Tuesday, September 10, 2013

DIY Ruler Growth Chart

When I was a kid, we had this roll up paper growth chart that hung on the wall and Mama marked our height.  After a while, (maybe we outgrew the paper one?) we started marking it on the door facing in the kitchen.  All those little marks have since been painted over.  Luckily there is a trendy new solution to the door-facing-growth-chart problem… the giant ruler!  You may have seen these wooden growth charts popping up in Pottery Barn, Blogland and Pinterestville.  They are a cool way to track your child’s height and make a memento that you can take with you if you move and you don’t have to worry about painting over (unless you are a REALLY messy painter).  :) And in true blogger fashion, I just had to make one.  Even though I don’t have any kids…

This one was a gift for my darling nephew, Ruger.  He just had his first birthday yesterday, so it’s the perfect time to start a tradition!  Now his parents will have a special place to track his growth.  My inspiration was a rustic ruler from Dear Lillie:


There are so many variations of these available from Etsy and other online retailers, but you can easily make your own for about ten bucks and in less than an hour.

I started with a 1 x 6 and had my handy Papa cut it down to 6 1/2 feet for me.  Then I stained it with light oak (or something… can’t remember exactly what color I used) and Papa drilled a couple of screw holes for me.  That way it can be mounted to a stud, easily and securely. 

Now all you do is measure off the inches and mark them with a pencil.  I started it at 6 inches since it was going to hang slightly above the baseboard in my sister’s house.  Apparently I figured Ruger and his siblings were going to be giants, because it goes all the way to seven feet! :)  I marked off the half feet and feet marks with slightly longer tic marks.  The inch marks are one inch long, the half foot marks are two inches and the foot marks are three inches.

I printed out my numbers using Century Schoolbook font size 290.  Then I transferred the numbers to the wood using my standard rubbing method.  Cover the back of the letter with pencil, then lay it in position on the wood and trace the outline with a pen.  The pencil transfers to the wood and then you can go over it with pencil before you fill it in with paint.  I used a black paint pen to fill in the numbers.



Painting the lines was super easy using a little ruler as a guide. 


When the paint was dry, I put three coats of polyurethane on top to protect it.  Then I stood back and admired my giant ruler.



Then I brought it upstairs to show Michael.  The following conversation ensued:

Me: Hey, Michael, you know how I’m always calling you to measure things for me?  (I do this all the time, from my parents’ house, the fabric store, etc.)

Michael: Yeah…

Me:  Well, I made you this giant ruler just for that.

Michael:  (raises eyebrows) Umm, okay?

Me:  Actually it’s Ruger’s birthday present…

Michael: So, that’s like a gag gift, right?

Clearly he doesn’t look at Pottery Barn. :) 

I think it turned out quite cute.  Here it is hanging in the birthday boy’s room!



I think it would be really cute in a playroom!  Maybe someday when I have a playroom and a little one’s height to record, I’ll make one for my own house.  In the meantime, Happy Birthday Ruger!  I hope you grow over 6 feet tall! :)

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