Friday, December 18, 2015

Yardsticks & Rice Bags

I have had a 'thing' for collecting old yardsticks for years and years. Whenever I find one for a dollar or two at a thrift store or yard sale, it comes home with me. I store them in a barrel up in my studio and enjoy seeing them there tucked behind a table.


I recently cut up a few of them to make a couple fun projects. One was a tray that I can place on my lap when I'm doing hand sewing in the evenings while watching TV.


I has sides, so none of my supplies can roll off the edges - very handy!


I also made some small square boxes - about 3" x 3". They are far from perfect, but I thought they turned out kind of fun. I pieced small quilt blocks and made them into pincushions that fit snuggly inside the boxes.


I kept one of these for myself, and gifted the others to some quilting friends.




Just a few days after I finished making these, Janet posted about a couple ruler boxes she had purchased at a LQS that are just adorable. (See hers HERE)


And Julie started selling her version of the same type of items - with the name of her business printed on the yardsticks. I especially like the one with the little clothespin on the lid. (See hers HERE)


I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to pictures of wonderful items made (or embellished) with yardsticks that you might enjoy looking at. You can access my board on this LINK.

Earlier this week I stitched up a Christmas gift for my DIL. I made two rice bags that can be warmed in the microwave and used as a heating pad for cold feet, an aching back, or cramps. It can also be placed in the freezer and used as an ice pack.


Because of the separate compartments, the rice filling stays evenly distributed and easily conforms to body cuves.


There are dozens of online tutorials for making these in all shapes and sizes. I have some ribbon that is printed with my 'name' on it that I used for a label - I thought that added a nice touch! I hope she enjoys it!


18 comments:

Janet O. said...

You are SO clever, Gayle. What a fun tray to keep in your lap and work from. That would make stitching even more enjoyable than it already is. And your boxed pincushions are wonderful!! Great work. I am impressed. : )

Lori said...

What great ideas! I must start a yard stick collection! LOL

Sue SA said...

Great rice bags, I use wheat but only cos I get it off the family farm! Love your yard stick boxes and pin cushions, such a great idea. I have never seen one in Australia but I guess that is because we converted to metric such a long time ago! I will be keeping an eye out for them now. Have a great Christmas.

Julia said...

I had no idea that people made objects with yard sticks. Your tray turned out very nice.
I make those heat pads for Christmas gifts and I fill them with clean oats that I heat in the oven under low temperatures to kill any fungus or bacteria prior to filling the bags and used some thick cotton twill. They were well received and were so easy to make. I made some with handles for around the neck.

Hugs,
JB

annie said...

loved the tray esp.
great projects.
I love the rice bags too!

Three Sheep Studio said...

Your gifts are clever and beautiful !
I especially love the pin cushions you made with the yardsticks ! They are beautiful and useful. I use a large old book on my lap when I stitch - but a tray would be wonderful ! Rose

Saundra said...

How dang clever you are. Love the yard stick crafts and boxes. What a clever idea for the rice bags. I have an old sport sock filled with rice that I've used for a stiff neck but your idea is even better and might steal the idea to make myself one of those. Thanks!

Shuttle, Hook and Needle said...

Glad to know there is someone else with a yard stick obsession besides me! I have my mothers red one, one from my grandmother, aunt and the first one my dad gave me when I was a teenager. I too have a Pinterest page dedicated to yard sticks and rulers but have never wanted to cut any up - yet.

moosecraft said...

Another great idea using yard sticks! I've always wanted to make a nice table with a yard stick top... but, haven't dedicated the time for it yet. For the base of your tray, did you glue them flat to a piece of wood, or is it just yard sticks glued on their sides? Love the idea of a stitching tray with sides! :-) Cute pincushions too!

Wendie Scott Davis said...

The trays are amazing! What a wonderful afterlife for the yardsticks. I have a small collection - only 2 and they are very old. I inherited them from a former neighbour. But I think you have inspired me to put them on display somewhere. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and happy New Year.

Kyle said...

Your tray is super creative along with the pincushion boxes. Love what I see being stitched on your tray. Great stars. Between you and Janet O who uses the yardsticks for hanging quilts there won't be any yardsticks left in the whole state. Merry Christmas.

Sandi said...

Love all those ideas and your creativity! That one with the clothes peg is too cute! I have a couple of yard stocks but nothing like your collection. I also have a couple of the scolding ones with metal joins. They are also fun!

Thanks for introducing me to the new links. Merry Christmas.

Rugs and Pugs said...

What fun. I'm sure your quilty friends loved the pincushions.
Hugs :)
Lauren

Karen said...

I look at thrift stores for yard sticks but have only found three and all at one store and at one time. They were 25 cents apiece. I do see them in antique stores but have not purchased any. I have seen some of the things that can be done with them and find it oh so interesting.

Yvonne said...

You are so creative! I love the things you made out of the Yard sticks! I know what I will be looking for on my next visit to the states! Great ideas! I am sure you have made some friends very happy!

Karen in Breezy Point said...

I love the yard stick boxes--so fun. I can see I am going to have to raid the garage and every other space that may have a yard stick--I may already have a collection! I made my self a rice bag several years ago, and it is such a great thing. I'm wearing it around my neck right now--it feels so good after being warmed in the microwave!

adailydoseoffiber said...

Love the ruler creations! You reminded me that I have a pattern for a little wall cupboard to hold spools. Perhaps that is a New Year's Project! Merry Christmas!

Jeanette Hobbs said...

I really like the yard stick boxes. What a great idea. You amaze me with all your projects you get done.