Monday, August 20, 2012

Growth Chart Ruler

Who doesn't want to measure their kids as they grow? Well, I would like to, however I just couldn't find the right growth chart.I don't like the felty-ones from when I was growing up... and I didn't want to write on the wall... I also didn't want to pay a lot of money for something I did like. I was stuck.

Then Pinterest came to my rescue! I found this really cool, rustic-y wood growth chart. I followed the link, and found the lady was making them after seeing one at Pottery Barn. She was charging $69. :( So, I looked around some more, and found a tutorial on how to make it. Well, not as much a tutorial as instructions.  Here's the blog I referenced:


So! I sent, I mean "asked", Justin to pick up supplies and I was on my way! He picked up:
  1. 10 ft. board- make sure you like the knots on it, because they will show through the stain.
  2. 1 quart of stain (Walnut- we were going for a rustic look)
I Also Used:
  1. Sharpie oil-based pain marker in black (from Joann Fabric)
  2. Numbers- printed out on a regular sheet of paper. I printed a couple sets so I could decide which font I liked best. I made sure that my numbers would be about 2 inches high when printed.
**It's worth noting that all our supplies totalled about $15, and we had LOTS of stain left-over, and the paint pen ($3.50) is hardly at the end of its life.

  1. Saw- to cut board to the length you want. Or you can have them cut it at the store. Or just buy a 6 ft board if you would like; since it will sit a few inches off the floor, it will give you just over 6 ft to measure with.
  2. Tape measure
  3. Pen or pencil- to mark off your inch/feet lines

Getting Started:
We measured where we were going to put the board. In our house, we have this "post" at the bottom of the stairs, that I'm pretty sure holds a 6x6 stud supporting the 2nd story. I don't REALLY know that, but there it does meet the dimensions. So, I figured this would be a great place for a floor to ceiling ruler, because the ruler would cover the whole side of the "post". Justin broke out one of his saws that was "perfect" for the job, and cut!

Time to stain! this was my first time staining EVER. So I highly suggest testing your staining technique on the back side of your board. ALSO- be sure to wear gloves... otherwise your hands will look really dirty for a day or so; no matter how much you wash them.

Just follow the instructions on the stain you get, which is basically: apply stain, wait 15 minutes, and wipe off. Repeat process until you are happy with the color. (Of course you could always paint the board whatever color you would like if you're going for that look.)

After the stain is dry... it's time to start measuring! Place the board on the wall where you would like it- we placed ours on top of the baseboard- and measure the first few inches; mark with pen or pencil. Don't worry about the pen/pencil mark, your paint pen will cover it up! Lay the board out and measure out the rest of your increments: I measured in 1 foot sections to ensure my measurements stayed true, and only marked a small dash on each inch.

Justin had this great little tool-thing (yep, I said "tool-thing") that helped me keep my lines straight. It's not a "MUST" for the project, but it made my life easier! My "inch lines" are 1 1/2 inches long and my "foot lines" are 3 inches long.

To put the numbers on the ruler, I printed out a few "sets" of numbers in different fonts, so that I could decide which ones I liked better. Then I simply placed the paper on the board, lining up the numbers where I wanted them, and traced the letter on the paper, on the board. This makes indents on the board for you to fill in with your paint pen.

Here's a closer picture of how the lines and numbers turned out:

And the finished project:

(It's really not THIS dark, but our natural lighting stinks, and we only have floor lamps in the living room, which is off to the right side of this picture.)

Do you see what I mean about the "post"? It was useless until now! :) And I love the way the board is the exact size of the post! I love it so much that I touch it (well, "pet" it) all the time! And the kids noticed it to and kind of check it out. :)

I'm going to get medical records from the kiddos' well-child checks to get their heights from the past, so I can fill in some records from when I didn't have this chart. And I'm fully anticipating that visitors are going to measure themselves when they come over- so it's a conversation piece, too!

Anyway, I'm really interested to see what something like this would look like painted. Obviously paint comes in every color, and the paint pens do, too! Be inspired friends! Make one for your kiddos!

P.S. The original blog I saw this on is now charging $75 for their growth rulers and the kid's clothing consignment store in town is charging $40 for theirs. Remember I said this cost me approx. $15 and I still have supplies? Oh yeah! THIS is why I love DIY! :)

P.P.S. Bring over your board and your measurements... we have the tools to cut and measure- I'd be happy to help you!!

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