DIY Deer Art Silhouette made with Yardsticks

Laura is back with a fantastic project featuring new and old yardsticks.  The more I get to know Laura the more I realize how much we have in common.  A love of new and found objects in our home is definitely one of them.  She created this unique deer silhouette art piece out our yardsticks.  Isn’t it awesome?  And you could totally do this with any shape – a letter, heart, star, pumpkin, Christmas tree, etc.  And she is here to give us a play by play.

DIYArtYardstickDeerSilhouette_thumb

Hello Infarrantly Creative readers, Laura here stopping in from Finding Home to share a new project. Currently my obsession is old yardsticks. I love to collect them, all kinds of colors, with all kinds of words and advertising on them. Some I keep intact, but I love to make projects with them as well. I have had this deer wood cutout in my craft supplies for a bit. Then I was back at the craft store and saw it again – I picked up a few more. I was beginning to feel self conscience of all these deer heads I was gathering when I didn’t know what I was going to do with them. And then it hit me – a yardstick deer silhouette. This is where I started. A simple wood cut out. Now, I chose to use a deer silhouette, but this same technique could be used for almost any design.  

Deer Silhouette   

1.  I know not everyone has a collection of vintage yardsticks – so I made two different ones. One has new yardsticks and the other is a mixture of new and old. I found my new ones at Staples and dug through the stack to find some color variation. I am sure you can find them at many different types of stores. I cut them down into smaller pieces and figured out the pattern to lay them out with. They can be cut using a chop saw (carefully!) or a miter box. I tried to have the numbers not fall in order – to make it look a little more “collected”.  

yardstick art 

2. Then I used a fast drying glue gel to attach them. I was very happy with this glue – it set up quickly and was able to withstand all that was to come. 

 uses for vintage yardsticks 

3.  I placed a piece of scrap wood on the front for some extra stability and then I clamped it for about 30 minutes to be sure it was secure.  

yardstick art  

4. I used my Dremel rotary tool next. If you are not familiar with this tool, it is a hand held device that can cut, sand and route in small spaces. With several passes of the router bit, on a flat surface, you are able to cut through yardsticks following the lines of the wood cutout as your guide. A regular router, if you can set it down real low, might work. When we tried ours, it broke off the antlers. 

 Deer yardstick art  

Tips: – Lucky for you, I tried a whole lot of different tips and found that the router tip really works best. The cutting tools seem to burn out pretty quickly or can’t reach all of the small spaces. – Work on a piece of scrap wood so that if it goes through, you are not ruining your work surface. – My Dremel is a bit older, but I did find that the routing ran through the battery quickly. If you have a back-up battery, keep it charged and nearby.  

5.  When it is finished, the edges will be a bit rough. Switch your Dremel tool to a sanding bit and smooth out all of the edges. This is what it looked like after it was sanded.  

Yardstick Deer Silhouette  

6.  You could leave it just as the above picture. However, I wanted mine to have more of the look of vintage even when using new yardsticks. I hit all the edge and front with Annie Sloan dark wax and then buffed it off. Here is the completed version made with all new yardsticks.  

Yardstick Project  

And here is the one with a mixture of vintage and new using the same steps.  

Deer Silhouette Details 

I am actually surprised because I might even like the one made with all new yardsticks better. Imagine the possibilities if we are not limited by how many vintage yardsticks we can find!  

 

Deer Yardstick Silhouette Art

And the one made of all new yardsticks has now made its way to the gallery wall in the office.  

Gallery Wall Yardstick Deer Silhouette

It is the perfect addition to my yardstick arrow.  

DIYTutorialYardstickArrowFindingHome_thumb.jpg 

Thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed the project. If you would like to see another simple and quick idea using vintage and new elements, stop by to see my vintage doorknob pumpkins – made from cheap and ugly fake pumpkins.   Vintage Doorknob Pumpkins

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Comments

  1. What a fabulous project- that Dremel rotary tool looks amazing. I love how rich and rustic it looks with the dark wax- perfect on the gallery wall.

  2. Sarah Burlingame says:

    LOVE this idea! I love old yardsticks but have been resisting buying them since I didn’t know what I’d do with them… until now!!

  3. I just bought a whole bunch of yard sticks from the goodwill store….just because I liked them…for only $2.00! I didn’t know what to do with them. DH gave me the weirdest quizzical look as I placed them in my sewing room. I lied and said, “I know the perfect project for these”..and walked away! I didn’t ! I do now! Love this dear head idea! Thank you.

  4. Jeanne Jones says:

    Where did you find the pattern for the deer head?

  5. I love the arrow and the deer head! It really gets me thinking!

  6. Kristi@MyWeeklyHabit says:

    I seriously love this project! We were thinking of using a 3D wood deer head in our basement bathroom redo, but it is a small space and I think this would work much better. I also have some old yard sticks that belonged to my grandpap that would be great to use. Thanks for sharing!

    • I love this project too, Kristi. Laura is awesome! I love the idea of using your grandpap’s old yard sticks to make it meaningful and would love to hear how your project turns out. :-)

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