Remember the good ol’ days when we all used to pin stuff on Pinterest because we dreamed we’d have all the time to do all the crafts? Well, this DIY Growth Chart Ruler comes from those days. This has literally been on my to-do list for years. Though to be fair, I knew I wouldn’t be making it until we had kids.
The first time I saw this project, I couldn’t pin it fast enough. I loved the idea of it looking like a ruler and a moveable growth chart. For most families the “moveable” part isn’t that big of a deal, but us being a military family – this was perfect. I really don’t think housing would be too pleased with us if we just took half a door frame, ya know?
I’m SUPER happy with the way this growth chart ruler turned out and I’m so excited to share it with you all!
- Plank of wood min. 6ft in length [$6]
- Wood stain [$5]
- Black acrylic paint [$2]
- Numbers Cling Stamps [$10] OPTIONAL
- Ruler / Yard Stick / Measuring Tape
- Painter’s Tape
First things first we headed to Lowe’s. From a previous (unblogged and unfinished) project, I knew they have a pretty solid section of pre-cuts available. There we found the perfect 6in by 6ft price of wood.
I also grabbed a natural wood stain, I really wanted this to look like an actual ruler. So getting that perfect natural stain was really important – I ended up picking up a “Pecan” shade which was perfect for that “ruler” look. I was also lacking black paint so I grabbed that really quick and also got myself a nice lil’ yard stick (fo’ free!) from their paint section. I figured this would make all the measuring super easy – and it did!
Once home, I did a double coat of the wood stain and let that dry overnight. The next morning I grabbed my yard stick and started measuring. I knew I wanted the chart to sit about 6 inches above the ground in order to avoid any issues with the base trim wherever we might end up. So I started my ruler at exactly 6 inches and went from there.
I made each line 1/4 inch thick. Then each foot (feet?) line is 3 inches long, the 1/2 lines are 2.5 inches long, and the 1/4 lines are 1.5 inches long. This change in length is what really gives the growth chart that “ruler feel”. I marked off each line with the painter’s tape and used a sponge brush to apply the paint. Since my paint was latex based, I made sure to peel off my tape as soon as I got done painting the lines. Even then, I still had some paint pull off with the tape, but I didn’t mind since it makes it look like a weathered / old ruler.
For the numbers there are a couple of options – free painting them (a no go since I’m not so good at this stuff), use something like the Silhouette or Cricut machine to make some decals but I ended up going a seriously different route – I used cling stamps. I found these numeric cling stamps in the scrap booking section of JoAnn’s and love them.
Using the stamps made the numbers SUPER easy, apply paint, stamp, done. They also give the numbers a weathered look since the paint ended up not being applied evenly.
The total cost of the growth chart ruler was $23 – which is A LOT better than the $70 + shipping you’d have to pay for this on Etsy. However, I have a hard time calling it a $23 project since I used so little wood stain and black paint, and the cling stamps I will be able to use for others projects since the paint came right off.
I seriously love how this growth chart ruler looks SO much, little mistakes and Joey’s pencil marks (from his help measuring) included – see if you can find them in the pictures! ;]