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How to Build a Custom Vintage Wood Ruler FrameHow to Build a Custom Vintage Ruler Picture Frame

Every year when I go to meet my sons’ new teachers, I tell them if there is anything that needs fixing to let me know. It’s my small show of appreciation for all they do for my kids. Before Christmas, one of the teachers took me up on my offer. She asked me to fix a frame that had fallen off the wall and broke. I took one look at the cheap MDF frame and knew it was beyond repair. I didn’t tell her, because I wanted to surprise her with a Custom Built Vintage Ruler Picture Frame.

The great thing about this project is it uses cheap 1″ x 4″ lumber. And you can add your own moulding to dress up the frame if you like. Or just leave the frame plain, either way you’ll save major money by building your own custom frames!

Ready to learn how to build your own custom vintage ruler picture frame? Let’s get framing!

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:

This tutorial assumes you have mounted art and glass, but if you don’t you can follow this tutorial for cutting your own art mats.

How to Cut an Art Mat Like a Pro | Pretty Handy Girl

Cutting the Frame:

Use a table saw to rip your 1″ x 4″ lumber. Run your board through the saw along the 4″ side, then flip the wood up and run it through again. This will take 1/4″ off one corner to create a rabbet to place your art into.

Lay your ripped 1″ x 4″ boards against the fence of your miter saw. (I like to pre-cut four pieces a few inches larger than my artwork.) Cut one end of your boards at a 45° angle (angle the saw blade to position the rabbet on the short side.)

Set one board against your art. Before cutting the other side, measure the width of the art. Add an extra 1/8 inch. Mark the inside corner and cut to length (angling the miter saw blade in the opposite direction as your first cut.)

Take your first cut board and lay it on to of a second board. A quick way to cut them exactly the same length is to place the already cut board on top of the second board and line up the ends. Then line the blade up with the cut on your first board.   Clamp the boards down and cut.

Dry fit the two identical sides. Lay one 1″ x 4″ board over the cut boards at a 9o° angle. Mark the inner corner where you need to cut.

Cut the side piece and dry fit to make sure the cut is perfect.

Repeat the process above to cut two identical parallel side pieces.

Dry fit the frame around your artwork to make sure everything is square and fits inside the rabbet.

 

Assembling the Frame:

Apply a line of wood glue on the corners.

Clamp the corners with a 90° clamp then use your staple gun to fasten them together (on the back side of your frame). The wood glue is strong, but this will hold it in place while the glue dries.

I like to add 1 ½” brad nails (one on each side of the corners) to further hold the frame together. (I don’t want the teacher’s frame to fall apart ever again!)

Clamp the frame and let the wood glue harden. If you don’t have clamps long enough, here is how to make one long clamp with two short clamps!

While the glue cures, cut off any chipped, broken, or rounded ends from your vintage rulers.

Lay the first two rulers against the outer edge of your frame.

Mark the ruler where you need to trim and cut off the excess.

Continue until the outer edge of your frame is covered by rulers. Then start working on the inside of the first rulers. Measure, mark and cut the rulers to fit. Don’t worry if you are left with a small section of frame showing.

After all the rulers are measured and cut, use wood glue to adhere them to the frame. Follow up with a few brad nails to hold the rulers in place while the glue dries.

Sand the edges lightly with your sander to remove any splinters or rough edges.

Securing Artwork and Adding Hanging Hardware:

Fit your artwork into the frame. Place a framing point onto the back of the artwork with the point toward the frame. Use a 5-in-1-painter’s tool (or other flat tool) to push the point into the wooden frame. These will hold your artwork secure within the frame.

Add your hanging hardware. I prefer using D-rings and picture hanging wire, but you can use any hanging hardware you like.

Congratulations! You are done and now have a beautiful (and unique) Custom Vintage Ruler Picture Frame!

This is an easy project to build and enables you to customize the frame to any size that you need. The vintage rulers add some character and charm to the frame.

I hope you liked this tutorial on How to Build a Custom Vintage Ruler Picture Frame. Check your local vintage shops, Craig’s List or Ebay for some rulers and make one of your own!

