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How to Install Cup Pulls

Denise Nyland

Cup pulls are a style of handle used to open drawers and bins. Both decorative and functional, cup pulls are commonly used for furniture and cabinets in vintage to contemporary decor. They often are made of brass, but also are available in other metals, wood, plastic and glass.

Cup pulls are durable and require little maintenance. They can be installed in minutes, using only simple tools.

  1. Measure and note the width of the drawer or bin door. Decide how far from the top of the door you want to position the cup pull -- these pulls typically are placed on the vertical center of the face of the door or drawer. Divide the width by 2 if you are installing a single-cup pull, and mark the center of the top of the door. To install two cup pulls, divide the drawer or door width by 4 and mark the door one-quarter of the width from each side.

  2. Inspect the cup pull to see if the screws are mounted through the front of the pull, or if they will come through the back of the door or drawer face. For front-mounting, center the cup pull over the mark you made and pass a pencil tip through the screw holes to mark their locations on the drawer or bin front. For rear-mounting, carefully measure the distance between the centers of the screw holes on the cup pull. Transfer that measurement to the face of the drawer or door, centered on your reference mark, and mark where the mounting holes will be drilled.

  3. Drill pilot holes for front-mounted cup pulls on the marks you made, using a drill bit that is slightly smaller in diameter than the installation screws. Position the pull on the drawer or bin door face with the screw holes aligned. Insert the screws through the cup pulls and tighten them with a screwdriver.

  4. Make installation holes for rear-mounted cup pulls by using a drill bit that is the same diameter as the installation screws. Drill the holes at the marks you made. Pass the mounting screws from the back to the front of the drawer or bin door face. Align the holes in the back of the cup pull over the screws. Tighten the screws from the back, using a screwdriver.


If you are replacing knobs or handles, remove them and measure the distance between their mounting on the bin door or drawer. Replace the handles with cup pulls that have screw holes the same distance apart as the old hardware to avoid drilling new holes. A second option is installing an escutcheon (back plate) between the face of the furniture and the cup pull. If you are installing cup pulls on multiple doors of the same size, make a paper template to ensure identical positioning of the hardware. Measure from the top and nearest side of the door to the center mark you made for installation. Cut a rectangular piece of paper with the same dimensions. When the template is aligned with the corner of the door, the opposite corner will be in the correct position for marking the center of the next cup pull.