Thursday, January 21, 2016

A repurposed yardstick tray

Hey everybody!  Well, I have revealed to you all that I kinda have a thing for measuring devices.  Be it scale, ruler, tape, etc.  I love them all!  I wanted to share with you a little project that I did for my family room.  We use it every day and it's still going strong. 

I had been collecting wooden rulers and yard sticks at various thrift stores and yard sales.  It depends on the size of the tray you use, but for mine I used four yard sticks and three rulers.  It takes a lot more than you think.  A word of caution here when your searching out yard sticks:  Try to get them all the same height.  The one yard stick that is wider than the others is also taller.  I put it on the end and tired to sand down the edge a bit, but it still makes the bottom of the tray uneven at those seems and can cause a problem when setting drinks down.  I found the tray at the DI for $3.  It had a straight rectangular shape, which is important because you don't want to be shaving down the rulers to fit any bends or shapes.  At least I didn't!  It already had handles too, so I didn't have to worry about adding any.

Now for the fun part.  Use a chop saw (or if you don't have one of those a hand saw will do the trick) to start cutting the yard sticks down.  At first I just made a few random cuts and then started to place them in the tray.  Once you get a few cut you will have to start measuring out the gaps so that you can fill them in and get a good tight fit.  I was pretty lucky in that my yard sticks filled up the tray pretty close to right on and I only had to sand down the edges just a bit to squeeze them in. You might not be so fortunate and will have to make some horizontal cuts to make sure everything is nice and tight.  Once you have them placed the way you like, glue them down with a good quality wood glue, something like Liquid Nails.

I wanted my tray to look a little bit rustic and aged, so I sanded down the surfaces of my yard sticks a bit.  I made sure not to sand off too many of the numbers or tic marks because I wanted to be able to tell that they were yard sticks and not just slats of wood.  Once that was done I stained them a dark walnut and I painted the edges of the tray a blue color.

I was trying to match our entertainment center with the blue, so I did a few different shades.  I started with a base coat and then dry brushed some other shades on to give it depth.  I also sanded it in spots to distress it and coated it all with stain that I wiped on and wiped off, leaving it heavier in some spots.  Once all of that was dry, I sprayed a clear satin finish coat on top to seal it.

 Now fill your tray with chotchkies until your heart's content, stand back and enjoy your masterpiece!

No comments:

Post a Comment