Ruler Growth Chart

It’s no secret I’ve moved a lot. 32 times actually… But my Husband? He grew up in the same house from birth to the time we got married. Of course SINCE we got married things have changed for him a lot. We’ve moved 10 1/2 times (I count the remodel as 1/2 because we basically moved everything out and back in again!). Anyway my husband grew up with a door that they measured their heights on. When my In law’s moved a few years ago they brought their door with them. With all the moving we’ve done I’ve never had anything to measure my kids with. So I finally decided to do something about it! I made my own Ruler Growth Chart!


We have tall genes, my family ranges from 6 feet to 6 feet 8 inches (yes I’m a shorty at 5′ 9″).  My husbands family ranges from 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches.  SOOO I had to consider how TALL our kids might get when I started.  Since the kids all START at 21 inches I knew we didn’t need the bottom foot.  I decided to go from 1 foot to 7 feet.  I went with a pine board 6 feet long and 1 foot wide and 3/4 inches thick.


I sanded down the board, the edges, corners, etc.  I wanted it nice and smooth. I considered creating an angle at one edge, like a real ruler, but decided not to take the time.  Then I sealed the wood with a polyurethane.  I considered staining the wood too, but decided to go with the natural color.


I created vinyl with marks every inch, longer ones at the foot mark as well as medium ones at 3, 6 and 9 inches.  I decided to have the numbers (using a font as close to the numbers on the ruler I was basing it all on) RIGHT across from the longer dash, but you could also have then next to the dash as well.  Using a font as similar to a ruler as I could I also cut out our name with a “since 2000″ (the year we got married of course) underneath.  Then I sealed the whole thing a few more times over the vinyl.


I’m really happy with how it turned out.  The funny thing is I finished this 6 months ago!  Yup that long ago!  BUT I just barely got around to hanging it.  The part I hadn’t considered was how short our ceilings are in our basement!  The spot I had PLANNED on putting it wasn’t 7 feet tall (imagine how my 6′ 2″ husband feels down here).  So I had to rethink.  PLUS I was worried that if it was left out in a common area Destruct-o Girl (still working on a nickname for the youngest now that she isn’t the Naked One 24/7 anymore) would draw on it if I left it out!  I ended up putting it in a small space in my office.

ruler growth-chart-finished-hanging

Now onto marking it up!  I have TERRIBLE handwriting.  Really horrific.  So now I don’t want to mark up my pretty growth chart with my nasty writing.  So I decided to use my silhouette!  I wanted the writing smallish and I wanted it to be permanent so I didn’t want to use the vinyl itself for the names, but I COULD use the vinyl for a stencil for permanent marker!


I first went with a font that was like handwriting, but it was too decorative and didn’t work.  then I moved onto a simpler, plainer font.  It worked GREAT!  I cut the names and their ages and birthday’s this year.  Then I cut the names into strips.  I measured each child and stuck the vinyl onto the growth chart.

ruler growth-chart-vinyl-stencil-name-date

Then with a permanent marker I filled in the stencils!


Peel off the vinyl stencil and voila!!!  Now I think I’ll go back in time using the measurements from their birthday Dr. appointments!  Yup, I keep all those things so it won’t be a problem!  What do you think?  Or is that overboard?


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Ashlee has been cake decorating for 9 year, and blogging for 7+. She has 5 children ages 3-13 that she enjoys throwing parties for. She loves to bake, cook, crochet, knit, do home improvement, graphic design, photography and writing.
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    • says

      Growing up we moved a lot too, so I never had one! It’s fun to have something to mark the kids and take with us when we move (if we ever move!)

  1. says

    I love it Ashlee! The font is perfect and I love the clean look of it. What a fun way to document your kids growth. I hope you’re doing well.

  2. says

    I love this! Since we moved from our old house where we wrote the heights on the wall, I needed something new that we can take with us…that doesn’t have a giraffe or a tree on it! Thanks for sharing!

  3. says

    I love this–and I totally think you should go back and fill in the old info. I’ve been wanting to make a giant ruler (and you know I’ll be “pinning” this one!”) and I totally plan on filling in all the old info! :)

    ~ Sarah

  4. says

    Ashley, this project turned out wonderfully! I’ve been in love with ruler growth charts for a bit now and I am very picky. Yours is one of my favorites.


    • says

      Man I don’t remember. We (the gal who cut the vinyl for me) designed and cut the vinyl over a year ago! The numbers were “century schoolhouse” I believe. I emailed her asking if she remembered so if she get’s back to me I’ll let you know!

    • says

      Thanks! I actually tried taping it off and painting it first, but I couldn’t STAND the bleeding, so I sanded it all off and used the vinyl, SO much better!

    • says

      Any family that moves alot should have one to take with them, and it’s so flat it’s easy to slide into a moving van somewhere! I hope you make it and love it!

  5. KatieF says

    LOVE THIS! My kids are grown(ish) (the ‘baby’ is 16) but this reminds be a school project I had to do (ok, help do) once of a ‘timeline’ and I decided to use wood grain contact paper and make it like a ruler, with each “inch” a year in the child’s life, with a picture and a blurb about that time in their life. He was only 8 at the time, so we added to it each year until he was 12. I treasure it now, all rolled up in my mommy’s keepsake closet, now the room of my daughter who was recently married (sniffsniff) I think I might save a picture of this to whip up for her for when she has babies… she is NOT crafty! good job!!

