For years, we’ve been amazed at the clever and imaginative solutions our friend Holton Rower has come up for his various spaces – both at home and work. Take the chic leather cabinet pulls we’ve been seeing around at high-end housewares stores, for $20 + a piece. Holton starting making leather pulls twenty years ago to use in an apartment and has been making them himself ever since. They are nothing more than a rectangle of leather folded in half and held fast with a roofing nail – a common nail that has a particularly large flat head and a fat shank that holds fast to wood. Holton is an artist who knows about all sorts of materials and how things work, knowledge to which he applies his acute visual sense (check out the 1.6 million hit YouTube video of one of his paintings). He likes the dot within a rectangle that the pulls make – evocative of Bauhaus.

Sally Schneider

You can buy roofing nails at any hardware store (get the simple, smooth-shank ones, without grooves)

The length should be whatever depth your cabinet door is…OR, Holton said, “if you get them longer, you can bend the end over to secure the strap further.”

You can use many materials for the pull: leather scraps, heavy fabric or belting, in colors if you like. “If you just want to make a few, buy the leather from a shoemaker. If you want to make a lot, buy a whole hide.” You just cut it to the size you want with a straight edge and Exacto knife.

Sally Schneider

…You fold the leather pull in half and hammer the roofing nail through it into your cabinet door…

Sally Schneider

They are simple and beautiful and get better as they age and wear.

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11 replies on “DIY Leather Cabinet Pulls (via Holton Rower)

  1. Great post. Tiny typo: “Holton is an artist whose (YOU PROBABLY MEANT WHO) knows about all sorts of materials. . . .”

  2. Thanks for the alert. It is amazing how blind I can be sometimes…Glad you like the post.

  3. Hello, it is nice idea, but you should use the screw instead of nail and add a washers: one under the leather strip and one under the screw head for higher durability of leather.

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