Archive for the ‘door’ Category


Friday, February 22nd, 2013



FUN FACT:  We’ve been working on this house for five years and still haven’t installed handles on most of the original built-in storage cabinets or the closets.

Why rush it. No big deal.

Oh, except that now its been half a decade of living like filthy animals who routinely need to savagely pry open heavy drawers or wonky old doors with a screwdriver or any other available blunt object.

Time for change. Time for?

Leather. Pulls. For. Doors.

For months I’ve been messing around and field testing all manner of leather design bits and objects. Working out the kinks. Comparing materials. Picking finishes. Doing all the leather work. Leather working? Leather science? Leathering? Leathery stuff. The sort of stuff that recently culminated with the plopping out of this finalized prototype batch of simple looped leather+brass handles that make opening the closet easier and much more stylish than a screwdriver wedged in the crack.


OK. General DIY rundown time.






Leather (mine = 1″ wide + 8/9oz + natural veg dye)
Brass Eyelets (mine = 3/16″ hole)
Brass Bolts
Brass Washers


Leather Hole Punch
Eyelet Setter
Tape measure





1. Measure then cut leather to size. (mine = 1″ wide x 8″ long – final installed handle is approx. 4″ tall)

2. Lightly dampen cut leather pieces with a sponge to prep leather for hole punching. Towel off any extra moisture.

3. Measure and mark matching hole locations on both ends. (mine = 1″ interior from either edge + centered width)

*TIP: Make a template using an extra matching leather scrape to quickly and consistently mark hole guide placements if   you’re making multiple matching handles.

4. Align punch tool with the guide mark and carefully punch out the hole.

5. Place setter and hammer eyelets into each hole.

6. Loop leather strip in half and thread the bolt through both eyelets to prep for install.

7. Thread bolt through the hardware mounting hole, finalize leather handle placement, thread washer onto the bolt end and tighten both very firmly to secure the handle.


and then DONE.


*Optional Finishing:  I’ve been using a leather finisher on the overall handle and then finishing the edges with a slicker and Gum Tragacanth. Leave the leather raw, seal it, dye it, burn it – I don’t care. Do whatever works to finish things up to your taste.



Basically the basic of basics. These finished leather handles work and look pretty great and are totally good to go for install.

Well, except that I haven’t been able to shake off this nagging need to rework and replace the current basic brass bolt set with different hardware that’s feels more unusual or unexpected while still staying minimal and unfussy.

Hey now, at least one closet is all functional for the first time with actual usable handles.






Say hello, sexy hex detail.

This is what plopped out of all that and ended up being the hardware solution for my closet pulls. I’ve been testing these things out around the house and refining a few construction details, but who cares! I’m in love with this thing. The scale, the finish, the bit of unexpected handle detail is pretty much doing all those things my crazy brain was hoping for.






Now onto make a ton more of these for the rest of the house and other design projects. Maybe someday I might even make some handle sets for CAMP? Ugh, hold it. Going too far into the future. Must focus on the now and the 34 handles I gotta make just to cover the rest of our closets and built-ins.

I’m a leather handle making machine!

Check back in five more years to see if there was any progress.


Front Door

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Screw you ugly screen door. Screw you big weird hole.

We finally got motivated and figured out how to fix the big hole in the front door – which means the front door is going to rehab.

Screw you as well stupid Realtor lock box.

The Boy made a little custom wood chunk to fill the giant hole below the doorknob. He puttied it up with some wood filler and then proceeded to fill a bunch of wonky holes throughout to get it primed for painting.

Sand sand sand. Patch patch patch.

Then we tried painting the door and…disaster.

It looks terrible.

Smooth roller + Behr exterior True Black in a semi-gloss = WTF. It’s ugly finish city. It was the same combo we used for the garage doors. So what went wrong?

I don’t know. I googled and googled to no avail.

As a last resort I spoke with the paint guy at Home Depot. He said it was a drying problem; the paint was drying too quickly and we weren’t putting enough paint on the roller as well as pressing too hard. Therefore, bad finish.

Since we were sanding things down and calling a do over, I decided we needed to patch up the peep hole. We had a big ornate brass thing that just wasn’t going to work with the more modern hardware we were installing. The Boy and I argued back and forth about its inclusion, and in the end The Boy cut and fit another custom chunk of wood to seal that eyesore up forever. More wood filler, more sand sand sand and BAM, solid door.

Here is the final interior after repainting and installing the new hardware. I settled on Emteks Stuttgart Lever which was $55 and a specially sized 1-1/2″ Schlage B560P deadbolt for about $35. Why the weird small deadbolt that is super expensive? Well, we tried to bore out our other exterior doors to fit a standard deadbolt and it was a complete nightmare. A nightmare I swore we would not repeat. Too bad I forgot that satin nickle is not the same color as satin chrome. Both the handle and deadbolt only offered either finish, so that means no shared finish color. Damn this door and all its stupid complications!

The deadbolt did fit like a dream, BTW.

We still need to patch and paint the exterior molding and door jamb. Oh, and paint the cement porch. At least that screen door is dead and gone.

See the lovely lumps on the upper left of the door reflecting all weird? You can totally feel them undulating under your hand. UGH. These were yet another thing contributing to the weird finish. They are not lovely lady lumps, but bizarre rolling mounds. They make me crazy.

I give up, we are calling it done. Stupid old fucked up door.



It works. I am so done screwing around with it. Better this than a big stupid hole in the door filled with spiders.

Now we need a large modern planter next to the door with some sort of cactus. Then porch paint. Hardscape. New fence. Gate. Landscape. Mailbox. Edging. And then on and on and on and on…