Spring is when many of us get the motivation to freshen up something or someplace in our lives. Glass drawer pulls are a great way to add a special touch to a dresser or cabinets. I had bought a mold for making drawer pulls over a year ago and never gave them a try, so I found the mold and instructions from Creative Paradise and began to experiment.
This process is actually fairly simple with some lessons learned which I will describe below. The basics of the process are to start with a hole punch to punch disks from 1/8″ fiber cloth and then add all 5 disks to a nichrome wire which comes with the mold. You then cut fiber paper 1/2″ x 3/4″ and wrap it around the disks and glue it in place. I will have to admit that this task is the hardest of this whole process. You are working with small pieces and my fingers just had a hard time getting the paper around the disks and glued evenly. The more you do it, the easier it gets.
After making four of these fiber disk stacks, prepare your mold (I used MR-97) and then push the nichrome wires into the holes in the mold, so the wire is sticking out the bottom of the mold and the fiber disk stack is resting on the cavity on the bottom of each drawer pull. Add frit and fire to a full fuse temperature.
While the process was straightforward, I did have several lessons learned:
1) The instructions indicate to use medium frit at the bottom of each knob around the fiber disk stack so you get as little air around them as possible and get a nice fully filled base. My first attempt was with medium frit and I had a very uneven base on the knobs (see red and yellow knob in the picture below). My next attempt was using fine frit which I thought worked much better (see aqua blue knob – 2nd from left), but still room for improvement. For my third and fourth attempts, I stuck with the fine frit, but actually patted the frit down into the hole to get a very dense pack. This worked the best. See the light blue and adventurine green knobs below.
2) Use a very fine spoon to place the fit around the stems in the cavities and try hard to make sure the stem is standing straight up to get an even fill around the stem or your finished knob base will be a little lopsided.
3) Be very careful that none (or very little) of the nichrome wire is sticking up above the fiber disks. I had one wire get stuck in the finished glass knob. After pulling and twisting with pliers, I was able to remove it, but best to just make sure the wire doesn’t get stuck in the first place.
You get a very different look from course frit (recommended in the instructions) versus medium and fine fit as well as solid or multiple colors. My husband’s favorite is the solid adventurine green as he likes the single color, and depth that the adventurine gives. I like the multiple colors like the light blue and white one or the cranberry pink and vanilla one which I think are perfect for a baby’s dresser. Which do you like best?
The last step is to insert a brass insert for the screw, but since these inserts didn’t come with the mold, I will have to buy these. Can’t wait.
I believe that these drawer pulls might be hard to sell as most people already have their colors and want the drawer pulls to match those colors, but I think there are some cases where these little extras come first and set the colors.