thrifty handles for furniture

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Furniture hardware can be pricey. Sometimes they can be more expensive than the second hand furniture itself. Lauren’s nightstand and desk were missing some handles, so I pulled an old trick out: ribbon for handles!march 2011 062 1

I went to our jumble of extra screws and hardware and dug around until I came up with some things that might work:
march 2011 070 1
You can use a plain old knot to hold your handle in place or a flat washer will do the trick as well:march 2011 058 1
or a hex nut will also keep it from going through the hole:march 2011 067 1
I adore these ripped fabric handles that Heather Chadduck used:april 2011 024 1 
Here is a striped beauty from Wendy at the Shabby Nest:

Layla at the Lettered Cottage used rope handles for a dresser makeover:

A fabulous rope handle tutorial from Today’s Fabulous Finds:

And my black ribbon ones from the same desk that used to be in our laundry room back at our home in Texas:laundry dresser handles
Have you used ribbon or rope furniture hardware? Or any other thrifty ideas for this? We would love to hear in the comments~feel free to put a link in if you have one…


  1. This is a really cute idea which I never would have thought of. I'm fixing up a dresser for my daughter and need to figure out hardware. Will add this to my ideas!

  2. I used ribbon on the cabinet I keep our games in. I couldn't find handles to fit the holes so I remembered seeing Shabby Nest do ribbon pulls and did the same.

    Love, love, love your daughter's room! I showed my 5 year old girl the room because she wants EVERYTHING in her room to be PINK. She loved the room and I explained to her that you can have blue walls, white furniture and other colors and still have PINK (or red). ;) She immediately noticed the shoes in the frame and loved those.

    Still loving your blog after all this time. :) I don't comment often but your blog is one of a handful that I read every post on.

  3. countingourblessings1/8/14, 6:10 PM

    this is such a great idea!! I love how it looks and I love the price!! ;)

  4. Love the non-traditional handles... plus I always adore a bargain! Might have to incorporate this in one of my princesses' rooms.

  5. GREAT idea.......I love when people get creative and do something to save money AND have thing look nice. PS: Your daughter's room/guest room is awesome. The colors are fun and I love all the little personal touches.

    Happy Spring Ya'll!!!!

  6. I have not, but I love the idea of fabric on a shabby dresser...loverly!

  7. This isn't as thrifty as ribbon, but it is much, much cheaper to get cabinet hardware on ebay than at the hardware store. We got our kitchen hardware for $2-3 less per piece than at Lowes or HD.

  8. Cute idea! Finding handles that fit can be a real challenge ! When my son was little and into Legos, we used the big ones and glued them onto the drawers for handles!

  9. How have I never thought of this before?! Love it!


  10. Thank you for the post, it was exactly what I needed!

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  12. Embracing Every Moment1/18/14, 8:49 AM

    thank you so much for posting this amazing idea. i had been struggling finding hardware for my son's dresser i redid many, many months ago & saturday i went & got ribbon & it looks amazing!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!! & i love how i can change it up or replace anytime needed! thanks again!! love your blog btw!! God bless! :)

  13. melissa*320 sycamore1/18/14, 8:49 AM

    yay! so glad it worked for you :)

  14. What a unique and innovative idea you have here. I love what you've done with the ribbons. This one can also be used as a baby-proofing handle. Metallic / steel handles can hurt babies and toddlers.

  15. Great ideas, especially like the yarn rope handles!

  16. melissa*320 sycamore1/18/14, 9:00 AM

    Fabulous tip, Holly! We got all of our hardware from Ebay in our last

  17. Somethingniceandpretty1/18/14, 9:00 AM

    Oh, my goodness, I'm so glad you posted this, I am certainly going to try this on a washstand that I redid and still haven't found hardware for. I love the ribbon handles and I so hope that when I try it they turn out as pretty and neat as your pictures!


  18. No, I haven't...YET! But I have a little girl's dresser that's been repainted for over a year and waiting for handles because I couldn't find (and was too cheap to find) the perfect thing! I know what i'm doing this weekend! Thanks again for awesome inspiration.

  19. Melissa!! Thank you so much for helping us get that much closer to bringing Sergey home! You have greatly blessed us by your donation, God bless:)


  20. When I updated my daughter's dresser, I needed new hardware as well but the holes were not a standard size. So, I left the old hardware on but covered it with fabric instead. It worked wonderfully, it was free, and I got an extra pop of color, too! See pics of my dresser makeover here:

  21. Oh my goodness !!! I love this !! Great idea's !!!

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  22. That Heather Chadduck/Sandy Henry dining room from Cottage Living mag is my FAVORITE!!! And those fabric pulls are to die for!!! LOVING your gorgeous green ones too! :-)

  23. This was the perfect solution for my daughter's dresser. After I read your post, I quickly ran to see my ribbon stash and went upstairs and removed the broken hardware and installed rainbow ribbon handles! A six-year-old in heaven, and a happy momma too! Thanks.

  24. Tanya of Style Studio1/18/14, 9:00 AM

    Love it! I use grosgrain ribbon on a dresser I painted for a client a few years ago-she loved it, and especially loves now, being able to switch the ribbon whenever she wants a change-thanks for sharing-love your blog

  25. melissa*320 sycamore1/18/14, 9:00 AM

    Yay! So glad it worked for you! Don't you love instant gratification??

  26. Great ideas! Love budget friendly stuff. Thanks for the sweet comment on my blog!!

  27. Architectural Hardware1/18/14, 9:42 AM

    such a very Great idea's i also use this in my home. Furniture Handles

  28. Very cute and creative! I liked it so much I linked you on my site


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