DIY Ruler Growth Chart

wood craft

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I have been wanting to get a growth chart for my girls for some time now.  I figured I would get one of them that was made from heavy weight paper, but I never seemed to find one that I liked well enough to buy.  Then, my husband said he seen a wooden ruler growth chart that we could make.  Once I seen how cute they are we had to have one.




You only need a few supplies:

  • 1 prefinished pine board- 1″ x 6″ x 6 feet
  • Stain of your choice
  • Old rag for application of stain
  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Vinyl numbers and tick marks
  • Polyurethane
  • Screws or other type of hanger to place on wall
  • Tack cloth– optional

We had most of the items needed on hand already except for the board and the vinyl.  The 1″ x 6″ x 6 foot board only cost $11.88 and we purchased the vinyl numbers and tick marks as a kit, you can purchase the vinyl kit from Amazon, Etsy or Ebay for about $14.

To start off you will want to lightly sand your board.  If you purchase a prefinished it is already smooth so it doesn’t need a lot.  After sanding you will want to make sure that all the dust particles are off the board before applying your stain.  The optional tack cloth works well to remove the dust, but is not a necessity.

Apply the stain to the board with an old lint free rag.  Make sure to apply the stain in the same direction as the grain of wood is going.  You may want to use more than one coat of stain depending how dark you would like your board to be.  Allow the stain to dry completely and lightly sand and remove dust between each coat of stain.



Once the stain has dried sand the board again if you like, but not too much.

After the board is stained and dry you will need mark with a pencil every inch mark.  This is where you will apply the vinyl tick marks.

ruler growth chart

Vinyl is very easy to work with and when you purchase your vinyl kit it should come with instructions for how to use it.  You will peel the backing off first, leaving you with the transfer paper that is sticky on the side you are going to place down on your board. The vinyl we purchased was already measured out for you in 1 inch increments, it makes applying the vinyl fast and simple.  Line the vinyl tick marks up with your pencil marks where your 1 inch marks are.  Have a credit card handy and rub over the transfer paper to get the vinyl to stick to the board.  If a piece of vinyl is crooked, it is easy to peel off and reapply.  Just be careful, you don’t want it to tear.

diy growth chart

Once all of you vinyl tick marks and numbers are where they need to be it will be time to apply a coat of polyurethane.

ruler growth chart



We chose to use screws to hang our board to the wall, we put 3 black screws through the board into a stud in the wall.  I didn’t want to take any chances of it falling, although it probably wouldn’t.  I like the way it looks with the screws we chose, they were black so they matched the vinyl numbers.  You may use a sawtooth hanger or other method of hanging your growth chart if preferred.

diy ruler chart

A couple things I would like to mention:

  • As you can tell we placed our board at the top of our baseboard, make sure to get the correct measurements of your baseboard if you do this too.  You want your board to start where you want it to be off the floor. Our board started at 3 inches because that is how tall our baseboard is.  **Most vinyl directions will have you start at 8 inches, so your board would be 8 inches off the floor.
  • Our vinyl kit went to 6 1/2 feet.  Our ruler ended at 6 feet but we did not use the 6 because it would not look right, we would have needed a longer board since we started ours at 3 inches off the floor instead of 8 inches as the vinyl kit recommended.

This was an easy project and didn’t take much time at all AND I just LOVE the end result.  My only wish is that we would have made one sooner!

This entry was posted in DIY, Home.

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