Decorating & Entertaining Ideas

Revive a Dresser with Knotted-Rope Drawer Pulls

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I am an absolute junkie for drawer hardware—it’s like jewelry for your furniture! That’s why I love the idea of swapping out boring or unattractive hardware with rope pulls for an unexpected and subtly rustic solution. Plus, everything you need to replicate this look is easily procured with one quick trip to your local hardware store.

See below for my step-by-step guide to this project… 

Weighing my rope options at a hardware store near my apartment in New York City.

Weighing my rope options at a hardware store near my apartment in New York City.

At the Hardware Store

When shopping for rope you’ll find that most stores have a variety of sizes, colors, and textures to choose from. I picked a 1/2-inch white nylon rope for this project because I like the fresh color and the slight sheen, but don’t be afraid to try a bolder color or texture.

What You’ll Need

  • Rope (about 20 inches per handle)
  • Spade bit the same width as your rope
  • Painter’s or masking tape
  • Ruler (not pictured)
  • Scissors
  • Drill (not pictured)

Prep Your Drawers

1. Remove the drawers from the chest, and unscrew the old hardware.

2. Using your spade bit, in each drawer enlarge the holes left by the original hardware until they are large enough to fit your rope through.

Tip: If the holes left by the hardware don’t fall in the right place, you can use wood putty to fill them in. Just keep in mind that the putty might not exactly match the existing finish and will require sanding, which might mar the finish.


Prep the Rope

3. Measure and cut a length of rope about 20 inches long. It’s a good idea to have plenty of extra rope so that you can tie your knots easily while leaving enough length to trim.

Tip: When working with your cut pieces of rope, wrap painter’s or masking tape around the ends to prevent fraying.

4. Thread the rope through the hole in the drawer, and tie a knot on each side about 4 inches apart.

5. Trim the ends to the desired length, leaving the interior tassels a bit shorter.

Finish the Knots

6. Gently fray the ends of the rope. Repeat the fraying process until all pulls are complete.

Tip: Because my rope was a little slick I used a dab of hot glue, tucked inside the knot, to keep my knot secure.


For more fun projects check out my Weekend Decorator page, and for behind-the-scenes look at the making of this and past stories follow me on Instagram (@mepflug).

Related: Give Your Furniture the Whitewashed Look >

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