When my sister moved into her current home a few years ago, I went over to help her with some renovation jobs before they moved everything in. One of the things I got to do was rip out very ugly carpet and remove staples galore from the wood floors underneath. As we were working on this, she commented on how she hated the old chandelier in the dining room. Thinking back on it now, I should have asked for the entire chandelier, painted it, and sold it again. They are a bit trendy now. Instead I asked only for the crystals from it. They were glass, not plastic as new ones are and they were pretty. All they needed was a bit of cleaning. Each crystal dangle consists of two pieces held together with wire headpins. The larger piece is what was used for this necklace.
First, the crystals needed to be taken apart and cleaned. I used soap and water to clean them. They had a little bit of rust from the wire and a lot of dust from the years. They clean up pretty easily though. Then I got to work decorating the crystal to add it to a chain. In this case I used a bronze/copper looking chain and wire wrap. I added wire through the existing hole, made a loop for hanging and then tightly wrapped the wire around the crystal from the top towards the middle. There is no specific place to stop wrapping it. When I was happy with where it ended, I formed a small spiral with the wire to finish the wrap. I then added the five dangles of red, orange, and brown Swarovski crystals to a copper jump ring and attached it to the spiral. Finally I added 28″ of chain. The size of the crystal made me think it should be long but it doesn’t have to be. There is a lot of potential for other colors and chain options. I have also used some of these crystals to make suncatcher ornaments for my coworkers. Each had different colored dangles.
Necklace with 28″ chain.
Finished necklace with colored dangles.
Yard sticks. Three feet of give away advertising space. 36 inches of space to let people know where to shop for a new car, a bank loan, or much needed hardware. Before snazzy new ways of measuring, such as the metal measuring tape came along, these sticks of wood were the go-to for figuring out how long something was. Now, they mostly end up in the corners of pantry closets or hanging on a hook in the garage. I thought it would surely be easy to collect enough of these old, unused sticks for free to construct a craft project. Boy was I wrong! Apparently, creating furniture and art out of yardsticks is trendy right now. I had a terrible time finding them and when I came across any for sale in antique stores or flea markets, they were anywhere from $3-$15 a piece. What?!
I was on a roll after my Dad found 5 of them at his house and did NOT charge me for them. My goal was to make a yardstick tray, the full length of 36 inches by whatever height the number of sticks I found would equal. The tray was to be used for our ottoman, which is soft and difficult to put a drink on. Over my spring break, I decided to get started. Below are the materials I used.
- thin piece of plywood large enough to be the base for all of the yardsticks.
- Wood glue – I used Elmers
- a saw of some kind – I used a circular saw to cut the plywood and also a hand saw
- small tack nails, small L shaped brackets, or small screws
First, I laid out the sticks to determine which side I wanted to show. Some of them had the same info on both sides, some did not, and some were damaged on one side. I preferred the sides that had the city and State of the business. I also looked for the sides with the most character. I found that not all yardsticks are the same depth. So when they are laid flat next to each other, some of them stick up higher than others. This is an issue if you want to put a drink on the tray. I ended up having to put the thicker ones at each end.
Gluing the sticks to the plywood.
Sticks in a row.
Once the base of the tray is finished and dry, the edges need to be applied. I chose to use additional yard sticks to trim it out. You could use thin wood or a large picture frame as well. If you want to add hardware, such as handles, you will want to have wooden ends wide enough to attach them. Once the sides are attached, you may want to stain the sides and bottom of the tray if you didn’t do that to begin with.
Underside was stained.
I am still considering putting a large piece of glass on the top to make it more table top like, however, that will also make it very heavy. If you have made one of these, or anything else using yardsticks, I would love to hear about your project and how it turned out for you.