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The DIY Growth Chart Ruler is my all time favorite DIY project that I have done for my kids. Many people mark a wall or inside the doorway of a bedroom or closet to keep track of their kids’ growth. Since my family moves every few years because of the military, I wanted something to bring with us.
I scoured the internet to find growth rulers that I would be proud to display in a public area of my house. The boards I found on Etsy didn’t have a unique board that I was looking for, so I made my own. It required only simple, inexpensive tools, but I got lucky with the board I used. My Dad had a board that he didn’t have plans to make anything out of, and this board was perfect for what I needed. It had a unique look, with knots and imperfections to make it perfect.
Making the DIY Growth Chart Ruler
This project took much longer than I expected, but was well worth the effort. I also feel like I burnt off a layer of skin on my finger tips doing all the wood burning.
Materials needed for the DIY Growth Chart Ruler
- Unique board-
- Hopefully, you get lucky and have a board laying around that you don’t know what to do with! You can search online for some unique boards, but they get expensive depending on which kind of wood you’re looking for. (This idea will work with a regular board from Home Depot or Lowe’s, but I wouldn’t go with the cheapest wood! You want the board to have knots and character. The cheap 2x4s aren’t the way to go with this project. I’d suggest getting a 1x6x6 board.
- Wood burning tool-
- Wood burning kits can be purchased off Amazon or purchased at your local store.
- I actually printed off the numbers using Times New Roman font at size 250.
- Measuring tape
Steps to take:
- Lay your board on the floor or a flat surface to begin your work.
- Lay your measuring tape on your board so it stays flat and you can use the marks on your measuring tape, to make the marks on your board.
- Mark each inch on your board, making each whole foot hash mark longer than the rest.
- Cut out all your stencils for the numbers and trace them on the appropriate hash mark.
- Once, everything is traced, you can begin with the wood burning. Burn each hash mark and number.
- You can stain your board if you would like, or just skip straight to the polyurethane. (Either way, you’ll want to do at least polyurethane your board to get a shiny finish)
- Attach hooks to the back so you can hang it up on the wall. (Make sure you do the math correctly so you know what height to hang your ruler. I wrote the math down on the back of my ruler, so when we move, I don’t have to remeasure and figure out the math)
You can choose how tall you want to make your board. My board begins at about 18.5″ and goes up to 6’4″. (My husband and I are not tall, so the chances of any of our children outgrowing the ruler is very unlikely.)
Each year, I take a picture of my son in front of the ruler to track his growth. I want to eventually, put up the pictures of both my children in front of it, staggered somehow to make a whole design. I have only marked the height of my son with dry erase marker until I decide how I want to permanently mark it (It’s been over 4 years and I haven’t decided.)
Do you have any suggestions for marking it permanently? I’m thinking I might get some wood burning stencils and burn each name and date into the wood.