10.24.2013

Wood Ruler Growth Chart DIY


One of my recent projects from a few weeks ago, to mark the kids growth. I've seen these growth charts all over the internet and didn't follow any one tutorial. I read a few and browsed others to compile how I wanted ours to be done. Here's my step by step for anyone interested. I've had a few friends ask.

That's our last name blacked out over on the right side.

Clicking on the photo will enlarge it


Closer up of my numbering and notches.


1. I stained the wood. For our board I used pine because it was pretty and flawless but I don't think it matters. The size was 6ft x 8in. Lay the board flat to stain to avoid drips in the stain. I learned this tip on the other side of ours, my "practice side" ;) Pretty sure stain needs a while to dry. I waited ohhhhhh, two hours. lol

2. For my notches I used a Sharpie brand paint marker and a ruler to make them straight. I measured where they should be and marked with a pencil first.

I saw different variations online, some where the lines were all the same except for the foot marker ones. Maybe google around and see what you prefer.
-My foot marker lines are 2'' long
-My quarter inch marker lines are 1 1/2'' long
-All the others are 1'' long.
Remember that the bottom of your board starts at 6'' with the first notch being 7'' if you want a gap in between the floor and the board when you hang it and for the bottom to "match" the top as far as width from the last foot marker.

3. Numbers and letters. I actually used Georgia font for ours. I liked it for the ruler look. Some of the others I saw online used a different font. Can't recall which one...Century maybe? For our numbers I printed them out in 200pt font and traced them firmly onto the the board with a ballpoint pen to create an indention of the outline. You can also use sticky decals if desired but I pictured my kids picking them off. I want this thing to last until we have grand kids ;) For the numbers I used the Sharpie brand paint marker to color them. However, when it came to the letters, since they are thinner, the thickness of the paint pen made me nervous. I actually used a plain Sharpie permanent marker on them and it looked just them same darkness and intensity wise but MUCH more precise using the thinner tip. It may not have been *quite* as glossy but to finish everything off I used a coat of clear polyurethane so that evened it all out. My paint marker was too wide but that's all they had at Home Depot. If you can get a medium width one it wouldn't be a problem. Honestly, I would have just saved my money and used the regular Sharpie permanent marker had I known then what I know now. Looked just as nice and is easier to work with.

4. **If you went the paint marker route, be sure it's very dry before this step.**
Coat everything with polyurethane. I almost considered not doing this. Do it. It made the board looks so much more finished and the numbers and board have the same light gloss. I  used a semi-gloss but I think something even more glossy would look nice.

Don't forget before hanging to measure up 6" from the ground. I marked the wall with a tiny pencil line to know where the board should start.

So yeah. I'm really happy with how ours came out. I hope this helps anyone else looking for tips. There's tons of tutorials for this but I figured I'd share what I learned along the way.

I plan to mark it at every birthday and half birthday for both of our kids. I'll start for Carson when he's a year and can actually stand.  I'm certain this will be one of our most treasured belongings one day and am pretty excited that I made it.

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