Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Folding Ruler

Happy Thursday!  It's time to share another vintage, thrifty item from my overgrowing stash of stuff!  As always I am linking with Leigh @ Tales from Bloggeritaville for Thrifty Thursday and with Suzanne @ Coloradolady for Vintage Thingies Thursday.  Thanks to both ladies for letting me share my thrifty and vintage finds.

Today I have one item to share.  I wanted to add some vintage Paris postcards as part of the accessories to my guest room redo and so I went hunting in my "stuff" to figure out how to display them.  This is what I came up with....a vintage folding ruler.
















I love anything with numbers and letters on it and these folding rulers are one of my favorites.  I don't like the clean, new ones.....I like the ones that you know have been in somebody's tool box for years, with rusty hinges and numbers that are slightly worn off from years of use.  At last count I have 11 of these rulers.  I have purchased most of mine at antique malls or flea markets and I have not paid over $2.00 for any of them.

















Now you might be wondering what I'm going to do with all of these rulers besides displaying old postcards (so does my husband).  Here's a few ideas:

Fold it into shapes.  Once you have the shape, just wire the loose ends together (it's easy to take apart if you want to use it for something else later).  Here's a picture of a star I used in my holiday decorating.  You could also easily make a crown with a one of these rulers.

Don't pass up broken rulers if you find them.  I used five sections of a broken ruler and formed the shape of a house (I hunted high and low for that house in my studio to show you and I can't find it at the moment).  I used some scrapbook metal letter embellishments, spelled out the word HOME and glued them to the bottom of the house.  This is going to be a part of a picture collage that I will be working on.

Another broken section is going to be used as an embellishment to a framed photo.  I glued some lace to the underside of the ruler piece and placed it beneath the picture.  I think it helps anchor the photo in the frame.















Small pieces from these rulers could also be used for jewelry or key chains.  Here's a key chain that took me less than 5 minutes to make using a broken section of the ruler.  I sanded the broken edge, drilled a hole for the key ring, inserted the key ring and job done.


I'm sure there are 100's of more uses for these folding rulers.  I would love to hear what you've done with them.

Jane


37 comments:

  1. My father had one of these rulers years ago and I have NEVER seen one since...I used to love to play with it as a child. And you have a collection - go figure! Love the star!

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  2. I do remember those from childhood, but don't think I noticed one in my thrifting...but I will now. You come up with some of the most unique ways of using unique finds. I would have never thought of using it to display postcards or photos. Guess that's one of the reasons I keep coming here.

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  3. Oh wow Jane! What a great collection. I remember my Dad had one of those folding rulers. I don't see them much around here. But you have used them so creatively. Love it!

    Jocelyn
    http://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com/

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  4. Do you ever stop thinking? I love all your ideas!

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  5. Jane you always have the neatest ideas for anything I could possily have in my stash of junk. i love these old rulers too and love your ideas for them.
    hugs

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  6. Great collection of folding rulers! I have my grandfather's yardstick but no folding rulers...yours are wonderful!

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  7. Super ideas! I will be on the lookout for folding rulers now!

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  8. I like rulers too. I don't have a real collection of them, just a few. I also like 12" rulers with advertising on them.

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  9. What a fascinating collection, and I love what you've done with them. I love the key chain and the picture is wonderful. Now, I will start watching out for them..what a great way to hold photos.

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  10. Jane, YOU RULE! You are rockin' the rulers! Ok, enough. I just really wish that I could come up with these ideas like you! The photo holder looks so great, because it's got the same patina as that old postcard. Awesome ideas!
    Happy VTT!
    Carol

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  11. Hi Jane,
    Loved this ruler post! I vaguely remember seeing one of these many years ago, it must have been in my late Fathers toolbox,pity we discard old stuff!I loved the old timber rulers but plastic has taken over the world i am afraid!
    The only vintage i could put in this post is myself!!!!

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  12. Jane~~

    You have that unique ability to see the possibilities in all things! What ever you come up with for the folding ruler...it is going to be great. I remember my father having one...

    xoxo
    Jane

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  13. Absolutely genius!! MAN! I never would have thought of that!!

