Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Growth Chart Ruler Tutorial

growth chart, ruler, DIY growth chart ruler, DIY ruler, homemade growth chart, cheap decorI've wanted a growth chart ruler for a while now but didn't want to fork out the $90 that Pottery barn sells them for so I decided to make my own. My growth chart ruler cost me about $6 to make because I had all the supplies but the wood at home but if you don't have all the supplies it should run around $15 max. This is a great addition to your home if you have young children because you can keep track of their growth on it and if you happen to move you can take it with you!


  • Wood Board (1 x 5 x 6)
  • Sandpaper or Sander
  • Wood Stain and Brush
  • Printer numbers or Number Stencil
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Black Acrylic Paint and Thin Brush
  • Spray Clear Gloss
  • Picture Hanger and Hammer

How To:

1. We bought our wood board for about $6 at Lowes. Pick out a board that isn't bowed and you like the grain of. The first thing you need to do is sand your board. My husband used a sander and sanded both sides of the board. If you do not have a sander you can hand sand your board, it will just take longer.

2. Next you need to stain your
board. Stain it any color you want to. We used the color Colonial Maple because we had it lying around, plus it was lighter than the other ones we had and I wanted the numbers to stand out. If you don't have any stain laying around then purchase a small can of stainer. A small can runs between $3 and $5 depending on the brand and where you purchase it from. You don't need a lot of stain for the board. I put two coats on the top (side the numbers are on) and one coat on the other side. Let Dry. I let my board dry over night just to be safe.

3. While your board is drying you can print out the numbers 1-6 in whatever font you prefer. I used Arial Black for my numbers. Turn the paper over and scribble with a #2 pencil on the back of the numbers.

4. Once your board is dry you can add your lines and numbers. I started marking my lines at 0.6" and went to 6.6". I only marked half inches, inches, and feet. Once you are done marking your lines you can trace the numbers. Line the numbers up with the foot line and outline the number with a pencil. If you colored enough pencil on the back of the paper, it should leave an outline of the number. You can kind of see it in the picture below.

5. When all the lines and numbers are on the board it is time to go over them with black paint. I used black Acrylic paint and a thin paint brush. The amount you see in the container is all I ended up using so you don't need a ton of black paint for this project.  I painted the half inch lines half an inch long, the inch lines an inch long, every half foot (6") an inch and a half long and every foot is about 2 inches long. Let Dry. I painted my lines in the evening so I let them dry over night just to be safe so I wouldn't smear then when I applied the top coat.

*NOTE: If you used a darker stain you may want to use white paint instead of black so it will show up.


6. Once the black lines and numbers dried I applied a clear gloss to the front of the ruler to lock in stain and paint. It also added a nice shiny finish to the ruler. You can use any type of gloss finish, satin finish, mod podge or just a plain waterproof finish to your ruler to lock in the stain and paint. I just used the spray gloss because I wanted my growth chart ruler to have a shine to it. Let Dry.

7. It is now time to hang your finished ruler. We used two picture hangers we had in our tool box. We placed one toward the top of the ruler and one toward the bottom of the ruler. One picture hanger will hold the ruler but we used two picture hangers to make it more secure to the wall; this way it won't move side to side and is very secure to the wall.  I also wrote "The Martini Family est. 2014" on the back in Sharpie so if it was ever lost they knew who it belonged to.

8. Once we hung out Growth Chart Ruler, I marked my children's birth heights, my daughters height on her first Birthday and my husband and my heights now. I used an Ultra-Fine Point Sharpie marker to write their names and date on the Growth Chart. You can't see it in the picture but you can see it fine in person and it does not rub off. I was afraid the Sharpie would work because of the gloss but I tried to rub it off once the sharpie dried and it didn't come off.

I hope your Growth Chart ruler turns out as good as mine did!!!

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