Easy DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls with Dowel Rods

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How to Make Pretty and Easy DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls using dowel rods and 2×2’s.

I was inspired to make these easy DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls after watching a show on HGTV. I saw a similar style drawer pull on an expensive piece of furniture and realized it was basically just a 2×2 and dowel rod design. So, I had to make them!

I made these drawer pulls for the Easy DIY Drawer Boxes and storage I’ve been building for my garage. I love this chunky looking drawer pull with that rustic whitewash finish I used on those drawers and the DIY Scrap Wood Table Top above it.

How to Make Pretty and Easy DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls using dowel rods and 2x2's. I love this chunky look on cabinets and furniture!
Don’t forget to save this DIY on Pinterest

If I was going to use this Easy DIY Wooden Drawer Pull on furniture with a higher end look, I think adding a nice chamfer on the front edges of the 2×2 blocks would look beautiful. In fact, you could play around with a few different router bits to find the perfect custom look for your build.

Now, let’s get to how to make those Easy DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls. 🙂

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What You Need to Make Handmade Wood Pulls

  • 2×2 Dimensional Lumber – I Used Select Pine
  • 3/4″ Dowel Rods – I Used Poplar
  • Miter Saw
  • Drill & 3/4″ Drill Bit
  • Wood Glue
  • Sanding Blocks or Sandpaper

Video Steps to Make Drawer Pulls from Dowel Rods and 2×2 Lumber

If any of the steps below for the DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls are confusing, I highly recommend watching the short video. Hopefully seeing it done can help clear up any confusion.

How to Make these Easy DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls

Build Note – I went with Select Pine for the 2×2’s because it’s generally knot free and I wanted the crisp, sharp corners of Select Pine for this build. But, you can go with any type of wood you’d like.

Cutting my 2×2 blocks with my Miter Saw.

Step One

Start by cutting 2 – 4″ long pieces of 2×2 for each drawer pull you’re making. Use a stop block clamped to your Miter Saw to make quick and easy same length cuts.

Another quick build note, you can change the size of the 2×2’s or dowel rods for these drawer pulls to design your own custom look. Or, to get a better sized pull for larger or smaller drawers.

Square 2×2 blocks with longer dowel rods might look great on long thin drawers. Go with your gut to design a look you love.

I clamped the 2×2 blocks to my Miter Saw to hold it in place while I drilled the holes for the DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls. You can see the tape 3/4″ up the dowel I used to make sure the hole was deep enough.

Step Two

Then, drill a 3/4″ deep & 3/4″ diameter hole in one end of each 2×2 piece. I used a spade drill bit to drill this hole. But, others would work. You want to have that hole centered on the end of that 2×2. Draw an X across the 2×2 to easily find the center of the 2×2.

You can put painters tape 3/4″ up the end of the dowel rod to use as a depth guide when drilling your hole. You want all of the holes the same depth so that your DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls are all the same size.

You also want to make sure you are holding the drill straight and centered to drill a centered hole. A hole drilled at an angle will stop the wooden drawer pulls from laying flat against the drawer or cabinet you’ll use it on.

Step Three

Use your Miter Saw again to cut a 6 1/2″ long piece of 3/4″ dowel for each drawer pull. Be careful cutting circular objects on a Miter Saw. It can cause them to start spinning and fly up.

So, Cut clean through the dowel, then release the power on the Miter Saw and let the blade stop spinning BEFORE lifting the blade back up. You can see me do that at the 1:10 minute mark in the video above.

Line the inside of the hole with wood glue before pushing the dowel into place.

Step Four

Mark each piece of rod that you’ve cut 3/4″ up each end of the dowel rod. You can use pencil or painters tape. Then line the inside of each hole in the 2×2’s with wood glue before putting the dowel rod into the 2×2.

Use the 3/4″ mark on each end of the dowel rod to make sure you got the rod deep enough into the 2×2 block. Once the dowel has a block on each end, lay it on a flat board so that your Easy DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls dry with the 2×2’s flat and even with each other.

Also, be sure to wipe away any excess wood glue with a clean, damp rag.

Lay the DIY wooden drawer pulls flat to let the glue dry.

Step Five

Leave your pulls for a few hours to let the wood glue dry. Then sand the pulls with a sanding block, small detail sander (like this one) or sandpaper. I started with a 120 grit sanding block on the 2×2’s and dowel rods. Be sure to sand the ends of the 2×2’s too.

I also lightly sand the corners and edges down on the 2×2’s for a more polished look. Then use wood filler anywhere that might need it. Let that dry. Then sand those spots again with 120 grit.

If you are planning to stain your DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls, you should sand to a higher grit and be extra careful to sand away any wood glue that might have gotten on your pulls.

You can see how the sanded side looks so polished and finished compared to the non-sanded side.

Step Six

I cleaned off all the sanding dust before applying some Chalk Paint. For this project, I made my own with this DIY Chalk Paint Recipe using latex paint and plaster of Paris. Making your own chalk paint is incredibly easy and generally a lot cheaper than buying the store bought stuff.

After applying a few coats of chalk paint, I wet sanded the chalk paint to get that store-bought smooth finish with chalk paint that always feels and looks professional.

Once the paint was smooth, I cleaned it and let it dry before applying 2 coats of a water-based top coat. I love General Finishes Flat Out Flat Top Coat. It has a beautiful matte sheen, is durable, and very easy to apply.

After 3 coats of chalk paint, these pulls were almost ready to install.

