Ruler Growth Chart - Pinterest Challenge

I tackled a couple of projects for this round of the Pinterest Challenge, but the second one requires a really intense session with the glue stick that I have yet to schedule. Maybe we'll get friendly this weekend. I did, however, finish a project that I've had pinned forever - the GIANT ruler growth chart that I'm sure you've seen before. I've loved it since I first laid eyes on it, especially since we move so often (in theory, knock on wood we haven't had to lately.)

I was pretty sure that my mom had never seen a giant growth chart ruler before. I sent her a couple of texts all coy saying something like "you'll never guess what I'm making." Then when I talked to her later and told her what it was, she said she'd cut one out of a magazine and thought it was a great gift idea for M. She probably knew about giant ruler growth charts before any of us.

  • 1"x10"x6' pine board
  • stain of your choice
  • mailbox stencils
  • black acrylic paint
  • stencil sponge
  • sharpie
  • ruler
  • any square edge tool
  • polyurethane 

We started out with a 1"x10"x6' piece of pine that I stained with two coats of "special walnut" from a sample we had leftover from when we were trying to match our pine basement stairs to our oat floors (not a match at all.)

When that was relatively dry I put a drop cloth down on our dining room table, stuck Little M in his tower and started making my marks. I promise he's not all limp from the fumes, he's just begging for more food.
I decided to start at 6" to allow enough room for baseboard molding when we mount it. This allowed for a 6'6" growth chart. All of M's uncles and grandpas are well over 6' tall, but I think 6'6" is good, no?

We paused for a snack.

I began by marking the foot marks lightly in pencil. Then I measured a half dozen times to make for absolute sure I marked them in the right place. I'd marked the 2' mark wrong. I fixed that and continued. Then I pulled up a picture of an old-school wooden ruler on S's iPad and used that as a guideline for how long to make each of my marks.

On the old-school ruler photo the foot mark (or inch mark on the actual old rulers) was a tad shorter to allow space for the black number, so I made my ruler looks the same. The 1/2' marks are the longest, the foot marks the second longest, the 1/4' and 3/4' marks as the next longest and the inches are the shortest.

After I had all my light pencil marks at each inch, I pulled out a quilting square an a regular sized black Sharpie. I used the square edge to make sure each of my inch marks ran precisely perpendicular to the edge of the board. Maybe overkill, but it made the whole thing look really crisp and even. I started each line 1/4" from the edge of the board just to make things look all neat and tidy too.

Once all the inch marks were made with my Sharpie and my back was killing me from hunching over for hours, I moved on to stenciling the foot marking numbers. Let me save you some time here. The stencils I used are from the giant orange home improvement store. They were in the paint area hanging near the stain. Not with the mail boxes. Not at Target, JoAnn, Michael's or A.C. Moore. They had no stencil numbers of any size. Little M was so annoyed I hadn't thought to go to the orange place first.

So I took those stencils that cost less than the fuel it took me to finally find them and taped them down to the ruler using painter's tape. I hope to use them again someday and wanted to use something that would come off the stencils easily. Regardless, I think I'd probably only get two or three uses out of the cardboard stencils before they would start to fall apart.

I used a foam stencil brush loaded very, very lightly with some black acrylic paint I used a few years ago to paint our front door. I very gently and lightly dabbed on the black paint, let it dry and then did a second coat.

Once everything is good and dry, you'll want to brush on a few coats of a good quality poly sealer. I have yet to do this step because that's definitely an outdoor projects and we haven't had poly friendly weather lately.

I'm not in too big a rush to seal it up since we're not going to hang it 'til we've figured out our whole possible addition project. I want to make sure it has a prominent location, possibly in the new mudroom. We are, however, keeping track of Little M's length measurements so we can add them with a thin black sharpie as soon as we've got our GIANT ruler on the wall. It's hard to believe he's grown a whole foot in one year. Crazypants.

So there you have it, my favorite pin is done. What did you all do this time around for the Pinterest Challenge?

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  1. I think maybe you should have gone for 7 feet!! Also, so funny that Katie did a rule project as well. Lunch soon?!

  2. The growth chart was a popular project! I love his tower!!

  3. Oh wow, that turned out great! I've been meaning to make one, and after seeing how well yours turned out I'm inspired!


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