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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And here is the one with a mixture of vintage and new using the same steps.
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!
And the one made of all new yardsticks has now made its way to the gallery wall in the office.
It is the perfect addition to my yardstick arrow.
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.