How Big is Colin? [Ruler Growth Chart Tutorial]

Last year around this time, Kase and I were about to put an offer in on a house. One of my main reasons for wanting to buy? I wanted to start tracking Colin’s growth in a home. I wanted to take out my handy pencil, stand him up straight against a door jamb, and memorialize his 31 inches.

Not a great reason to buy a house, sure. But it’s hard to explain. I wanted to feel rooted somewhere. And nothing says home quite like a wall with graffitied markings on it.

But then we moved. And then we moved again. And here we are, renting a less than perfect house. And still no wall on which to track my little dude’s growth. Sadsies.

And then came Pinterest. And then came this link.

For a mere $75, I could forgo buying a house and simply buy a large ruler to track my child’s growth. And then, when we inevitably move again, I can just pop it into the UHaul and take it with us. What brilliant genius thought of this?

The thing is, I don’t have $75 just lying around to buy oversized rulers, cute as they may be.

But then I got these cute vinyl number stickers in my Always Crafty Swag Bag, and my little brain idea light went off. I could make my own damn ruler. And a month later, that is just what I did.

You remember I went to Ikea last week. While I was there, I was actually able to amble around the superstore, taking my time for once *ahem, kaseandcolin, ahem* and after eating some delicious chocolate cake, I stumbled into the shelving section. And there I found this bad boy.

Sure, I could have gone to the hardware store and bought a piece of unfinished wood and stained it myself. BUT NO. I believe the word you are looking for is lazy. $19.99. Yes, please.

And then it sat on our dining room table for a few days. And then I went to the actual hardware store and bought a yardstick and some acrylic paint. I also bought a tiny little plastic paintbrush that I didn’t end up using, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

I decided that I wanted to hang the ruler about a foot off the ground, so I began to measure my markings starting at 2 feet, and to make the intermittent markings, I measured about 1.5 inch gaps.

Then I took my freecals (free decals) and placed them like so, checking that I liked their placement before deciding on the length of each marking.

Eventually I decided to make the 1/4″ markings about 2 inches long, and the 1/2′ markings 3 inches long. The foot markings would be 6 inches long.

Then I went over each marking with my paint. Like I said, I decided against the paintbrush since it was a cheapie, and instead used a q-tip. Don’t judge.

I was happy with how that turned out, so I went on to apply the decals.

Peel off the backing, and then rub the decal onto the wood, like so. If you get your eyebrows waxed, it’s kind of like before they rip off the wax strip:

Slowly, very very very slowly, peel off the transfer paper:

And voila!  Homemade (read: Janky) Ruler Growth Chart.

Overall, this project cost $25 and a bit of patience and frustration for someone who is bad at math. But I did figure I saved about $50 (before shipping), so hey, I can’t be that bad at math. ($75-$25= $50. Right? Hold on, let me get my calculator.)

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5 thoughts on “How Big is Colin? [Ruler Growth Chart Tutorial]

  1. This is awesome. We have some plastic monkey themed vertical banner with measurements and little stickers with ages and places to write in kids names. Last night I came home to a very excited four year old: “Daddy, Daddy, I grew a half! I grew a half!”

  2. This is so great, I totally want my own! Of course, I wouldn’t get the measurements right because I AM that bad at math – and straight lines aren’t really my forte either.

  3. I’ve admired this on pinterest. Such a great project.
    My family has a summer cottage where all children are measured every summer on a wall in the living room. I love that my grandfather, dad, myself, and now my son have measurements listed from every summer.

  4. I have been searching or a fabulous growth chart for a while but they are either too ‘babyish’ or too expensive. I have the $75 version pinned as well b/c it serves a purpose but cold be moved if I needed to move it. I may just have to get my craft on, thanks for the tutorial.

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