplies and paints and so much more. Seriously, go check it out. They have stores all over the United States. We have 2 stores here in Dallas. It’s good for your pocketbook, it’s good for the community, it’s good for the environment.
I am aware that there are a few of you perfectionists out there (you know who you are), so I created that nifty calculator you see above to do the math for you. You just enter the width of the board and the number of drawer pulls (up to 8) you want to use and it tells you where to drill the holes. If you need to determine the center of the board horizontally you can download the STL file to 3D print a Center Locator Tool here. It will help you to draw a straight line down the center of a board up to 6″ wide.
Once you have the holes drilled, install hangers on the back to attach it to the wall. Next you can glue a backing for each drawer pull like fabric or pretty paper or vinyl, or add a message or even an address. Then you simply insert the screws from the back and twist a drawer pull onto each screw until tight. If you use paper or fabric it’s a good idea to apply a layer of polyurethane or lacquer to protect it.