DIY Tutorials Furniture Painting

Vintage Labels – DIY For Your Library Drawer Pulls

close up of ruler, exacto knife, drawer pull labels and library drawer pull

Do you love the look of vintage library pulls and those dusty, aged vintage labels? Yes? Me too! There’s something so nostalgic about this look that adds such “story” to a piece of furniture! In this tutorial, I’m going to teach you how to make authentic looking vintage labels for your beautiful library drawer pulls.

Bonus: I am also going to share with you the best place to purchase brass library drawer pulls (ya know, the cute ones with the label slots?!) and give you a FREE template so you can start making your vintage labels ASAP!

Vintage Apothecary Chest Makeover

If you saw my Apothecary Chest furniture makeover project, you may have noticed that I added beautiful, vintage-inspired, brass library pulls to my dresser. This new “vintage” apothecary chest will not only serve as a bar in our farmhouse, but will also provide ample storage for everyday items such as: art supplies, cords, headphones, party supplies, etc.

Being that I am the only one in our home that knows where anything is (don’t even get me started on my husband’s ability to find things) I want to make sure that the library drawer pulls are not only beautiful, but functional as well!

Initially, I wrote out each drawer label onto a piece of plain, white paper and slid it into each pull slot. The problem, however, is that something wasn’t right? The apothecary chest looked so perfectly old, chippy and vintage, however the new labels were reading way to pristine and crisp! An original piece would never appear this way, so I knew this had to change! I wanted the labels to look as if they had always been a part of this piece! The labels needed to “tell a story.”

I came up with this DIY and I simply love how it turned out! In only 30 minutes, I was able to create a vintage label that truly looks authentically old and I want to share this process with you. Let’s begin!

Materials Needed for Vintage Labels

Large Bowl of Boiling Water

Tea Bags

8.5×11 Sheet of White Computer Paper

Computer and Desktop Printer


Exacto Knife

Brass Library Drawer Pulls

FREE Vintage Labels Template

How to Create Your Vintage Labels

Step #1 – Prep

Steep your tea bags in a large bowl of boiling water, long enough for the water to turn a brown tea color.

Step #2 – Take It Out On The Paper!

Take a sheet of computer paper and crumple it up with your hands.

materials used for making the vintage library pull labels - bowl of tea, a piece of paper and tea bags

Step #3 – Soak Your Paper

Carefully open the crumpled paper and place it in the tea bowl. Next,use a spoon (I prefer a wooden spoon, so it does not easily rip the wet paper). Then, let the paper sit for a few minutes until it becomes tea stained.

wooden spoon stirring a piece of white paper in a bowl of tea

Step #4 – Sun Dry Your Paper

Carefully remove the paper and lay it flat outside, allowing it to dry in the sun. Remember, the drying process happens very quickly, so check back often and make sure your paper does not blow away 🙂

(Note: if there are small rips in the paper, don’t worry! This adds to the authentically aged patina!)

Step #5 – Download FREE Vintage Label Template

Download the FREE Library Drawer Pull Label Template HERE and place it inside a word document or computer editing program of your choice.

computer and printer printing out the library pull labels

Step #6 – Create Custom Vintage Labels

Type in your desired labels – I prefer the font Courier

template for printer labels

Step #7 – Trim and Insert Vintage Labels

Place your dried / tea-stained sheet of paper in your desktop printer and print your labels directly to the tea-stained paper.

canon printer printing the apothecary chest drawer labels
close up of the printed library label pull labels

Step #8

Use your ruler to line up the provided crop marks, cut your labels, place them within the pulls

printed label sheet with ruler, exacto knife and library label pull
close up of ruler, exacto knife, drawer pull labels and library drawer pull

Step #9

Sit back and admire how beautiful your authentically vintaged library pull labels look!

close up of vintage apothecary chest with wooden bench vignette
close up shot of vintage label in a library label pull on the vintage apothecary chest of drawers
black milk paint dresser turn apothecary chest with vintage brass label pulls
close up of bar tools and batteries drawers with bar bottles
apothecary chest bar with farmhouse dining room in the background

Save this DIY for Later using this Pinnable Image

vintage labels for library drawer pulls pinnable image

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