    • says

      Sounds like a lot of work! How fun that you kept it. I have a box for each child where I keep treasures, but just a box, so I can’t fit much!

  6. Jasmin says

    I don’t know much about vinyl. How did you get the layout? Did you have a program or created yourself? I bought my board a while back, but I have been trying to figure out how to mark it.

    • says

      this was before I had my silhouette, I had a friend with a professional vinyl business that did the cutting for me. She has her own program, not sure what it is. But you could easily use the silhouette or any other program. I did the lines every inch, each line is about 3/16th of an inch wide and the length varies depending on the marker. So I cut out a 6 foot vinyl piece because she cut it to exact length.

    • says

      Thank you so much, I am so in love with this too! Of course I still haven’t gone back and added the older heights! The baby may be the next time I get around to it… Maybe I should make a goal to have it updated BEFORE he arrives!

  7. Lori says

    LOVE this idea. I’m wondering if the gal who cut your vinyl would be willing to sell the same set to me. I have been looking for just the right growth chart and this is perfect!!!

    • says

      I’ll ask her again, she was going to start up a business, but then she and her husband decided to move and it’s been a CRAZY summer for her. I can’t seem to remember the font of the writing, but do remember the measurements and font from the numbers and lines. I’ll let you know when she get’s back to me!

  8. says

    I never had a growth chart growing up and didn’t do one with my own son (who’s now in high school), but I always thought the family growth charts on the door frames were so sweet. What a cute idea to make your own ruler that can move when you do. You people and your Silhouettes can create such perfect lines and type. I may have to break down and get one someday.

    • says

      Thanks! I actually did the lines and numbers and stuff before I got a silhouette, I hired a friend with a massive vinyl cutter to do it, but I’m loving creating the stencil with my silhouette as my handwriting is illegible and then what’s the point?

  9. says

    What a great idea. It is so cute. I also moved around a lot growing up and we had a door that we marked for a long time. So when we moved we took the door with us. Now it is sitting in my parent’s closet somewhere. I really want to make one of these for my kids! I would love it if you would stop by and share this at the crafty link party going on right now at Lines Across My Face.
    I hope to see you soon,

    • says

      My in laws took their door with them too! It’s in the garage somewhere. They had it in between our basement apartment and the upstairs, but the kids started to draw on it, so we moved it!

    • says

      I’m so glad you like it! I am still tickled every time I walk by mine (then feel a bit anxious because I still haven’t added all the other heights- but mostly tickled!)

    • says

      Lovely! I love the stain you used. I really debated staining or not staining, it was a tough choice for me.. I also went super wide knowing that with 5 kids there would be times when I’d need the width! But I love the look of the narrow one!

  10. says

    Thanks for the great tutorial, just finished my last week, and my husband has it hung, now to mark it. Love it :) Thanks again


  11. Haven says

    I came across this after searching for a growth ruler. LOVE yours and would also be interested in buying the vinyl ruler.

    • says

      thanks! I’ve mentioned that to the gal I got my vinyl from… She was going to start a vinyl business but got busy building a new house and moving. I’ll ask her again when she’ll be ready for orders!

    • says

      stupidest thing EVER, I didn’t save this! I’ve been meaning to update it for the year and I can’t find what size I did ANYWHERE! I’m going to have to experiment again and figure it out. I’ll let you know!

  12. says

    Hi Ashlee,

    A little about myself. I am a recently divorced dad and always had a growth chart for my daughters (11 years now) and did not want to take it from my ex house so I started a growth chart hunt. Like you mention many growth chart start at 2′ tall or end at 5′ and they are paper or poor quality. Then 3 months ago I ran across your website and felt in love with the idea.  Like many dads I have no clue what silhouette is but I guess is some type of craft software/machine to do craft stuff so now I needed to find someone that can sell me the ruler vinyl decal. Three weeks ago I found this site where you can buy the ruler vinyl. I really like the idea you used for your family name since 2000 so I did similar where I asked her to create a custom vinyl for each of my two daughters and their birth date under like you did your “since 2000″.   Thanks again for posting your idea and how you did it. I just finished 2 hours ago applying the polyurethane and looks amazing. 

    • says

      A silhouette is a small home craft cutter for vinyl, fabric, paper, tattoo, etc…

      I’m glad you found a listing that worked for you and that you like your grown chart!

  13. Addie says

    My sister made me one of these. They are so cute but I haven’t hung mine up yet. I am worried about the kids peeling off the vinyl. Any suggestions?

  14. Addie says

    So I just read the post a little better. :) Did the poly keep it from peeling and did the vinyl bubble up at all from the poly?

  15. Kristin says

    Loved your tutorial. I am actually in the process of making one but was worried about how I would mark the dates (did not want to make it look ugly by writing on it). I love your idea if I can figure out how to get the dates on vinyl…? I am ordering the ruler markings on etsy. Question: Should I use the polyurethane after I stain it, then apply the vinyl and then use polyurethane again after I apply the vinyl decal? Will I have any issues applying vinyl to the polyurethane? Will there be issues putting polyurethane over the vinyl decal? Thanks!!!!

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