Pin or Share this project with your friends! Because friends don’t let friends spend lots of money on art frames!

If you liked this tutorial, you’ll love these frames:

Scrap Wood Shadow Box Frame:

Rustic Scrap Wood Shadow Box Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Plywood Frames:Simple Plywood Frames

9 Holiday Storage Hacks

Now that Christmas is over, you’re probably in one of these two camps.

  • Camp #1: Christmas is over, time to pack everything away pronto.
  • Camp #2: Christmas is over, but I want to enjoy the decorations for a while longer. I’ll put them away in the new year.

Regardless of which camp you belong to, I have several Holiday Storage Hacks to help you store the holiday items for next year!

Plastic and Foam Cups:

There will always be ornaments to pack away after the holidays. Protect them from getting crushed or breaking by storing them inside individual disposable cups. For fragile ornaments, insert a foam cup inside the larger plastic cup before placing the breakable ornament inside. This gives a nice cushion around the ornament and creates a nice even layer in the bottom of your storage bin, which is helpful for the next hack.

Storage Hacks for Holiday Decorations | Pretty Handy Girl

Lasagna Method:

Don’t just throw your ornaments in the bin. Start at the bottom of your bin and place a layer of ornaments stored in cups. (Easy to do if you use the first hack above!) Place a piece of foam over the cups and continue with a second layer of ornaments. Again, add another piece of foam, then place ornaments that lay flat or are very thin on top of that last layer of foam. They will be protected and ready to go for decorating next year.

Storage Hacks for Holiday Decorations | Pretty Handy Girl

Saran Wrap the Tree:

Artificial trees can be cumbersome and messy when store them away. To neatly pack your artificial trees use a roll of plastic wrap to secure the branches together, making it easier to carry and store. Bonus, you might actually be able to get that tree back in the box you bought it in!

Storage Hacks for Holiday Decorations | Pretty Handy Girl

Linen Zipper Pouches:

If you have a collection of small tea lights and candles, use an old linen zippered pouch from your last blanket purchase. These are perfect for storing your tea lights, batteries, and other similar items until next year. The clear bag also lets you see exactly what’s inside.

Storage Hacks for Holiday Decorations | Pretty Handy Girl

Cardboard Light Holder:

Do your lights get tangled up by the following year? This year put an end to the frustration by cutting out a large rectangular section of cardboard (shipping boxes or cereal boxes work great.) Make a small slit on one end to hold the end plug of your light strand. Wrap the lights around the cardboard to keep them secure and organized and ready to put up next year. This hack also allows you to store the strands upright to save on space. It may take a bit of extra time now, but will save you time (and curse words) next year!

Storage Hacks for Holiday Decorations | Pretty Handy Girl

Store Like Items Together:

I don’t know about you, but in the past my bins were filled with random holiday items. I struggled to find a particular item. To solve this issue, put similar items into one bin. Next year you’ll know exactly where all of the lights are in an instant. Label the outside of each bin to help speed through the decorating process.

Storage Hacks for Holiday Decorations | Pretty Handy Girl

Hang Wreaths:

Wreaths are large and take up a lot of bin space. To store your wreaths, put them on hangers in an extra closet. If you don’t have closet space, nail a horizontal board to the rafters in your attic or garage and hang them there.

Storage Hacks for Holiday Decorations | Pretty Handy Girl

Gift Wrap Storage:

Gift wrap rolls are long and can be difficult to store. Use a bin or basket in the corner and store your gift wrap upright. This prevents the rolls from getting crushed and they are easy to grab next time you need to wrap a present. Feel free to store birthday and other holiday wraps as well.

Storage Hacks for Holiday Decorations | Pretty Handy Girl

Or, create this under the bed gift wrap station like Her Toolbelt made:

Bins for Gift Bags, Ribbons, & Tissue Paper:

Fold your gift bags neatly and place them inside clear storage bins. Organize by size or celebration and you’ll have a great place to go whenever you need to quickly wrap a gift. Use another bin for ribbon spools and yet another for scrap ribbons (never let those scraps go to waste.) The clear bins make it easy to grab the correct bin, no matter how last minute you’re putting the gift together.

