Jar Lid Drawer Pulls - Re-purposing Metal Jar Lids and Wooden Spools




Have you ever wondered if those jar lids from pickle or pasta sauce jars are recyclable? That plastic coating on the inside of the lid makes you wonder if it can go with the rest of your recyclables each week. Well, the answer is yes; most cities will accept the jar lids in their recycling programs, but the plastic coating on the inside is still a problem. It doesn’t get recycled along with the steel in the lid. The plastic seal actually burns off early in the recycling process, creating a harmful gas.

In brainstorming about other ways to re-purpose these jar lids, designers Michael and Cheryl Caston of CAMIC designs created Jar Lid Pulls. Jar Lid Pulls are drawer pulls that reuse the jar lids from spent food jars as well as used wooden spools of thread.  Extra-long aluminum binding posts, which are commonly used for creating scrapbooks, keep all the pieces in place. The large size of the jar lids makes them easy for children to use and a great way to add an extra splash of color to your home’s décor. You will find that these drawer pulls add character to old furniture and become the conversation piece of any room. Customize your own sets by choosing the size and color of the jar lid and spool.

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Step 1: Gather Your Materials

What you'll need to begin:
- Used jar lids
- Used spools of thread (wooden or plastic)
- Note: you may want to glue the end of the thread to the spool prior to assembly
- An assortment of metal washers
- Binding Posts or Nuts and Bolts (found at local hardware store)
- If desired: Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Gloss Spray paint.  Brush-on paints designed for metal would work well too.

Tools you'll need:
- A precise ruler or tape measure
- Drill
- Screwdriver or Cresent Wrench

Step 2: Take Measurements

Measure the width of the drawer, spool of thread, and washer together to find the length required for the binding post or bolt. In the illustration, the measurement shows 2 inches. If you select a binding post or bolt that is too long, you can use washers on the inside of the drawer to make a tight fit.

Step 3: Decide on a Color and Sand

Decide if you like the existing color of the jar lid. If you prefer a different color, sand the jar lid and washers first to ensure adhesion when painting.

Step 4: Drill a Hole in the Center

Drill a hole in the center of the jar lid. You can use a hammer and nail to help get it started. After drilling the hole, you can then paint the jar lid to the desired color.

Note: We used Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Gloss Spray paints for the colors of the lids in our project.  If spray painting the lids, prop them up on something that fits inside the rim.  This way the rim will not touch (or stick to) any surfaces.  A cap from an old spray paint can works well for mid-sized jar lids like the ones shown.

Step 5: Assemble the Pieces

Assemble the parts on your dresser drawer in the following order (outside to inside):

1) Binding post or bolt
2) Washer
3) Jar Lid
4) Spool
5) Drawer
6) Washer
7) Binding Post Screw or Nut

Repeat these steps for creating additional Jar Lid Pulls for your entire dresser.

Step 6: Finished!

You are finished! Pat yourself on the back for reusing materials and creating an attractive and functional piece of artwork for your home.

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Thanks for reading!

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    19 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Have you checked out what empty wooden thread spools sell for lately? They are becoming "antiques and collectables" now.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, they are getting quite pricey on Ebay (if purchased in lots, they can still cost as much as 30 cents/per). We have a whole bunch of wooden spools leftover from years past, but used PLASTIC spools will work just as well for this project. You could even used old 35 mm film canisters. What else could be used / re-purposed?

    Being a seamstress, I am sad to see the tread left on the spools, but if it was the look you were going for then its cool. I do so love this idea and your instructable was done well.

    1 reply

    I have drawers of mostly spent spools- sometimes I use some for a particular color, but have noticed that the older thread tends to break off easily...possibly cotton thread that's rotted???


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Nice Instructable!!!!!!!!
    I like to refurbish curb find furniture and this perfectly fits the theme.
    I think it's cool that you left the thread on the spools.

    I've had problems with handles coming loose so I recommend putting some Locktite on the screws. It also helps to sand and rub bees wax on the drawer glide surfces to make them glide easily. this takes a lot of stress off the handles, especially when the drawer is fully loaded.

    nice job!!!!!

    4 replies

    i find wax works better than soap. i've used soap in the past with mixed results. Soap can absorb humidity, and if the drawer bottom is untreated, it'll swell the wood and cause it to stick again..


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the tip for keeping the handles secure and for allowing the drawer to move with more ease. We've tried rubbing dry bar soap on the drawer glide surfaces before and that worked pretty well, but I bet using beeswax will last a lot longer. Nice thoughts. Thanks.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    What a great idea, your instructions are very easy to follow, and now there are many other possibilities rolling around in my head. Thank you so much!

    1 reply