DIY {yardstick backsplash}

Originally posted: 09.14.09

We’re still working on a kitchen remodel. My dad and Chris installed butcher block countertops and left me to figure out a backsplash. I told Chris I wanted something unexpected, he just wanted something. My aunt suggested doing something similar to my fireplace, but with acrylic. Chris suggested white subway tile. I ventured to Lowe’s to price check everything.  The acyrlic was more than I wanted to spend, so I headed to the tile section. The tile, too, was more than I wanted to spend. So, I decided to walk the aisles of Lowe’s until I came up with something. I was in the tool section and saw some metal yardsticks…which reminded me of a picture in Pottery Barn kids a while back that had beadboard made of vintage yardsticks. I knew I could do something similar and thus my backsplash was decided upon. You can imagine Chris’ response when I said I was going to glue yardsticks to the wall:)He’s pretty supportive of my randomness…makes for a good marriage!

Step 1: Buy yardsticks from Ace Hardware (Lowe’s didn’t have the wood variety)

Step 2: Mix up and cut to the size

Step 3: Cut hardboard the length of the cabinets and height of 4 stacked yardsticks

Step 4: Glue cut yardsticks to cut hardboard, use clamps to hold in place while drying

Step 5: Sand to give impression they are worn and old

Close of up sanded boards and unsanded

Step 6: Make sure everything fits right

I share this picture to show that I goofed up on my measuring. My main board was about 4 inches too short, so I had to create another smaller piece to add on. I share this b/c some of you have the false assumption that I get projects right the first time. I don’t. Case in point.

Step 7: Seal boards with at least 4 coats of Polycrylic

Step 8: Attach to wall using Liquid Nails…clamp to wall while drying

Step 9: Use clear silicone caulk to seal the tops, bottoms and sides…make it waterproof

Before & After

Now I know some of you looking at this are thinking the “before” picture is better than the “after”. Granted a yardstick backsplash isn’t for everyone – which is why it is so fun to visit homes. How boring would this world be if we all had the same tastes and interests! I’ll share more from the kitchen when it is finished…

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  • julie - I would (might, for reals) do this. I loooooove it!!! You amaze me in my corner of non awesomeness…. crying.
    My freecycle had an offer for two pallets and I jumped on them, but did not get to them on time. boo… still dreaming of a pallet bed.
    and a yardstick backsplash.

  • Paper Dolls for Boys - I LOVE it. I collect vintage rulers, you have given me something to aim for!!!! Well done.

  • Jamie - Did you repaint your kitchen too? The “After” pic looks like a different shade of blue. I’m a little obsessed with how pretty it looks against the white cabinets. We’re still trying to buy us a fixer-upper and I would love to know what the name of that paint color is. Do you mind sharing?

  • Balancing Everything » Do I dare to do this? - [...] Yardstick backsplash via Supa ← Picture hanging tool [...]

  • Amanda - I love this backsplash idea. It turned out fabulous!

  • Christina Ignacio-Deines - Beautiful. I’ve filed this away to refer to again.

  • Aurora - I love this so much! Great idea! You’re lucky that your husband goes for your ideas. Mine just worries about reselling our house. Where’s the fun in that??

  • genious art: so simple, why didn’t we all think of that? « "You know, you could make that." - [...] that they seem to have been made for.  Check out the reuse of these yardsticks, for example: a yardstick backsplash!  As a backsplash, the conventional function of a yardstick is separated from it’s texture, [...]

  • Grace - This is the best kitchen remodel I’ve seen in a long time! I really love it! I’m going to copy you if we ever buy a house.

  • Kate - Love love love this idea for the backsplash. I may steal this idea

  • Erika - No I totally get your taste. the “after” is much more appealing to me. Love the light colorful look. I’ve never thought of yardsticks before – I love it!

  • Denise - This has to be the best thing ever. I can’t get over the before and after pics! Ugly ol’ blah granite and standard wood cupboards to…amazing!! What a wonderful, creative idea.

  • DIY with Yardsticks and Rulers « Tied Up With String - [...] A while back I posted a blog about different DIY ideas. One of the ideas was a sunburst mirror made from rulers. There are plenty of DIY ideas with rulers or yardsticks out there and I wanted to share a few of my favorites. Of course one idea comes from Ashley Campbell. When she remodeled her kitchen, she add this Yardstick Backsplash. [...]

  • RabidAlien - FYI, Lowes does carry wooden yardsticks. Wife and I found them over by the paint (for $0.69). You know…cuz people paint with yardsticks. There were only metal ones in the tool section. We’re going to use them for the countertops. Hmm…wonder if the massive collection of stir-sticks I now have could be used to build up the backsplash…

  • Inspire Me Heather - So unique – I love it! I linked this to my yardsticks post too today, for inspiration!

  • d e n i s e - love it! It’s awesome. I’m planning on doing my stair risers in the very same thing. Never saw a backsplash before, great job!
    d e n i s e

  • Suzanne W. - I LOVE your kitchen counter tops, where did you find them?

  • 10 DIY Yardstick Recycling Ideas - [...] You can also use yardsticks to create an original and interesting backsplash for the kitchen countertops. First make the measurements and cut the yardsticks to size and then cut a piece of cardboard the length of the cabinets. Make sure the height is that of four yardsticks. Then glue the yardsticks to the cardboard and sand them. Add a few coats of sealer and attach them to the wall.{found on ashleyannphotography}. [...]

  • 10 DIY Yardstick Recycling Ideas | Fresh Furniture - [...] You can also use yardsticks to create an original and interesting backsplash for the kitchen countertops. First make the measurements and cut the yardsticks to size and then cut a piece of cardboard the length of the cabinets. Make sure the height is that of four yardsticks. Then glue the yardsticks to the cardboard and sand them. Add a few coats of sealer and attach them to the wall.{found on ashleyannphotography}. [...]

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