Thursday, October 17, 2013

How To Make Cabinet Handles From Silverware

I have embarked on a big project. I am re-doing my kitchen. I'm refinishing my cabinets and furniture. Mr Farmer is building me a bigger island. And I'm redecorating.

I've chosen to go with a primitive/ rustic/ antique theme. I have always liked the look of antique silverware. You know, the kind from back when it was actually silver, or at least silver plated. They were beautiful and made sturdy-- made to last. Some have been used so much that parts of them are actually worn away.

I decided I wanted to incorporate some into my decorating. I wanted to make cabinet handles out of them. Buying handles made to look like silverware is insanely expensive and doesn't have near the character or beauty of the real thing.

First, we tried bending some in different ways in order to get a method down. Then one evening when we were out in the shop, I came across an old tool left over from our garage sale. It is a chain break. I'm glad it didn't sell. I took it inside and the next day I  started to experiment on some extra pieces of silverware. Almost immediately I had my method down. This is what I did.

First, I looked at the natural curve of the end of the spoon. I wanted to put a small bend that continued in that same direction. This is where the handle will be screwed into the cabinet.

Next, I wanted to create the area where my fingers will go into in order to open the door. To do this, I put the now-bent part of the spoon through another slot until it "hugged" around the tool. Then I set that part of the tool on the counter and bent the spoon back the other direction.

I like the slightly deeper end at the bottom of the handle. You could bend it to be more like a store-bought/even finger area, though, by adjusting where you bend it.

And there you have it. Now all that needs done is to take your spoon or fork or whatever and drill holes in them, top and bottom, and attach them to your cabinet.

And here they are on my cabinets.

I used the forks on the top cabinets just so no one would somehow catch a piece of clothing on them. This set of silverware was from 1917 that I picked up at an auction. I chose a fairly un-detailed set because I didn't want to have to try and clean food out of all the intricate carvings. That's always been an issue for me even with regular cabinet handles. The fancy ones are so pretty, but I cringe to think of the lurking ickiness.


  1. BRILLIANT! Dang, this is just so cool. Now where to get one of those tools, ha.

    1. Thanks, 1st Man! I know, some of our best ideas come from "finding" something to use in an unusual way. I'm sure I've seen a chain break at farm auctions before, but never had a use for one before now. It literally took minutes to make all 27 of them. I love when an idea works out!

  2. Cool Langela, you always come up with great ideas. New cabinet pulls are expensive these days. You could start buying antique silverware at garage sales, estate sales, or auctions and start selling these for 5 bucks apiece.

    1. Thanks, Gordon. I have a bunch that I was going to use before I found this complete set. I told Mr Farmer this morning that I should just make them into handles and sell them. He said he has a hard time doing that to an antique unless I'm sure they were sold. I say it's hard to sell something that doesn't even exist yet. I'll have to think on it.

    2. If you price them right, they WILL sell. People are always looking for a bargain and if you already have the silverware, why not just sell them "at cost," to get your money back from what you paid for them? They would be out of your house, taking up unneeded space, and in someone else's house, being put to great use.