Monday, November 09, 2015

Make It Monday

Accent tile (which I love) on top; cabinet color on left,
rustic back splash tile on right.
I found the perfect cabinet hardware. Yes, I find this very exciting because I've been looking all over for just the right cabinet hardware to match the finishes in our house. One of my favorite parts of the kitchen is the back splash—it's a rustic tumbled subway sort of tile with a mosaic accent. The tile in the accent is mixed media—there's glass and ceramic and different colors and textures that really pick up the colors in the brick and the wood and the counter tops. I wanted to accent the colors with the perfect drawer and cabinet hardware.

Unfortunately, perfect comes with a price of about $20 per. And I need 36. So, doing the math on that I come up with oh hell no. I cannot justify an expense of over $700 for cabinet knobs. Just... no.

So, the more I looked at our accent tile (which I love) and the extra scraps that the tile installers left (which I love more), I realized I could maybe use these tiles to make my own cabinet hardware. I mean, there's no question of it matching, right?

Except for these accent tiles (which I love) tiles are half an inch square, so using these would require a bit more work, and words like "grouting" which I was not trying to do.

Back to the drawing board. I found on the internet that they sell these little blanks that you can use to create your own cabinet hardware, which I'm totally over the moon about! But, still, I thought, I can find that locally. Right? And then sort out the grouting and what not.

A trip to the local craft store turned up the glass tiles I've been seeking, which pick up the feel and color of the accent tile (love) without being the accent tile itself.

There's a certain charm in that.

The color variety picks up all the various colors in the finishes in the kitchen, which is awesome! Also, they came in a pack of 29 (random) for about $1.50. Yes, that's about a nickel apiece.

A run to the hardware store turned up the other piece of the puzzle: coupling nuts.

They're threaded, so mounting them to the back of the tiles (no grout!) with a dab of Gorilla Glue should do the trick. Oh, and did I mention that these are $1.24 per 3 pack? That's about 41 cents each.

The coupling nuts appear underwhelmed.


I, however am thrilled. A little dab of Gorilla Glue to the back of the tile, slap on a coupling nut and top with another tile as a weight, and then wait an hour for the glue to set.

That's the hardest part right there.

Add a 1 1/2" machine screw to the back ($1.18/2 pack, so 59 cents each) and boom! A custom made drawer pull.

I'm terribly ecstatic. And my kitchen is one step closer to completion.

Tally for this project: less than $1 per custom-made piece.
(.05 per tile + .41 per coupling nut + .59 per screw) I also will probably need to add some washers, but I'm pretty sure I can get the screws at a lower price if I buy more than 2 at a time, so I'm calling that one even. I'm doing a test run on 3 and we'll see how they turn out. The glass is pretty translucent, so I might try to paint the back of them or mount them to a small piece of metal to give it more of an opaque look. That is yet to be determined. But I am totally in love with these DIY possibilities.

I'm thinking I'll be making some hardware for the master bath, to match the river rock used on the shower floor.

Pro tip: The glue says it needs an hour to work. Let the glue do its work and don't try to rush it. Trust me. I'll post a picture of the final product after mine have dried.


  1. That's really cool! I love the look of your DIY cabinet knobs!

    1. Thanks! I couldn't be more thrilled (thrilleder?) about them myself. I'm off to the store for more materials! I have become a DIY monster...