Step Seven

Once that dries, you can attach the pulls to your drawers or cabinets. I drilled pilot holes in my drawers first. Then I attached the pulls with self-tapping screws through the inside of the drawer.

Using a DIY jig to install the wooden drawer pulls.

You can see how I made a quick and easy jig to center and install my drawer pulls in the video above. You might have to adjust that jig depending on how your drawers or cabinet doors are made. But you can use that jig as a rough idea for how to make your own.

Here’s the DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls on the new storage I’m building for my garage. You can find the tutorials for the Easy DIY Drawer Boxes and the DIY Scrap Wood Table Top in previous posts.
How to Make Pretty and Easy DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls using dowel rods and 2x2's. I love this chunky look on cabinets and furniture!
Don’t forget to save this DIY on Pinterest

That’s it, guys. Thanks for checking out this tutorial for easy DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls.

Looking for more DIY Beginner Woodworking Projects? Check out this DIY Beginner Woodworking Video playlist on YouTube.

DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls

How to Make Pretty and Easy DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls using dowel rods and 2x2's. I love this chunky look on cabinets and furniture!

Materials

  • 2x2 Select Pine Dimensional Lumber
  • 3/4" Poplar Dowel Rods

Tools

  • Miter Saw
  • 3/4" Spade Drill Bit
  • Drill
  • Wood Glue
  • Painters Tape

Instructions

How to Make these Easy DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls

Build Note - I went with Select Pine for the 2x2's because it's generally knot free and I wanted the crisp, sharp corners of Select Pine for this build. But, you can go with any type of wood you'd like.

Step One

  1. Start by cutting 2 - 4" long pieces of 2x2 for each drawer pull you're making. Use a stop block clamped to your Miter Saw to make quick and easy same length cuts.
  2. Another quick build note, you can change the size of the 2x2's or dowel rods for these drawer pulls to design your own custom look. Or, to get a better sized pull for larger or smaller drawers.
  3. Square 2x2 blocks with longer dowel rods might look great on long thin drawers. Go with your gut to design a look you love.

Step Two

  1. Then, drill a 3/4" deep & 3/4" diameter hole in one end of each 2x2 piece. I used a spade drill bit to drill this hole. But, others would work. You want to have that hole centered on the end of that 2x2. Draw an X across the 2x2 to easily find the center of the 2x2.
  2. You can put painters tape 3/4" up the end of the dowel rod to use as a depth guide when drilling your hole. You want all of the holes the same depth so that your DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls are all the same size.
  3. You also want to make sure you are holding the drill straight and centered to drill a centered hole. A hole drilled at an angle will stop the wooden drawer pulls from laying flat against the drawer or cabinet you'll use it on.

Step Three

  1. Use your Miter Saw again to cut a 6 1/2" long piece of 3/4" dowel for each drawer pull. Be careful cutting circular objects on a Miter Saw. It can cause them to start spinning and fly up.
  2. So, Cut clean through the dowel, then release the power on the Miter Saw and let the blade stop spinning BEFORE lifting the blade back up. You can see me do that at the 1:10 minute mark in the video above.

Step Four

  1. Mark each piece of rod that you've cut 3/4" up each end of the dowel rod. You can use pencil or painters tape. Then line the inside of each hole in the 2x2's with wood glue before putting the dowel rod into the 2x2.
  2. Use the 3/4" mark on each end of the dowel rod to make sure you got the rod deep enough into the 2x2 block. Once the dowel has a block on each end, lay it on a flat board so that your Easy DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls dry with the 2x2's flat and even with each other.
  3. Also, be sure to wipe away any excess wood glue with a clean, damp rag.

Step Five

  1. Leave your pulls for a few hours to let the wood glue dry. Then sand the pulls with a sanding block, small detail sander (like this one) or sandpaper. I started with a 120 grit sanding block on the 2x2's and dowel rods. Be sure to sand the ends of the 2x2's too.
  2. I also lightly sand the corners and edges down on the 2x2's for a more polished look. Then use wood filler anywhere that might need it. Let that dry. Then sand those spots again with 120 grit.
  3. If you are planning to stain your DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls, you should sand to a higher grit and be extra careful to sand away any wood glue that might have gotten on your pulls.

Step Six

  1. I cleaned off all the sanding dust before applying some Chalk Paint. For this project, I made my own with this DIY Chalk Paint Recipe using latex paint and plaster of Paris. Making your own chalk paint is incredibly easy and generally a lot cheaper than buying the store bought stuff.
  2. After applying a few coats of chalk paint, I wet sanded the chalk paint to get that store-bought smooth finish with chalk paint that always feels and looks professional.
  3. Once the paint was smooth, I cleaned it and let it dry before applying 2 coats of a water-based top coat. I love General Finishes Flat Out Flat Top Coat. It has a beautiful matte sheen, is durable, and very easy to apply.

Step Seven

  1. Once that dries, you can attach the pulls to your drawers or cabinets. I drilled pilot holes in my drawers first. Then I attached the pulls with self-tapping screws through the inside of the drawer.
  2. You can see how I made a quick and easy jig to center and install my drawer pulls in the video above. You might have to adjust that jig depending on how your drawers or cabinet doors are made. But you can use that jig as a rough idea for how to make your own.
  3. That's it, guys. Thanks for checking out this tutorial for easy DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls.

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Feeling inspired? Now that you’ve read how to make these Easy DIY Wooden Drawer Pulls, you can do it too. Let me know if you have questions. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty ideas in your inbox.