Giant Ruler Growth Chart – DIY

So when we moved into our house in the garage on the wall is where the family before us marked the growth of their children.  When re-painting the garage, it gave me a sad feeling that the history on the wall was about to disappear forever.   It made me hope that they had gotten some good photos of it to save forever.

Ruler Growth ChartA few months later, our first was born and I started thinking of ways to mark his growth, but be able to save it forever, even when we outgrow our current home.  So I of course ran across some great ideas on Pinterest.  One though I really liked and it was the over size ruler.  Most people made one to use for yearly photos, others use it to measure their kids, but they just put a photo of the child next to the height they are currently at.  I wanted to be able to keep mine forever so I decided that I’d create a giant ruler, but write right on it.  This way it will be there forever, and we can just take it off the wall and load it in the truck on moving day.  Not to mention some MANY MANY years from now, I can track the grand-kids on the same board!  How fun will that be.

So with that, here is my take on the giant ruler growth chart…


  • Print Decorative Numbers to size of your choice (download my templates to print the same ones I used)
  • Stencils for the smaller numbers (or print and create the same way as the large numbers)
  • Ball Point Pen (or something similar to make the indent in the wood)
  • Stain for large numbers and board if you choose to stain
  • Paintbrush for staining numbers
  • Black Paint for marks and numbers
  • Yard Stick – Tape Measure (whatever to make sure it’s right)
  • Tape (to hold the numbers down when tracing)
  • Paint Pen (to make marks and write kids height)
  • 3M Command Strips (or whatever you want to hang it with)

Photos of process:

Be careful not to put too much stain on the brush or it will bleed past the indent line.

I didn’t stain my wood at first, and then once I stained my numbers I didn’t like how light the wood was, so I stained it darker.  I then had to run over the numbers again as well.  I used the same stain for the board as I did for the numbers, but just did one light coat for the board, and two heavier coats for the numbers.

I used a ruler to help me keep it straight.  My hand isn’t that steady.

My little cutie trying it out!  It was added as part of my bathroom facelift.  I will be posting photos of that once I’ve finished the ‘cut the door in half’ project.  Should be any day.

My Pinterest Inspiration – while I found many different styles of the ruler, this is the one that I liked the best.  I followed her step by step for the most part, just added my own twists and my own number styles.  I’ve provided the printable numbers to trace from my project; see the supply list for the link.

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