Inch by inch, vintage yardsticks go to great lengths to make sure your next DIY project really measures up. Humble yardsticks become functional works of art when employed as office accessories like this petite pencil cup. Use new yardsticks or rulers, or comb secondhand stores for some steals, then dress up your design with colorful yarn for a one-of-a-kind pen corral.
Cut yardsticks into 5-inch pieces with a table saw or handsaw. On eight of the pieces, drill holes 1/2 inch from edge and 1/2 inch apart. Sand holes smooth.
If yardsticks are unfinished like ours, stain them desired color and let dry.
Use a needle and yarn to sew two drilled sticks together. Knot end of yarn, hold sticks side by side, and bring yarn up from the back of the top hole of one of the sticks. Bring needle across and down through the second hole in the other stick to form a diagonal stitch. Bring needle straight across the back and up through the second hole in the first stick. Continue stitching, angling in the front and straight in the back, until you reach the end.
Start back in the opposite direction, angling yarn in the front to create an X (pictured at right). Knot in the back when you reach the end, and trim excess yarn. Turn sticks to create a corner piece. Repeat with remaining drilled sticks to create four corner pieces.
Use wood glue to secure nondrilled, center sticks to the corner pieces and clamp with clips while drying. Repeat until you have four sides. Place an empty can inside and fill with pencils or other office supplies.