How to Install Cabinet Hardware the Easy Way

I spent the last 2 weekends in the bathroom. No, I wasn’t sick, but I was finishing the last big project in the kid’s bathroom remodel and finally got to some of the finishing touches like installing cabinet hardware!

In fact, we are on track to finish everything tomorrow and I seriously can not wait to show you the finished product! The hubs and I have sorta impressed ourselves with the level of work we’ve been able to do in here.

But today, we are going to talk cabinet hardware. Specifically how to install cabinet hardware the easy way. So that each pull or knob ends up straight and in line with the drawer next to it.
how to install cabinet hardware the easy way Great tutorial to get your hardware straight the first time!

If you’ve ever had to put hardware on brand new cabinets you know it can be nerve wracking cause you have one shot with the drill to get it right.

And nobody wants crooked cabinet hardware, or even worse brand new ruined cabinets.

I’ve installed my share of hardware and I find the best way to go about getting it right is to make a template. Having a template will allow you to do your measuring once and then simply line it up and mark your holes. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure.

Here’s what you’ll need…

  • A thin piece of cardboard or card stock-  I used a cereal box cut open.
  • A pencil
  • Something to measure with (I use the cutting mat that I use for sewing, but any measuring stick will do.)
  • A utility knife, xacto kinfe, or rotary cutter and something straight to cut along like a large book
  • A drill and drill bit that your hardware calls for
  • A small piece of wood
  • Clamps

*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you decide to make a purchase through my links, I may receive a small comission. All linked products are ones I use a recommend. (Full disclosure here.)

Creating a Template

You will need to create a template for each different size drawer front that you have.

Step 1: Using your cutting tool and measuring device, cut a piece of the cardboard the same exact dimensions as your cabinet or drawer front, or a portion of it.

For example, I wanted my drawer pulls to be centered on each drawer front. My drawer fronts have a small detail on them that creates a rectangle in the middle of the drawer. So I made a template to match the dimensions of that rectangle, not the entire drawer front.

Step 2:  Find the center of your template by folding your cardboard in half both long and short ways. Mark your center with a “t”

Step 3: Mark your hardware holes. Your hardware should come with a diagram that tells you how far apart the holes are. Using that measurement, divided by 2, and measure that distance from your center point and mark your holes.

Double check the distance by holding your hardware up to your to install cabinet hardware

Step 4: Punch your holes by tapping a nail through your cardboard.

Step 5: Place your template on the drawer front, lining up each corner, and mark your holes on the cabinet with a pencil.

how to install cabinet pulls

how to install cabinet hardware

Step 6: Double check your work. You will want to make sure each set of holes is level and also that the holes from one drawer to the next are to install cabinet handles

Step 7: Clamp a small piece of wood on the back side of your drawer before drilling your holes. This will ensure that you don’t tear off any of the surface of the cabinetry on the back side and create a really clean to install ikea cabinet pullsStep 8: Attach your cabinet hardware from the back side of the cabinet or drawer front using the screws provided.

You might want to enlist the help of a cutie like this to help you clean up the shavings. #lovethiskid
little helper

And that’s it! Now you have nice even and straight cabinet hardware with minimal measuring!
how to install cabinet pulls the easy wayConsider this your sneak peek of what we have been working so hard on and keep your eyes peeled for the big reveal in the next week or two!


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About Corey

Corey is the creative behind Hey There, Home where she shares easy-to-follow and beautiful home decor and entertaining ideas. Her mission? To make home decor accessible to everyone, even if you don't consider yourself crafty, and to empower people to decorate their homes in a way that they can actually be lived in, not just looked at.

7 thoughts on “How to Install Cabinet Hardware the Easy Way

  1. Cheryl says:

    Thank you for this info! Every other site I searched assumed I had a kit or a ready-made template. Or that I was replacing hardware so I already had the centerpoint established. Or all of the above plus my drawer pull was a single-hole knob.
    My cutie is all grown up now but it looks like you’ve got a great one!

  2. Vicki T says:

    I have 27 cabinet doors that were painted and rehung. Now I need to mount the pulls – it’s all in what the eye sees. I bought a level and after reading your post – the template thing makes all the sense in the world! Bet I get it done much faster and better now! Thanks for taking the time to help us do-it-yourselfers.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      That’s awesome, Vicki! So glad you found help here!

  3. This is such a good idea! How have I not thought of this? I always do a lot of measuring, some high school algebra and head scratching. Then get it right some how. I love that cabinet color! I do have the tiny sidekick helper, so I am good there!

    1. Hi Emily! I’ve been known to avoid math at all costs. Hahaha. Glad you found it helpful.

  4. Kim says:

    That is a great post! I’ve been needing to install some cabinet hardware at a rent house we own and have been scared to death to screw something up! With this post – I will have the confidence to finally complete that task! Thanks so much!

    1. You are so welcome Kim! Happy you’ve found the confidence to tackle the job!

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