ISSUE 20  |  Greek Isles

DIY: Braided Leather Drawer Pulls for $1.25 Each

May 22, 2014 1:00 PM

BY Erin Boyle

In just a few weeks, my husband and I will be welcoming a new arrival into our home. As we prepare to carve a little space for the baby, we undertook a simple update to a changing table that my parents bought thirty-plus years ago and used for me and each of my three sisters.

Made of solid wood, the dresser had held up fairly well to three decades of use, but it suffered from being stuck with 1980s brass hardware. I was eager to give it a little facelift, but I wasn’t eager to invest a lot of money into the project. When I began to research the cost of updated drawer pulls, I balked.

A simple DIY was in order.

Photography by Erin Boyle for Reading My Tea Leaves.


1 roll Natural Flat Lace Leather ($8.99 for 10 yards from Springfield Leather on Etsy)


Measuring Tape or Ruler


Step 1: The precise length of your leather strips will depend on the width between the existing holes in your drawer. In my case, the holes were a little more than 2.5 inches apart. I experimented and found that 10-inch strips of leather lacing worked best for me and allowed enough room between the drawer and the pull for a comfortable grip. You’ll need three strips to make each handle.

Step 2: Tie three lengths of lacing together with a simple knot on one end and thread it through the existing hardware hole. Keeping the leather lacing flat, make a simple braid and thread the remaining end back through the second hole.

Step 3: Pull the leather braid taut so that you have plenty of give and carefully tie another simple knot inside the drawer. If you’re worried about being able to easily tie a knot, start with longer strips of lacing so that you have plenty of extra lacing to work with.

Step 4: Once you’ve tied the second end, give the leather pull a good yank to reshape it after tying and you’re finished!

The Finished Look

Above: The whole dresser took me about 30 minutes to finish and cost less than $10 for eight new pulls.

For another window into my life in Brooklyn, read Expert Advice: 10 Tips for Living in 240 Square Feet and Survival Guide: Life in a Tiny Apartment, Brooklyn Edition. And go to Gardenista to see my garden-related posts, including DIY Projects