DIY Ruler Growth Chart

I’m excited to share my first DIY project for 2014! Happy New Year by the way! I considered calling this the project that took forever and a day because from start to finishI think it spanned (is that a word) 3 years (2012-2014). I intended to make a Ruler Growth Chart for Towne’s nursery but I never got around to decorating his nursery (poor third child). But don’t worry, it worked out well because it is now in the kid’s hallway where it gets regular use by all the children.


DIY Ruler Growth Chart

I pinned this a DIY Ruler Growth Chart project on Pinterest over a year ago. Several etsy stores or bloggers have them for sale, however, I enjoy DIY projects and cost effective solutions so I thought I’d give it a shot. Since I had several of the supplies in stock, this ended up being a pretty inexpensive project (under $10) which is a bonus! There are several tutorials available online so I took a peak at a few and then just jumped right in.


Wood plank, sand paper, stain of your preference, paint marker, ruler or tape measure, number stencil, tape, pencil (for a stencil, I used my Silhouette machine and contact paper, I also used a notecard to create a template for the hash marks)

I bought my first plank quite some time ago when I was pregnant with Townes (He is now 18 months old). My husband borrowed (more like stole) my plank to seal up an opening in the attic where we discovered a possum was entering our house. I think he earned a pass on that one – eliminating possums that were disturbing us in the middle of the night was much appreciated!

Step 1: Sand the wood plank.

Step 2: Stain the plank with the color of preference. Hint: I took a short cut and only stained one side and the edges. I planned to hang it on the wall so no one would see the back side and it saved on drying time.

Step 3: Using a pencil, mark the board at every inch. Be sure to take your baseboards into consideration. You want to make sure your ruler will clear the height of the baseboards. We have unusally thick base boards so I started my growth chart at inch 8 to accomodate the baseboard.

I started by making a mark every half inch and quickly realized that would be too much. To give you an idea of the thickness of each mark, I made marks at the 11/12 and 1/12 marks on either side of the foot. DSC_0235

Suggestion: Take the time to mark this with pencil. I made the mistake of starting with the marker and of course got off my makings and missed up. Thankfully an eraser helped lighten the paint markings but save yourself the rework or stress by using a pencil. :)

Step 4: Using a marker, color in the marker lines. I used the following approach:

  • Each inch marker was 1 inch long
  • ¼ foot mark was 1 ½ inches long
  • 6 inch mark was 2 inches
  • Each foot marker was 3 inches

I made this “cheat sheet” template with a notecard by having markers at every inch to speed up the process.  That helped guide me on how long each marker should be. DSC_0238-001


Step 5:  Add the foot numbers. I used my silhouette machine and contact paper to create a sticker stencil. If you don’t have a silhouette, you can print the number, cut it out and trace it onto the board or freehand it if you prefer. Once I applied the contact paper stencil to the board, I used the paint marker to color in the number.

It took about 5 months from when I finished this to it actually being hung up. It took me trying to hang it with 3M strips for my husband to finally hang it more securely – what can I say? :)


I chose not to seal the board so that I could easily write on and make notes at the children’s different milestones.


I kid you not, we use this every other week. The kids are always asking me to measure them so they can see how much they have grown. Lily grew a quarter inch in two weeks!! Is that possible or did I measure her incorrectly? Regardless, having this out in an area we pass daily helps me make it a point to track their growth. I love this Growth Chart Ruler!! I guess you could say it was worth the wait?!

Thanks for stopping by! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.

Linking to: Tatertots and Jello, the Frugal Girls, Craftberry Bush, Serenity Now, Savvy Southern Style

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  1. Sue Deege says:

    Sorry I am late….I love it!!! Parker Townes is such a big boy now. You know he is a duplicate of Walt…right?? Where are you recording their growth? I could not see any markings on the ruler? I am probably the only one who would inquire…just wondered. Glad you got rid of the possum. I had a raccoon come down my chimney and into my house but he found his way out by chewing his way through the drop ceiling and out an air hole in the attic. Was I surprised when I came home and found his black paw prints all over my walls. What a mess….hugs to all…Sue

    • guyerfamily says:

      Sue, it’s not a strange question because Annette asked it as well. I’m going to update the post with a picture and comments soon. I track their height all over the place – particularly because I can’t Townes to stand where I want him to but I try to make them as close to the markers as possible. I’m going to have to think about that though because I’m sure Townes and Lily will have marks eventually where Jacob is so they may be extending all the way across the board? Thanks for sharing your story! It’s great to hear other people’s joy with homeownership. :)

  2. Annette says:

    I was wondering too where you are recording their heights. Next to the black lines or near the other edge? See Sue, you’re not the only one wondering! Nice job!

    • guyerfamily says:

      Annette, Thank you for your question! I need to update the post to mention that I didn’t seal the wood so I could write on it. I use both pen and pencil – really whatever I can find at the time. So far, if the kids measure on a marker then I write the name and date next to the marker. If they are in between a marker, then I pencil in a line between the markers and write it there. But that’s really because I hadn’t thought about it much. I’m going to have to think about that more. :)

      Have you decided to make one? I would love to hear how it works out!

      • Annette says:

        Thanks for your speedy reply. I was wondering whether or not a pen or marker would adhere to the board, but now that you mention you didn’t seal it I’ve got my answer! Yes, I would like to try to make one. I had a sunflower painted in our playroom, but when we re-decorated that room, it had to go. :( I wrote down all the info though, so I have it recorded for when I do make a ruler. I like that I this ruler can be moved or taken with you if you move homes. Yours came out great! Thanks again!


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