I am always on the look out for these little devils. Sometimes you can find them at garage sales, estate sales or flea markets. Be careful, some people want to charge a premium for them but if they are grungy or broken you can get them for little to nothing. I normally don't pay more than $1.00 but most of the time get them for $ 0.50. I lucked out earlier this year...I got a couple of them at an antique tractor swap meet for free! The guy told me they weren't worth anything and I told him they were perfect to make art so he just gave them to me :)
Below are the broken ends of that very ruler. I like to make 2 different types of charms ~ first I like to break off the ends with the swivel on them to create one type. If you can get the two side apart that's super other wise you simply have a double sided charm. They are a bit more bulky but it all works great.
Here are two different ways I like to finish the end charms off. One if your edges are messed up you can simply fold them over into themselves for a tapered "tag" looking top portion. The one on the right I simply left as it because the edges were still in fine condition. You will need to drill or punch a hole near the top and you're set to go.
Here is what they look like before adding anything else...
Now for the second type of charm I simply use a pair of side cutters and crimp the wood at 1" intervals. I like to cut on the 1/2" marks so that the numbers are left whole. It drives me nuts when I see charms that have a number on each end because someone cut them in two.
Once the wood has been crimped on each side they break apart easily.
Now you will need to drill holes in each of the individual pieces.
Last night I was drilling a few more charms I was in a hurry and turned the dremel speed way up.... NOT ADVISEABLE!!! I ended up going too fast, broke my drill bit, cut my finger in two pieces (with the wood tile), the tile went flying ~ hit my arm (leaving a huge bruise) and went zinging across the room! NOT something I would recommend!!!
Soooo please take care when drilling the holes. This is my ds drilling the rest for me :)
Sand both ends of each tile. You don't want any splinters left on your charm.
Now you can embellish them however you like. I would suggest using Archival Ink if you want to add color to the edges. Distress Inks are nice but will just rub off the painted rulers so you'll need to use something more permanent.
You could also wrap metal tape around the edges if desired for a totally differnt look.
Another option is to add different little extras either directly on the charms or hanging off the jump ring.
So there you go...
a fun way to incorporate a bit of the tool shed into your art!