Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tutorials: DIY Brass Ring Pull & Giant Bulletin Board

 How to Avoid Snags with the DIY Brass Pulls

In the twin girls' room I just finished decorating, it made a huge difference to paint one of the dressers to match the other.  For about $12, the DIY brass ring pulls dressed them up.

If you've never installed pulls or knobs, the easiest way to make sure they all line up is to make a template of the drawer on a sheet of paper.  If you look, you can see a very faint red pencil line I drew diagonally from corner to corner to find the exact middle.

Since I wanted the brass ring to sit at the middle, I marked the drill spot slightly higher and poked a small hole with my pencil through the paper to mark the drill spot on the drawer.  Use painter's tape to secure the template in place, mark, untape, and move to the next drawer. 

That way they're all perfectly lined up.

But WARNING!  If you plan on installing these on a dresser, the ends of the cotter pin are a tad rough and can snag on clothes.  To fix that problem, bend the cotter pins back first, and then take a pair of needle-nose pliers to bend each tip back and against the inside of the dresser drawer.  This will simultaneously keep the ring pull from rotating or moving and it will tuck the the rough end under so that no clothes will be snagged.

Easy-to-Make Giant Bulletin Board -- $24 each

  I put giant floor-to-ceiling bulletin boards behind each girl's bed because 1) I wanted there to be a way to draw they eye up, and 2) the girls needed a place of their own to decorate and hang their art work without ruining the freshly painted walls with tape and stickers.

Materials for One Pin Board
  • Homasote (Home Depot calls it "sound board") cut to fit.  Ask Home Depot to do it for you.  $11 per sheet.
  • Fabric to cover the board.  I used burlap because it's durable, cheap, and easy to replace.  I bought four yards for $6.  I did not use or need batting.
  • Grosgrain ribbon for trim, if you care to use it. One roll for $3 each.
  • Fabric covered brad craft kit (the metal buttons) from Michaels to cover the staples. About $4.


 Lay the fabric on the ground with the sheet of homasote on top.  (You do not need anyone to help you with this -- the homasote is super light weight.  Pull the fabric taut to remove wrinkles and staple with a staple gun on all sides, being sure to finish off the corners.

Then turn the board over and make a criss-cross pattern with your ribbon.  Staple at the corners and in the middle where the ribbon crosses.  Use hot glue under the ribbon where the staple meets the board to keep the staples from pulling out.

My original intent was the use the fabric covered brad craft kit to make fabric covered brads.  But I liked the way the metal looked, so I pounded it with a hammer to make it look...well, like hammered metal.  Use these with some hot glue (for extra durability) to push into the board and cover the staples.

It's worth pointing out that you don't need the ribbon, necessarily.  You can use a push-pin to easily attach things to these boards, but I was worried about push-pins being so near the girls' beds (they're six), so the trim allows them to slip art behind the ribbon to secure it to the board. 

These are not secured to the wall.  They simply lean against it behind each bed. (As I said, they're very light-weight and I don't worry about them falling, even if they could.)

 If you wanted to hang one on the wall, I'd attach the fabric, cut an x in the fabric to keep it from binding when you drill a hole, and then use a washer and screw to attach it the wall.  Cover the washer and screw with the ribbon.

All told the girls got:
  • 80s wallpaper removed and a professionally painted room and ceiling (not by me)
  • two new vintage beds (painted by me)
  • new bed slats
  • all new bed linens and throw pillows
  • refreshed dressers with new hardware
  • new gigantic bulletin boards
  • new reading lights
  • new rug
  • under bed storage for toys and shoes
  • behind-the-door shoe storage for Barbies
  • full-length mirror
  • new vanity/desks 
  • new stools for vanity/desks
  • pegboard for jewelry and hair organization
  • animal silhouette art
  • old bookcase snagged from the garage for books and more storage
  • a new, lower hung rod for their closet
 All of it for less than the cost of two of these brand new beds, which were my inspiration:



  1. You are awesome. That is all.

    (well, also, I'm SO HAPPY you are my friend, so I can get first dibs on your insane talent.)

  2. I love designing childrens room. You did some really cool stuff to add some fun details. Love the color combinations. Paint sure can make a difference in an element in a room.
    Great job,

  3. Wow. What I love about reading your posts is all the little details I would never think of like thumb tacks not being a good idea for 6 year olds and clothes catching on the brass pulls. As always you are super inspiring.

  4. I am going to give it a try. Thanks!

  5. I am so impressed with your skills! Not only do you have an amazing eye for detail but your application is so thoughtful and practical as well as beautiful. This is one lucky family to have had you do both kids' rooms! Thanks fr all the great tips--I adore those bulletin boards...


  6. What a beautiful room, Camille. The burlap boards are really dramatic--love them. And the color scheme is so fresh! Not to mention your work on the dressers--the brass ring pulls are great, and thanks for the tips on how to make them clothes-friendly on the inside!

  7. What a transformation! Those little ones must have been giddy with excitement when they saw the room. Think I'll be using that drawer pull idea, it's great!


  8. Awesome but also a lot of work! You are a mazing!

  9. Camille! I dont know how I missed this awesome post. Your lucky girls!! That room's amazing!!!


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