Ruler Frame DIY

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Have you ever looked at a pile of supplies and thought “… oh great. What the heck am I going to DO with all of this??” My mom found a TON of little 6 inch rulers while we were prepping for my wedding and I had high hopes to find something awesome to make with them… favors? Little props? But everything I thought of ended up sounding like a “back to school” themed party… not a wedding. So I did nothing with them and they moved with us from our apartment to our rental house.

And there they sit. In my craft room. Challenging me. Baiting me. Begging me to DO something with them. So I did πŸ™‚

We have a friend who is going through a rough time right now and I wanted to make something that would let her know we love her, she has value, and is beautiful. So I made this cute little ruler picture frame. It was easy and cheap – So let’s walk through the steps! I am also going to apologize… I did this project a few nights ago, in my basement, sitting on our wooden floor. The pictures turned out less-than-ideal, but the project is still good πŸ™‚

IMG_1910What you will need:

  • Rulers / yardstick
  • 1-2 colors of paint
  • chevron stencil
  • modge podge or glue (I’ll fill you in on how to make your own if needed!)
  • painters tape
  • water
  • paint brush
  • 2 clothes pins
  • Sand paper or block (if needed)

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1. Start out with your rulers. If you have 12 inch rulers, you can cut them in half, of if you have a yardstick, cut them whatever length you want! I took a handful of my pre-cut rulers and sanded one side of them so my paint would stick better.

IMG_19172. Time to paint! Now, I wanted my rulers to be white, but I still wanted to be able to tell they were rulers. So I made my own personal concoction which I call my “Whitewash”. You basically dilute your paint with water until you get the right consistency. You can see the amounts that I mixed together. The beauty of this is that you can keep adjusting it. Too much water? Add a bit more paint. OR paint the rulers and then come back with a second layer. No biggie!
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I ended up painting them once, wiping them down with a paper towel (the universal “don’t want to wait for you to dry” method) and then repainted them one more time.
IMG_19213. Once they have dried, it’s time to arrange your rulers! I lined mine up tight and close together and then taped the backs securely. I was a bit torn at this point. I didn’t know if I wanted to glue the rulers together or wait until I was done painting. I eventually decided to wait with gluing and continue with painting.

IMG_19234. Time to stencil!!! If you don’t have a stencil, there are lots of other things you can use. Use an eraser to paint on polka dots! Trace the bases of different cups to make concentric circles and then paint them. Just leave it one color! Loads of options. I had bought a chevron stencil from Hobby Lobby for about $3 and hadn’t used it, so I thought this was the PERFECT excuse to whip it out! I also have become recently obsessed with Gold. So that was my obvious “go to” accent color!

IMG_1926Now… I am no stencil guru. I have only used them a handful of times. But since I knew the look I was going for, my skill level was perfect πŸ™‚

I knew I wanted a shabby-chic look and not a perfect, clean cut stencil. I wanted it to be a little imperfect and I wanted a tiny bit of paint to bleed out from under the stencil in a few spots. Because of that reason, I didn’t secure the stencil down all the way while I was painting… I just loosely taped down a few edges and held it down as I stenciled. Easy peasy. I moved around the surface, painting on my gold paint and when I was all done, I just lifted the stencil off.

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5. Once your accent paint dries, your next step is to seal and connect all the rulers. A few months ago I stumbled upon a post from See Kate Sew, explaining how easy it is to make your own Modge Podge and HAD to try it. It was seriously the easiest project I have ever done. 2 minutes aaaaaand done. To see her instructions, click HERE. She does a great job of explaining the process step-by-step! I even used her recommendation of putting it in a Talenti Ice Cream container…. yuuuum. Any excuse to eat ice cream, amiright??

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Note to readers outside the US – I know from reading a bunch of comments in the past that some people are not able to acquire Modge Podge (or other supplies) easily and have never really used it… Not to worry! Modge Podge is basically a watered down glue that you can paint on to seal in something or use to adhere things together (it’s doing BOTH in this project!) It starts out milky white and then, if you used Elmers glue or something similar, it dries clear. Hope that helps! πŸ™‚Β 

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Once the front was done drying, I flipped it over, removed the paint tape on the back and painted the back with a thick coat of Modge Podge. I ended up putting ONE more coat on the front, just for good measure.

6. The LAST step, I don’t have any pictures of. Sorry! I considered different ways to hang or attach a picture/note to the frame, and decided to use 2 little clothespins that I had left over from THIS project. I simply slapped a layer of gold paint on them, let them dry and then glued them onto the frame using super glue. Done!!!

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Step back and gaze upon the beauty on your Ruler Frame!!! HUZZAH!!!

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I didn’t add any hanger or base to the back – I just wanted it to be slim and be able to be propped anywhere! And it adds a little personality to it πŸ™‚

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Before sending this to our friend, I whipped out some paper and markers and drew up a little note to attach to it – And here is what the final product looks like!

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Thanks for stopping by and checking out my new little project-o! I hope you liked it! If you have some rulers or yardsticks laying around, make something cool out of it and send me a link! I’d love to see πŸ™‚ Be sure to follow us via e-mail or WordPress to get all our latest action, check us out on Facebook HERE and Pinterest HERE! Love ya’ll and have a golden, messy, repurposeful day! xo- Court

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