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07 April, 2013

DIY Vintage Yardstick Framed Chalkboard

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Yardstick Framed ChalkboardHere’s a project I’ve been mulling over in my head for a while, looking for the “just right” supplies to make it…my vintage yardstick chalkboard! Vintage yardsticks are not as easy to find as you might think. Are all of you crafters out there grabbing them up? But…after some looking…I finally found them!

Supplies Here’s what you’ll need:
  • Two vintage yardsticks (Mine came form Goodwill at $1.00 each. I added a little watered-down stain to make them look even older.)
  • A rectangular chalkboard (Mine is actually slate and was purchased at Michael’s for $3.00 with coupon. My original plan was to paint a piece of cardboard with chalkboard paint, but when I saw the slate, I thought I would try it.)
  • Glue
  • Miter box and saw
  • Also needed…4 clamps. (I used the clip-ons from plastic coat hangers.)

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT StepsI have to ‘fess up here that I had never done mitered corners before, but I did find this video. However, honestly, I just mostly flew by the seat of my pants! Yikes! Here’s what I did (although you might not want to follow my directions):
  1. First, I lined up the parts of the yardstick that I wanted to show with the chalkboard and marked them at either end of the section with a pencil. You will have to make four sets of marks, representing the four sides of the frame, keeping in mind the direction that you want the text to go.
  2. Next, I added a little additional diagonal marks to remind me of the direction of the cut I wanted to make. These can be erased later. Then I lined them up on the miter box…the straight line with the straight one on the box (a) and the rough diagonal with the 45 degree line on the miter box (b). Then I sawed away! A tip...Saw on the front...the side that will show. The back will be jagged.
  3. I repeated the cut in the opposite direction on the opposite end of the piece…lining up as I did before with the straight lines (a) and the angled lines (b).
  4. Woo hoo! I was really proud of myself when I realized that all I had to do for the same length piece on the opposite side was flip the first piece upside down and just draw the lines on the second piece! :-)
Now just repeat the process for the other two lengths and you are done! I hope that makes sense. Please keep in mind that I am not a carpenter! :-)
Corner clamped Using the same watered-down stain that I had used on the yardsticks in the beginning, I touched up the ends of the sawed pieces so the cuts wouldn’t show so much. Finally, I added a line of glue to the chalkboard and put the pieces down, using clip-ons from plastic coat hangers as little clamps to hold the corners until they dried.

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Yardstick Framed Chalkboard2 And…taaa daaa!…here it is! I added a little French proverb that I think works for spring…Petit à petit, l’oiseau fait son nid…or…Little by little, the bird builds his nest. (Or as we say…Rome wasn’t built in a day. I have to admit that I like theirs better!) I added a few little birdie accessories, too. I love the little box with a bird on his nest and the little boy is a favorite Goodwill find for under $4.00.

baby birdsHe is holding a little bird’s nest with two baby birds in it…mouths wide open, asking for food! He looks older than he actually is with that aged finish.

Kitty Napping And in case you are wondering about my co-host today, our Miss Kitty was sleeping on the job just inches away the whole time! I guess she is on spring break this week!

CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT Yardstick Framed Chalkboard squareAnd here’s a final look. I knew going in that it would not be perfect…and it is not…but I think that just adds to its vintage charm. Or that’s my story and I am sticking to it! ;-)

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my vintage yardstick framed chalkboard! Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party , Thrifty Decor Chick for Before and After Monday , Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday , Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday , The Stories of A2Z for Tutorials and Tips Tuesday , Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday , A Stroll thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday , Cedar Hill Ranch for The Scoop on Tuesdays , My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday's Treasures , Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays , DIY by Design for Swing into Spring , The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursdays , No Minimalist Here for the Open House Party on Thursdays , Stone Gable for Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits on Thursdays , My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday , French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday , Common Ground for Be Inspired on Fridays , The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday , Craftberry Bush for the Inspiration Gallery on Friday , Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
See you next time! À la prochaine!
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  1. Your project is adorable. Great job. Thanks for the tutorial.
    Your blogging sister, Connie :)

  2. Super cute Debbie! No, they are not easy to find. I have not found a single one. Have had my eye out for a while. The kitty is certainly sleeping on the job.

  3. A woman that owns a miter box - my kind of friend. Good job.

  4. Well, isn't that cute!!!! I love it- xo Diana

  5. I think it looks darling! I've always liked wooden rulers and yardsticks. ;-)

  6. It turned out perfectly, Debbie! Great job! Linda

  7. Looks adorable and thanks for a new French quote!

  8. I think it's charming, really! That yardstick idea would work on a frame, too. I will keep my eyes open for those old yardsticks (:

  9. I love this chalkboard, Debbie! I keep seeing people making projects with those old yardsticks and I haven't seen any in years. Lucky you. You can now call yourself a carpenter because you tackled mitered corners beautifully! :)

  10. It looks fabulous. I love it. Such a clever idea. I have a really small antique one that was my mom's chalkboard when she was little in school and it is a really tiny ruler. So fun. Hugs, Marty

  11. Love it Debbie!!...I don't see many yardsticks many people doing yardstick did a fantastic job!!!

  12. Cute chalkboard, Debbie! I think the robin that built a nest in the cedar previous years is going to be upset as we had to cut it down last fall...I did save the nest, though.
    Nice write-up in the Flea Market Decor about your transformation from picnic to planter! You have so many great ideas I hope they will invite you to do another article.
    Have a great week...

  13. This is so cute, Debbie. I have a little yardstick frame I bought that has some children in it in clothes from the 1800's. I love this idea. I like the way your repurposed it. And i love Miss Kitty sleeping on the job. She gave you the instructions, so she trusted you to carry on. ;-)



  14. Debbie,
    You took some Goodwill thrift finds, some creative inspiration
    and made a treasured vintage chalkboard!!! You are so clever, dear friend!
    Perhaps, Miss Kitty, like me and finds all this fresh Spring air
    makes one very s l e e p y!!!
    Thanks for sharing your latest DIY project!!!

  15. Debbie I think it turned out really sweet! Love it in the vignette! Oh Miss Kitty I wish I had time for a nap today!

    hugs, Linda

  16. Another brilliant idea, Debbie. This turned out so cute, and I love the French saying. laurie

  17. I love this! You did a great job ;)
    Jamie @

  18. A great French saying! As a former math teacher, I love yardsticks and blackboards. I think I need to make one of these.

  19. Debbie, That is so cute and I like the quote! Take care and thanks for linking to the Open House party.

  20. Soooo cute. Makes me think of school days of long ago.
    Thanks for sharing.

  21. I love the yardstick frame... what a perfect touch! I'm pinning. Little Bit


Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate my wonderful readers!... Debbie