Weekend Project: Wooden Yardstick/Ruler DIY's

Fun and affordable, we love the idea of using wooden yardsticks and/or rulers for a "recycled surface" idea! The first time I saw this idea in person was here in Vancouver at Spool of Thread. Owners Lili Nedved and Henry Sinha created a stunning front desk using zillions of them (150 yardsticks in total). Image immediately below; Country Living used them to cover an end table (image below) and also gives instructions on how to do it; Ashley Ann Photography made a backsplash out of them (image below) and Inoui Design made stair risers out them (via D*S). I've been dreaming of kitchen cabinets made out of them, (but that's a lot of yardsticks). Here's the instructions on how to (from countryliving.com) after the jump.

We like the vintage ones where you get a variety of colors and patinas. Be sure they are all the same thickness. (For a 19- by 17-inch table like the one created by Country Living, you'll need about 16 yardsticks.) Probably ebay or Craigslist would be a good place to start to look for vintage.

STEP 1: To figure out how best to align the sticks, create a template of the tabletop by tracing it onto a sheet of paper. Arrange the rulers on the template, marking where you'll need to cut so they fit the width and length of the table.

STEP 2: Once you know where each ruler segment will go, make the cuts with a hacksaw or small electric saw. Smooth out any rough edges with medium-grit sandpaper.

STEP 3: Starting at one corner, attach one of the ruler segments to the top of the table lengthwise by hammering a flat-head nail in at each end. Repeat in rows until the entire surface is covered. You can stagger the sticks as shown, but line them up carefully to avoid gaps.

STEP 4: Apply several layers of Zinsser clear shellac ($4.79; doitbest.com) over the yardsticks with a wide brush, according to the can's directions. Allow ample time for drying between coats. Once you're done, let the table dry for another 48 hours before putting anything on its surface.

Photo credits:

1. Ashley Ann Photography
2. Becka Nathan of Bliss in a Teacup
3. Karl Juengel/Studio D for countryliving.com
4. Ashley Ann Photography
5. Inoui Design via D*S

Jan Halvarson


Taylor said...

I really love the stairs idea. I'm going to save that photo for future ideas! Thanks!!!

Justina Blakeney said...

That little side table is adorable. What a fantastic upcycle/DIY idea.

heidi said...

um. wow.
i am so saving this in my "to do" file.
love them.