Giant DIY Growth Chart Ruler Tutorial

How to make a ruler growth chart... it's easier than you think!

DIY Growth Chart Ruler

My husband has been marking our kids’ height in our kitchen for years. It is pretty cool, my boys love to compare their heights and ages on the wall. I have been looking for a way to make it look a little better and I loved this idea! Inspired by Pinterest I decided to make a chart that I could take with us where ever we go!

This giant DIY growth chart ruler is not only easy on your budget, but there are so many fun ways to customize it to your style! Paint or stain, bright colors or natural, vinyl or stencil, ruler pattern or chevron… there are lots of options! Because these are so cheap and easy, they also make great Christmas gifts!

How to make a growth chart ruler... it's easier than you think!

The Supplies: 

  • 1 in. x 8 in. x 6ft. common board (under $7 at Home Depot)
  • Sandpaper
  • Drop cloth (Dollar store shower curtains are cheap and easy to throw away!)
  • Wood stain
  • Brush (I recommend a 2-3 inch foam brush instead of a regular paint brush)
  • Paper towels or clean rag you don’t mind throwing away
  • Ruler
  • Sharpie or Paint Pen (you can also do your marks in vinyl if you prefer)
  • #’s 1-6 (you can do these in vinyl, paint them on with a stencil or purchase some)
  • Mounting hardware

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler

DIY wooden growth char ruler

Step 1. Preparation

Using sandpaper, simply sand down the front and side edges of your board to smooth away any rough spots. Wipe the dust off thoroughly with a clean rag or paper towel.

Staining wood for diy growth chart ruler

Step 2. Apply Stain

Apply a thin coat of stain to the entire front and sides of the board. For a stronger color or better coverage, you can add a second coat if you’d like.

I recommend using a cheap 2-3 inch foam brush instead of a paintbrush like I did here. It’s easier to apply the stain with and you can just throw it away when you’re done for easy clean-up.

Let the stain sit on the board per stain instructions or until you’ve reached your desired color. The longer you let the stain sit, the richer the end color will be. I believe I let mine sit for about 20 minutes.

Drying stain for diy growth chart ruler

Step 3. Remove Excess Stain

Using paper towels or a clean rag you don’t mind ruining, gently wipe away any excess stain. Be sure to wipe down the entire board and let it dry completely. I waited overnight but you might not have to wait quite that long, a couple of hours should probably do the trick!

How to make a wooden ruler growth chart

Step 4. Measure and Mark Your Growth Chart Ruler

Once your ruler growth chart is completely dry, decide which end of the board you want to be the top/bottom. Starting at the bottom, use a ruler (ha, a ruler on a giant ruler) and make a small 1/4″ tic mark with your sharpie (or a pencil if you prefer) every inch all the way up the board.

I got ahead of myself and forgot to take a picture of this step, but in the picture above, you can see what I’m talking about with the marks every inch.

Marking the diy growth chart ruler

Step 5. Extend Your Measuring Lines:

After making your tic marks, go back to the bottom of the board and extend your lines using the ruler as your guide. To keep the project cost at a minimum I just used a black Sharpie marker but you can also use a black paint pen or paint.

I decided to make my pattern (2) 1″ marks and then (1) 2″ mark. You can do it this way or do something different like all of the marks the same length or various lengths to make it look more like an actual ruler. You choose!

Almost finished diy growth chart ruler

Here is my 2-inch mark after (2) 1-inch marks. So basically the pattern is short, short, long, short, short, long etc…

How to make a giant ruler growth chart

Do this all the way up the board. We’re getting closer!

Finishing up the diy growth chart ruler

Step 6. Add Numbers to Your Growth Chart

The next step is to add the numbers. I decided I wanted to hang my ruler chart on the wall about 6 inches off the floor so I placed my 1-foot mark 6 inches up from the bottom of the board so that when I hang it, the measurement will be accurate.

If you want to have your board touching the floor when you hang it, you would place your 1-foot mark 12 inches from the bottom of the board.  I chose to place my numbers vertically on the board but you could do them horizontally if you want too! Simply count every 12 inches and place your numbers in numerical order the rest of the way up the board.

diy growth chart ruler mounting

Step 7. Mount Your DIY Growth Chart Ruler

There are several different options as far as mounting and hardware. I chose to use a simple sawtooth hanger and anchored screw. I placed it in the middle of the top end of my board.

diy growth chart ruler pads on bottom

Step 8. Hang Up Your Growth Chart

I recently painted my walls and didn’t want them scratched by the board so I added some round chair foot pads I had on hand to the bottom back of my board. This is totally optional.

All that’s left now is to hang it on the wall!

Conclusion: DIY Growth Chart Ruler

Once you’ve found a great place to hang your growth chart ruler, you can take turns measuring each member in your family and marking their height/age etc. on the board. It’s so fun to see the different marks add up over time as everyone changes!

As an added bonus, the chart is portable so you can take it with you if you ever move! Overall this was an easy, budget-friendly project and I’m so excited to get measuring and watch my kids grow!

More DIY Ideas:

How to make a ruler growth chart


Types: Crafts, Woodworking, Adult, Family
Categories: Decoration, Inside The House

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