Storage Hacks for Holiday Decorations | Pretty Handy Girl

There you have it! Holiday clean up doesn’t have to be stressful, just keep it organized and use these hacks to make your holiday decor last for years to come. Do you have any storage hacks for holiday decorations that you would add to this list? Please share them in the comments!

DIY Sheet Metal Gift TraysDIY Sheet Metal Gift Trays

The holidays are fast approaching and it’s time to start thinking about gift giving ideas! Gift trays are a great way deliver gifts to your friends, neighbors or teachers. The best part of a gift tray is it can be reused for anything they want and nothing goes to waste! Follow along with this tutorial to see how to make these DIY Sheet Metal Gift Trays.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Materials: Sheet Metal Gift Tray

  • 1/2″ or 3/4″ Plywood scrap wood
  • 2″ pieces of lathe or scrap moulding
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B000W49NPC’ text=’Sheet metal scrap’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’4f103892-cbe2-11e7-a00c-3fda84932599′] (large enough to cover plywood base)
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B00009OYFY’ text=’Sheet metal snips’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’56db011a-cbe2-11e7-88c9-230adf5bdb2c’]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B000S7ZSTS’ text=’Construction adhesive’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’65c9549d-cbe2-11e7-8619-39ed35fc6585′]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B000DZF2Q4′ text=’Caulk gun’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’6d3fe28c-cbe2-11e7-bb25-e144f3be5a89′]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B00125NQBC’ text=’Sandpaper’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7f0ff979-cbe2-11e7-b34f-fb2f071c5869′]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B001JYVDSE’ text=’Steel wool’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8e654c5e-cbe2-11e7-b495-0ffc93a9294c’]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B01I7DNOYA’ text=’Gloves’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b09e21ba-cbe2-11e7-91af-d908a698cd02′]
  • Drill
  • Pencil or Marker
  • 4 – [amazon_textlink asin=’B01N6NID4X’ text=’L brackets’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’de9d5670-cbe2-11e7-84b2-2f143e838863′] and 1/2″ wood screws
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B001PNH8D8′ text=’Brad nails ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’0337c2d4-cbe3-11e7-b1d7-3dfa06c67bf1′]Nail gun

Instructions:

Cut your piece of plywood to the desired size for the tray base. Lay the plywood base on top of the sheet metal and trace with a permanent marker. Use tin snips to cut the metal to size.

1. Cut base and mark sheet metal size.

Put on your safety gloves and use the sanding block to remove some of the shine from the sheet metal. Smooth over any sharp edges.

2. Sand Sheet metal edges and base.

Rub the steel wool over the entire sheet metal piece to give it a soft polished finish.

4. Use steel wool to dull sheet metal surface.

Load a tube of construction adhesive into your caulk gun. Apply a fair amount of adhesive to the plywood. Glue the sheet metal to the top of the plywood.

5. Add Construction Adhesive to wood base

Press the sheet metal down evenly on top of the adhesive. Wipe off any excess if needed with a paper towel.

6. Press sheet metal on top of wood base.

Cut the 2″ pieces of lathe or scrap moulding to the length of the two shorter sides. Next, measure and cut two pieces of lathe for the long ends. (Be sure to allow extra length to overlap the short pieces of lathe/moulding.  Use the construction adhesive and brads to secure the lathe to the sides of the plywood. Clamp the sides until the adhesive cures.

8. Clamp sides while glue cures.

Once the adhesive is cured, remove your clamps. Attach the L brackets on the lower half of each corner using 1/2″ wood screws. The L brackets will reinforce the sides and add an industrial look.

9. Add corner brackets for extra support and decoration.

There you have it! These DIY Sheet Metal Gift Trays are easy to make, look great, and are an extra special and environmentally-friendly way to give gifts!

10. Add gifts and deliver!

I hope you love this project. Do you have other ideas for quick gift giving? Please share!

Want some more gift giving inspiration?

DIY Scrap Moulding Trays

scrap-moulding-trays

Make a Driftwood Gift Crate

Make a Driftwood Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl