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How to Make Rubber Toy Drawer Pulls

Add a playful touch to your kid's dresser with drawer pulls made from repurposed toys.

Brian Patrick Flynn, Decor Demon

Materials Needed:

  • dresser
  • non-shrinking wood filler
  • orbital sander
  • HVLP spray gun
  • rubber gloves
  • respirator
  • high-gloss or lacquer paint
  • reciprocating saw
  • pliers
  • hardened rubber or thick plastic toys
  • 1/8" drill bit
  • drill
  • 3/16" drill bit
  • 1 1/2" wood screws
  • screwdriver
  • spackle knife
  • pencil or marker

Remove Existing Hardware

Use a screwdriver to remove existing hardware from dresser. Fill existing holes with wood filler using a spackle knife. Allow to dry. Note: Filler can also be applied directly with fingertips, but a spackle knife makes the sanding process quicker and cleaner.

Sand Dresser

Use an orbital sander to smooth the filler down and to sand the drawers and dresser body.

Apply Paint

Apply 2-3 coats of lacquer paint to the dresser and drawers while wearing rubber gloves and a respirator. Make a sweeping motion, overlapping half of each previous pass as you work your way across the drawers and dresser body. Keep the spray gun moving to avoid buildup and drips. Let dry.

Cut Toys to Size

Hold and cut each of the rubber or thick plastic toys with a reciprocating saw and pliers (Images 1-3), being careful to keep hands away from the moving blades. Note: Always wear safety goggles when operating an electric saw.

Drill Holes in Toys

Use a 1/8-inch bit to drill 1/2-inch deep pilot holes in the center of each toy.

Measure for Toy Placement

Measure and mark the locations for each hardware piece with a marker or pencil, ensuring all marks are the same distance from the outside edges of the drawer and on the same center horizontal plane.

Install Knobs

Drill at the marks with a 3/16-inch drill bit (Image 1). Insert a 1 1/2-inch wood screw from the inside of the drawer though the hole, and align the hole in the toy using the tip of the screw (Image 2). Tighten the screw into the toy with a screwdriver. Repeat these steps for all knobs.

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