Hi there! Welcome to Day #4 of my 12 Days of Christmas event–I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am. Today I’m sharing a farmhouse style creation that is one of my best-sellers at the Shaker craft show I participate in every year: vintage Christmas star decorations made with old folding rulers.
You can find days #1-3 when you click here.
Like many of my crafty ideas, this one is super simple. I love projects that look great but don’t require a lot of excessive sweating over instructions or that involve too many new materials that I have to go out and shop for. Because these stars are such great sellers for me, I shop for them all year long at garage and estate sales. I like to get them for a buck or less, because as most of you know, my middle name is CHEAP 🙂
Supplies to Create Vintage Christmas Stars
- Quality glue
- Sand paper
- Paddle wire (optional)
- Mini wreaths (optional)
Many folding rulers are long enough to make two small-sized stars, so I’ve started breaking them into two pieces. Sometimes they twist apart nicely where the metal connects, other times, I have to break them off. Now before y’all have a heart attack on me, I have a little rant.
If you’re concerned about me “ruining” an antique, realize that for this argument to work, several questions must be considered: does the thing have intrinsic value (e.g., is it made of valuable stuff like gold), how many of them are there in existence, will it likely gain much value over time, does it have historical or cultural value, and how much enjoyment do I get out of creating something with it versus keeping it as is?
This is my opinion on the matter, not that anyone asked: most of the stuff that average people (like me) buy at garage sales and thrift stores does not fall into the category of “things that should be preserved” or “things that cannot be altered to my liking by painting or any other method I choose.” The world is filled with gobs and gobs of stuff–not all of it needs to be preserved. Can I get an amen?
How to Fold the Ruler Into a Star
Here are the steps for folding your ruler into a star. Sometimes, you might have six pieces of ruler, simply fold the last piece back over the fifth piece. In other words, one of your pieces will be a double thickness, but this doesn’t affect the look of it in the least.
At the point where the two pieces need to be held together, you can achieve this with a little paddle wire or by gluing the ends together. Glue gives a more finished look, so that’s what I usually choose. First, sand the area where the two pieces will be joined, then apply some glue (Weldbond is my new favorite), and finally clamp the ends together overnight.
You could stop right at this point and have a terrific decoration to use in so many ways–top your tree, hang on a gallery wall, or sit on a shelf, for example.
But I like to go one step further with this project and add one of my [now] ubiquitous mini wreaths. They can be attached using glue or paddle wire–your preference. I sell these in my craft booth for $12 each.
I wanted to mention that with folding rulers containing ten or more lengths, you can create larger stars following my directions above, but using two lengths for each of the five “lines” used to create the star shape. These don’t tend to sell as quickly as the smaller versions, and the yellow rulers are more popular than the white. But if you have a personal need for a larger star, I wanted you to know how to do it 🙂
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