OK, I realize, this project sorta falls under the “yes you CAN do that but..why?” category.
And I wouldn’t argue too much with that.
I have my reasons.
OK, to start at the beginning.
My sister who was either trying to inspire me or make me insane pinned this terrific project from Betsy at My Salvaged Treasures to our shared Pinterest board.Like all of her stuff it’s super cool and very creative. And, of course, I immediately HAD to make one.
Stumbling block? Not enough yardsticks.
And unfortunately, I live in an area where anything remotely inexpensive, cool and popular instantly goes from affordable to crazy. So old, beat up yardsticks in LA cost $12 each which sorta takes the fun out of it.
I had just learned a new image transfer technique via The Oracle at Delphi The Graphics Fairy. It’s quick, easy, pretty affordable and GREATLY lessens the chance of me burning down my house!
I’d tried it on my new, stained, candle holders and it worked greatand I wanted to try it out on a painted surface so why not make my own yardsticks?
Here is what I used
- 5″ Poplar craft wood from Lowes 2 pieces 16″ long and two pices 11.5″ long
- 1/4″ MDF for the base A piece of 1/4″ MDF cut to 16×11
- a section of metal roof flashing (also from Lowes)
- E6000 Glue
- Red craft paint
- Wood stain
- A scan of a yardstick
- Wood glue
- Metal shears
- Pin Nailer (not absolutely necessary)
I painted the craft wood with some slightly watered down red craft paint and then, when it dried, I went over it lightly with a bit of wood stain just to give it an aged look. Here is the before and after.
A light sanding blended the two even better.
I then cut my roof flashing to size and, using the E6000 glued it to my MDF base.
I scanned the yardstick that I had and, using Photoshop removed everything but the numbers. Then, for fun, I added my own text.
Here is the blank version if you’re keen on doing something similar. Just right-click to download the high res version
ruler no background appliances
I reversed it and printed it out on legal sized paper using my laser printer
Now the new transfer technique.
It’s the same as all the other ones except you use Polycrylic
You simply brush on the Polycrylic
Lay your image down
Use a roller or an old credit card or whatever to smooth out and get a good seal between the paper and the wood, and set it aside to dry.
It’s sunny and hot here so I just left it outside for 3 hours.
Then you just use a damp towel and rub away the paper to reveal the image (I forgot to take a picture of that part. Trust me. It’s just like all the other wet paper rubbing I’ve done. Like this)
After that I just glued and pin-nailed my sides into place around the base and gave the “yardstick” a sealing coat of Polycrylic and I was done.
So, I know what you’re thinking.
“You just went through all that to make….a yarrstick? I mean, it looks exactly like a yardstick. You just made something you can buy. Your sister has succeeded. You’re insane”
And you are correct.
This told me that the transfer technique works great on painted surfaces.
AND I am no longer subject to the tyranny of the Yardstick Pickers of Los Angeles. HA!!! I can make my own yardsticks and I can make them say whatever I want them to say and I can make them whatever color suits me!
Actually, I just like that I have another easy technique in my arsenal for image transfer. Polycrylic is readily available and pretty affordable (you don’t use much) and it really allows the wood to show through. This could be used for any kind of graphic transfer and, trust me, I have a lot more ideas coming down the line with this technique.