If you’re the kind of person who loves both upcycling projects and things from your own lifetime that make you nostaglic, then you’re the perfect kind of crafter to be making DIY projects out of vintage school rulers and yard sticks! Between the wood and ink that have been worn smooth and then varied colours they come in despite being standard in construction, old yard sticks are a perfect way to gives your space a classic aesthetic, especially if you’re a teacher or grew up related to one. Besides that, rulers and yard sticks are versatile tools because they’re already essentially small, even slabs of wood.
Check out these 15 fabulously vintage looking DIY projects made with old school rulers and yard sticks!
1. Vintage ruler peg rack
Whether you use it to hang your coat, some classic or vintage looking cleaning supplies, or dress up clothes in your child’s playroom, this little peg rack looks like a throwback to happy school days every time you walk into the room. It’s much easier to make than it looks, too! Check it out on Susie Harris.
2. Yard stick and bicycle wheel clock
One of our favourite parts of DIY and crafting is that you get to make practical, everyday things out of completely different objects that usually aren’t related to the thing you’re making. This clock, made from the metal frame of an old bicycle wheel and pieces of old ruler or yard stick for the hands, is a perfect example! Thistlewood Farms guides you through the process of making this awesomely unique timepiece to hang on your wall.
3. Yard stick arrow wall decor
Perhaps you’re in love with the way that reclaimed rulers and yard sticks look on their own but you’re not interested in combining them with other materials like the clock does, for example? You can still make simple, effective wall art that will draw the eye when visitors enter the room! Check out how Finding Home Farms created a simple arrow shaped decor piece by cutting a yard stick into long and short pieces, positioning them, and gluing them.
4. Vintage yardstick tabletop
Bliss Ranch guides you through the process of creating a flat, smooth table top from a number of old rulers and yard sticks fit together like a little wooden mosaic! We’re in love with the way the rulers seem to melt, despite all being different colours and sizes. This would make a gorgeous hallway or entryway piece in a home full of teachers.
5. Ruler drawer handles
Do you like the idea of establishing a fun learning environment for your kids while keeping some classic school-themed elements within the space while they play? Even something as simple as replacing the dresser drawer knobs with ruler handles will help your kids associate school with fun. BHG shows you how it’s done.
6. Yard stick embellished stair fronts
Do you like the idea of letting the vintage school theme you’ve built in one room follow you throughout the rest of the house? The staircase is a main home feature that can help you out with that! Line the front face of each step with collaged ruler or yard stick pieces glued tightly into place, just like Funky Junk Interiors did. Your guests will hardly want to walk up the stairs because they’ll be too busy admiring how it looks!
7. Yard stick star Christmas tree topper
Dukes and Duchesses has the perfect idea for a Christmas gift for your oldest and dearest teacher, or your child’s current favourite. This little Christmas tree topper star is made from cut lengths of old wooden yard sticks layed end to end in a star shape, drilled through an dscrewed together at each point. It gives the whole tree a holiday schoolhouse feel.
8. School ruler lampshade
Are you looking for a simpler project that still centres the room around a particular idea or theme? Gluing old wooden rulers down the length of a lampshade is easy but effective! Just make sure you measure that your rulers and the lampshade are all the same length, like A Case of the Mundays did.
9. Ruler topped foot stool
Do you love the idea of a ruler or yard stick covered surface, but you’re not quite ready to commit a full table to being a school themed statement piece in your main room? Build a simple stool top for your kids to us when they need to reach the sink in the bathroom! You can even use it as a teaching tool, showing them how to measure increments along the edge of the school while they brush their teeth. Check out how it’s done on Thistlewood Farms.
10. Yard stick desk drawers
If you like the ruler surface idea but you’d rather leave your desk top smooth the way it is, try customizing the front surface of the drawers instead. We love this idea for a current teacher’s desk, the desk at home, or a meaningful gift for your parent who is retiring from teaching soon. See how it’s done over at Gadget sponge.
11. Crate made from rulers
Maybe you just want a subtle hint of yard sticks and rulers, whether they’re vintage or new, and you’d like the piece to be practical? We’d be willing to bed that you could use a bit of extra storage, just like the rest of us! If so, check out how Meridian Road created this easy screwed together ruler crate.
12. Yard stick sunburst mirror
Perhaps your tastes are a little more visual and abstract? Yard sticks and rulers might not look like the material for conceptual wall art, but this awesome sunburst mirror begs to differ. This design from BHG somehow manages to look both vintage and mod nouveau all at once.
13. Yard stick kitchen backsplash
The Ktchn guides you through the process of really committing to the vintage school house look by creating a yard stick back splash behind the sink in your kitchen, right underneath the cabinets. We love how stylishly weathered it looks if you collect yard sticks that were actually pre-used, giving the sink area a cute shabby chic feel.