Do you have some old, beaten up wooden rulers hanging around your house? Instead of letting them waste away in a desk drawer, why not turn them into attractive, decorative crosses? You can hang these painted crosses on the wall, or stick them near potted plants to add character to your bouquets. This simple craft will take about 3 hours to make, including drying time, and it is suitable for kids as long as you're around to help with the cutting and sanding of the ruler.

You'll need:

  • An old, wooden ruler
  • A serrated knife that you don't mind ruining
  • Coarse-grit sandpaper
  • A marker
  • White acrylic paint
  • Various colorful acrylic paints
  • A medium-sized sponge paintbrush
  • Several small paintbrushes
  • 12 inches of decorative ribbon in your color of choice
  • Sharp scissors
  • A metal tray or old metal sheet pan
  • A hot glue gun with glue


  1. Use the marker to draw a line about 1/3 of the way from the end of the ruler.
  2. Score along this line using your serrated knife. Be sure to score the front and back of the ruler, along with the edges. When you have visibly scored each side, snap the ruler into two pieces along your scored line. You should now have one piece of wood that's about twice as long as the other; don't worry if the sizes are not exact.
  3. Use the sandpaper to smooth the edges of the broken ruler. If your ruler is old and has any other dings in it, you may want to sand these areas too.
  4. Brush the wood dust off the ruler, and use the sponge paint brush to coat both pieces with the white acrylic paint. When one side is painted, set the pieces on the metal tray. Wait about 15 minutes for the paint to dry to the touch, and then flip over the ruler pieces to paint the second side.
  5. Let the ruler dry for about 30 minutes. Then, use your small paint brushes and colorful paints to paint any design you like on one side of each piece.
  6. Let the ruler dry completely for another hour.
  7. Place the short ruler piece crosswise over the longer ruler piece to make a cross shape.
  8. Wind the ribbon diagonally across the intersection between the two pieces. Then, go straight across the back of the area where the two pieces intersect, so you can cross the ribbon over diagonally in the other direction.
  9. After you have woven the ribbon around the cross pieces several times, turn the cross over so that the back side is facing you. Use the hot glue gun to glue the ribbon to itself.
  10. Let the glue dry momentarily, and then turn the cross over to admire your work!