For Your Next Furniture Redo, Skip Hardware and Try This Instead

published Jul 27, 2023
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Living room with wood furniture in varying tones

Oftentimes, the last step of any great furniture flip is adding hardware (think: adding sleek new black pulls to a thrifted find to modernize it, or attaching some tapered legs to give a piece a bit of MCM flair). In many cases, DIYers fall into two camps when it comes to hardware: They spray paint an older piece’s existing hardware, or they buy new knobs, pulls, and the like.

But one DIYer, Lena Werner (@allthepeachesplease), is here to prove that there’s another option: getting new hardware that isn’t actually hardware at all. For her dresser redo, she hacked napkin rings to function as drawer pulls instead.

Want to follow her lead and grab yourself some truly unique hardware for your next furniture flip? Here’s how she did it.

After stripping the green paint off of this three-drawered beauty and sanding it down to its blonde wood beginnings, Werner attached shell-shaped napkin rings to act as pulls. She thrifted the napkin rings with no real intention for them — mostly just because she loves “anything shell and vintage” — and then after stripping the dresser, she was in search of something a bit older and with more patina to match the dresser’s new look. 

“I held them against the drawers and loved the look,” she says. At first, she considered attaching the napkin rings with some sort of U-shaped screw, but because they had a flat back, the easiest way to attach them to the drawer fronts was with a heavy-duty glue. 

“Right after sanding the drawer fronts down, I glued them on and let them sit with the fronts facing upwards for 24 hours just to make sure the glue was totally cured and they wouldn’t drag down,” Lena says. “I oiled the wood two days after gluing to make sure there was no weird interaction with glue and oil.”

Lena’s shell-shaped napkin rings are giving major mermaidcore vibes for the summer, but she says there are tons of possibilities when it comes to shape, size, and material, and she recommends sourcing from thrift stores or Etsy for unique picks. “I think as long as you have enough surface to glue or maybe screw through … they can work,” she says. “I’d say preferably thick metals, not too flimsy, so they don’t bend when pulled. Go for something substantial.”

For more unconventional drawer pull ideas, check out these five additional out-of-the-box substitutes for hardware, and happy furniture flipping!