Life Love Larson: DIY Large Ruler Growth Chart


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DIY Large Ruler Growth Chart

These large growth charts have been bouncing around blog land for months and months.  The first moment I saw one, I knew I wanted to make one for our mudroom.  They are classic looking and can be something a parent has in their home for years and years.  I think we will always have ours hanging in our home (even when we are old) to remind us of a time when our kiddos were small (and tall)!

My sister also made one, and made it first, so she was able to give me the details on what she did.  Ever since I have made and hung mine, it is one of the things in my home that people comment on most.  Apologies on the pictures…zero natural light in this space.
Before getting started on the actual board, we purchased the lines and numbers from an Etsy shop.  My sister found these vinyl decals which we both agreed would be easier than trying to draw all of the numbers and lines ourselves.  We ordered at the same time so the shipping cost was cheap.  The shop is   

She includes instructions in the vinyl decal kit
We both purchased white wood boards from Lowe’s.  The boards are pre-cut in the lumber department.  My board is 6” wide, by 8’ tall, by 1” thick.  If you cannot find a pre-cut board in this size, ask someone in the lumber department to cut it to size for you.  It is either free to do this or very inexpensive.  The white board I purchased was around $8.  I tried to choose a piece that had a lot of little notches and details since I would be leaving it a natural color.
I originally thought I was going to stain the board, and my sister thought the idea of a natural ruler looked more “real” and would look good against my dark floors.  After she made hers, I was sold on keeping in natural.  The board must still be sealed, so I sanded the board down and added 3-4 coats of Polycrylic to the side that would be seen (don’t waste your time or product on doing the back side).  *Tip:  Michael’s sells small cans of stain and Polycrylic and you can use a 40% off coupon, making it super affordable!
I applied the Polycrylic with a torn up t-shirt.  Once the Poly has dried and the edges of your board are smooth, you can begin to adhere your vinyl decals.  There are instructions in the vinyl kit and I will say it is a two person job.  Once you get the hang of the peeling and sticking, it will take you no time at all.
Once the vinyl decals are placed on the board, you will need a hanging mechanism.  You can see in the picture below what we used.  It is sturdy and easy to remove on and off the wall if needed.
Don’t forget to hang your ruler with accuracy on your wall!  You have to take into account where you placed your hanging mechanism and how far up from the floor your want you board to hang.  I didn’t want our ruler to sit right on the baseboard, so we raised it up a few inches and placed our hanger 77” from the floor.
We decided to start documenting the kid’s current measurements, instead of going back and filling in since they were born.  We also decided to measure twice a year (birthday and half birthday).  My sister started writing her heights with a sharpie, and I decided to write ours in pencil.
What a fun project for the whole family.  My kids stand against the ruler on a daily basis to see if they have “grown”.  And yes, I will probably have my 18 year old kids measured on this ruler.  And… I think this just turned 5 year old is going to be passing me up before I know it! 
I just love it.


  1. What a cute idea! I wish you had posted it before my children were 13 and 17 though! :)

  2. I just linked up my ruler growth chart this week too! Love it!

  3. I have been wanting to do this! Love how easy (and probably neater) it is with the decals. Thanks for that idea!

  4. I LOVE IT!!! Great tutortial! Thanks for sharing!!! I am a new follower of your blog and invite you to join mine as well, would love to see you there!

  5. I love how you left the wood natural!

  6. This is awesome! The natural wood blends into "regular" decor so it doesn't have to be in a kid's room. It can be right out in the open for everyone to enjoy!If you have a chance, I would be super excited if you linked up at my party going on right now (there is a giveaway too!)

  7. Very cute! I love the idea of a growth chart that will move with you. The ruler is so adorable! I would love it if you would stop by and share at Lines Across. I hope to see you soon,

  8. I just love it too! What a great project and thanks for including the link to the Etsy shop for the decals!



  9. I love it all...the last picture is my favorite! Such a sweetie!!! Thanks for sharing at my party! XO, Aimee | simply inspired home living