Time Out Tuesday:

It’s time to meet a new guest blogger. This week I introduce Audreya of Arkansas (ooh – doesn’t that sound cool?). I met this cute little spitfire at an Arkanasas Women Blogger roundup. I love her fun quips. She’s a hoot to follow on Twitter (@audcole), too. And heeeere’s Audreya!

I’m Audreya. Most days, I can be found sharing opinions no one asked for on my blog If You Ask Me. Today, however, I’m excited to share a project I recently completed at my house.

Over a year ago, my husband painstakingly stripped heavy, oil-based paint off of an old dresser. He then sanded and stained the dresser. It looked great… except that it needed some sort of drawer knobs or pulls. I promised to come up with something. However, having also recently finished a mostly-DIY kitchen makeover, I was still in shock over the amount of money we spent on new hardware for the cabinets. And we didn’t even get anything fancy or “high-end”! So, run out and drop more money on hardware for the dresser? No thanks! Leave the drawers “naked” and wait until he brings it up again? Sounds like a plan!!

Well, he brought it up again. But I still couldn’t see spending a lot of money on drawer hardware. Especially since the dresser is in our guest bedroom. A bedroom “decorated” by my husband… complete with camo bedspread and deer head on the wall.

Then, I came across some ideas on a blog one day. (If I remembered which blog, I’d be glad to credit them, but I don’t. So, thanks for the inspiration, whoever you are!) I took some of their suggestions, infused my own, and came up with some great, rustic, and most importantly, affordable drawer pulls.

Measuring tape
Roll of jute, twine, or sisal. (I used jute.)
Glue (I used Gorilla Glue because I had it on hand. Fabric glue or even hot glue would do the trick.)
Drill (Depending on the size / placement of existing holes in the drawer.)

First up, our drawers only had a single hole on either side for a knob. As I was crafting pulls, it was necessary to drill additional holes. Also, because the pulls are somewhat thick, I had to increase the size of the existing holes.

I used an index card to make a template for the new holes. I spaced them 4″ apart. I drilled them out with a 1/2″ drill bit.

Next, I prepared the handles. I measured out about 12″ of jute. I cut 6 pieces of this size per handle. Firmly tied a knot at one end, then braided them to about 7″. Finally, I put a piece of tape around the unfinished end. (This kept the handle from coming unbraided and also made it easier to pull through the holes in the drawer.)

I fed the handle from the inside of the drawer to the outside. (Gave it a firm tug just to make sure the knot held up.) Then I fed it into the next hole and back inside the drawer. As it was a pretty tight space and difficult to tie the unfinished end, I used an additional bit of jute and tied several knots until it was thick enough not to pull through the hole. I trimmed off the excess. Finally, for added strength, I added a drop of glue to each knot. (Note: I used Gorilla Glue, which expands as it dries, so literally a small drop was all that was necessary. I also made sure the knots were not up against the wood as the glue dried.)

And that’s it! I repeated the process for each drawer pull. After everything was dried, I returned the drawers to the dresser and proceeded to the final and most important step – admiring one’s own handiwork!

The nice thing about a project like this is that the look is not supposed to be perfect. I thought it fit in very well for the rustic nature of the dresser and the room. Plus, the project took just over an hour and came in at a whopping $2.33. That’s right! The only thing I had to purchase was a roll of jute.

But don’t just think jute. Ribbon can also be used, perhaps for a little girl’s room. I followed the same process here, just added a knot in the middle for a better grip. Of course, this is just an example. My husband wasn’t too keen on pink ribbon in his man cave!

Braided handles could also be added to baskets or boxes. It’s a quick and functional solution I will definitely use again!

Thanks for sharing, Audreya. I think the pink ribbon is perfect for the man cave! You should tie bows in the antlers to coordinate. What do you think? Ha! I admire your use of Gorilla Glue. Let’s just say I had a little mishap with that stuff and I’m not allowed to use it again.

~Southern Fried Gal


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