Yardstick Gallery "How-To"

I've had several people asking questions about how I made my yardstick gallery. I decided a photo tutorial would be helpful.
The photos below show most of the yardstick displays in and around my sewing room.
 The quilts on the left hand side, above, are all made by friends. The quilts on the right side, and all of the quilts below are my own creations.

 I got the idea for this from Ann Hermes at Notes From the Quilt Lab blog. (She got the idea from Sheryl at Temecula Quilt Co.) The above link takes you to Ann's tutorial. I loved the idea, but didn't want to put holes all over my walls. This stayed on the back burner of my brain for months. I wanted the look, but not the holes.

Since I practically keep  "Command Hooks" in business, I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. Finally it occurred to me to hang the yardsticks in small Clear Command Hooks, rather than putting a nail through them.

After measuring where I want to hang the yardsticks, I mark where I want the two Command hooks to go--an inch or two (or three) in from each end of the yardstick. I measure down from the ceiling, or use a carpenter's level, if needed, to make sure the two hooks are at the same height.

After placing the clear hooks...
 put your yardstick in place...
 and hang your little quilts.
See how invisible the hooks are? And no holes in the wall!

The important thing is that the Command hooks allow the yardstick to rest away from the wall enough for the clip hooks to fit over them.
In Ann's method, she used felt pads behind the yardstick, and put the nail right through them. I thought it was brilliant, but, again, I didn't want the holes.

Now let's talk about hooks! Initially I was buying them from Ackfeld Manufacturing. They work great, but as many as I was using, it was adding up--especially to keep paying shipping charges.
This is what they look like. (At this writing they were $.83 each.)
Well, they don't really look this large, but you get the idea.

So when I was in Jo~Ann one day looking for more Command Hooks, I wandered a little farther down the aisle and came upon these in the drapery hardware.

On May 4, 2016 I was in my local Jo~Ann store and all of these hooks were on clearance--there were only a few bags remaining. On the website they were still listed, but were "not available". No one could tell me if they were getting in a comparable replacement product, but I will keep you posted. There is probably something similar available at other stores with drapery departments, but the coupons at Jo~Ann have made these a great way to go.

Update Jan. 2017: Jo~Ann did get in a substitute product that will do the job, but at my local store (one of the smaller ones) they don't carry the colors I used to buy. I have found what I wanted on Amazon. I have to buy larger packages, but the price per clip is even better, and I order them when I am buying enough other things that I qualify for free shipping.

The difference between the two packages is mostly in the price. There are 10 hooks in each package. In the pack on the left they are attached to heavy rings. This package lists for $9.99. In the package on the right, the hooks are attached to kind of a figure 8, and this package lists for $8.99. The drapery hardware is often 50% off at Jo~Ann, so if you buy the kind on the right, that is $4.50 for 10 hooks, or $.45 each--and no shipping.

This gives you a clearer picture of the two types of hooks at Jo~Ann. I do sometimes purchase the pack that is a dollar more (or $.50 more at half off), when they don't have the color I want in the other style. (That is another advantage over the hooks from Ackfeld--those come in one color only!) The hooks from these two packages are the same--the difference is the hardware they hang from, and the price, of course.
 I can usually just pull the hooks off of the hanging rings with a little twist. Then to open up the hooks to fit over the yardstick, I usually insert a pair of closed scissors, or needlenose pliers into the loop, and then I twist and pry.
This is what results. They just need to be open enough to slip over the yardstick.

A Word Of Caution: The last bag of hooks I just purchased at Jo~Ann (August 2014) had hooks that were structured a little differently. I bought the more expensive ones on the large rings to get the color I wanted, but when I took them out of the bag, this is what I found.
See how there is more of a crook on the end of the hook wire? They are not usually this bent. I tried to straighten them with needle-nose pliers. It worked on one, broke the hook off entirely on another (not a bad thing), but was unsuccessful on a couple more. I don't want this hook scratching my walls. I have purchased several bags of these hooks and this is the first I have seen like this. Check out the bag before purchasing! I wish I had, but since I had never encountered this before, I didn't know I needed to!

If you have looked for yardsticks, you may be aware that they are not all created equal. The inexpensive giveaway yardsticks are usually thin and slip easily into the "medium" size Clear Command Hooks pictured near the top of this page. However, if you purchase yardsticks from Jo~Ann or an office supply store, you may find they are thicker and will not fit into that size hook. Just step up to the next size. The yardstick will lean forward more, but it still works.
You will also need to open up the wire on the hooks a bit more to accommodate the thicker yardsticks.

Well, that is all I can think of to tell you. I want to thank Ann for sharing her gallery, and Sheryl for giving her the idea. Any questions?

Janet O.


  1. Thanks so much Janet for sharing! Your blog is one of my favorite. When I get a notification of a new blog I can't wait to open to see what you have created next or your ideas or tips you share. I love mini repro quilts and dark and dirty fabrics also. I have been attending Jo Morton's spring retreat for a few years and her quilt turnings and lectures if near my home area and belong to her Jo's Little Women's Club. Love all of it!!!

    1. Diane, thanks for your comment. You are a "no-reply" blogger, so I cannot respond to you personally. There is no email address attached to your account. Don't know if you will see this, but I wanted you to know I tried. : )
      Lucky you to go to Jo Morton's Spring retreat. I love her fabrics and her patterns for the Little Women's Club quilts are wonderful!

  2. Thanks for the pictures. Mom is out of town...think she will notice if I raid her yard stick collection?

  3. This is such a great idea! If you lived on a farm like me you could have just gone out to the barn for some good ole baling wire. ha! On the farm, baling wire fixes everything, at least that's what we joke about anyway!

  4. I too am a big fan of using 3M hooks for hanging all my quilts (large and small. Combining Anne's "felt pad" idea for creating a back spacing with 3Ms, have you tried using the Velcro-style Picture Frame Hanging strips? I'm wondering if the double layer of the strip would provide enough back clearance space for the clip hook. When I get a yardstick I will have to try that out!

  5. Exactly the information I was looking for. Thank you so much!

  6. you can get those clips with actual flat open hooks on them. they are used in hospitals rooms to hang the curtains between beds that slide in the curved track. also to hand cafe curtains, photos while developing, etc. hotel supply has them, also walmart online, amazon, ikea (shower curtains). i've only seen silver, though. and much cheaper (also in bulk) than at joanne)


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