    Lou Cinda :)

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  14. So many great ideas, lots of inspiration here.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  15. Nifty ideas ... especially the star. That's really cute and a great idea for a Christmas theme.

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  16. You are a genius with those ruler ideas. Now I want to go hunt some up!

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  17. Fantastic! I'd never have given folding rulers a second glance before! I love the key chain!

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  18. Wow...those rulers are great! I love the ways that you have used them. I really like the decorated frame. I like using lace & trims with wood. So pretty to look at.

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  19. I saw your folding ruler star and I love it. Using it as a post card holder is also brilliant. I hope to find one (or a few) of these soon...I'm on the hunt.

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  20. These are getting harder and harder to find, love the idea of using them as wall art...you always have such good ideas! Happy VTT!

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  21. I remember one of those rulers in my Dad's stash of tools. If you weren't careful when you opened it, it would pinch you!
    I love your collection. And, the clever uses.

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  22. I love old rulers, Jane. You've got great ideas for them, too, my friend. Thanks for sharing your inspiration.
    Hugs,
    Donna

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  23. I remember playing with a folding ruler when I was a little girl but I don't remember whose it was. I love the ways that you used yours.

    Have a wonderful Friday!

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  24. I love this idea! Your so creative. I see these all the time and never would have thought any of the ideas you posted. Thanks for sharing - I'm seeing these in a whole new light now! Love the star!

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  25. Jane -
    I just received one of these rulers from my dad, now I have some great ideas for it :)
    Thanks,
    Toni

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  26. I've said it before, I LOVE these rulers. What a great idea to display photos!

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  27. Hi Jane~ I'm so glad I popped over here from another blog to see what you've done with these folder rulers. I have several of them and was looking for some ideas...love the broken piece used on the picture frame and the key chain. Thanks for the great ideas! Joyce

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  28. Oh WOW you sure do have a collection of vintage rulers and I love what you have done with them....especially the star! I can't wait to see your guest room.

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  29. I have hunted for mine, but I can't find it. This just means that I have to go shopping! (What a tragedy!) I live your ideas here.
    Mary Lou

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  30. Jane,
    Once again, you have topped yourself! I look forward to seeing how you will incorporate your rulers with your guest room design! You creativity is inspiring!... Dee Dee

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  31. I don't have any old rulers but I have several old cloth measuring tapes used for sewing...I haven't been able to make myself cut them up to use for projects but I have them displayed in my craft room with old thimbles, needles, buttons and thread.

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  32. So creative as always! I love the key chain.

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  33. What great ideas! I'm going to have to start looking for some of these.

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  34. HA! Jane! The more I read your blog, the more I find we have in common. I also collect wooder rulers. I dont have near as many as you do! Did you read the post idea about makeing a table top from rulers? You could search ruler on my blog and find it. Anyway....GREAT suggestions!
    Also, I would appreciate you keeping an eye out for any "B" monogrammed pieces. If you find any reasonably priced, I will gladly repay your expense. THX friend!
    Sorry I am so late. As it ended up, we did have a (6 hour) 2AM-8Am stint in the ER with my son. Praise God, all is ok. But,it's taken me some time to recover from being up all night. Alas, I am late in getting around to everyone this week. My apologies.
    Sincere thanks for linking up to Tales from Bloggeritville Thrifty Thursday!

    HUGS,
    Leigh
    Tales from Bloggeritaville
    www.lbratina.blogspot.com

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  35. These are all wonderful ideas. You are so creative. I love the rulers!

    Chelsea

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  36. love the blog ! i too have a collection of these old rulers....i never pay more than $1 for them and i find them all the time...
    love the key chain ! here's what i do with mine

    http://www.junxtaposition.com/crosses.html

    carpenter crosses...(these are actually called carpernter's rulers...Jesus was a carpenter.....get it ??) they are big sellers at shows !

    www.juNxtaposition.blogspot.com

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Thanks for stopping by. I really enjoy reading all of your comments!