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.
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.
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?
JOIN MY NEWSLETTER!
Become an insider and receive this FREE Maple Icing Recipe (not seen on the blog!)
Love it! I actually made one very similar (http://517creations.blogspot.com/2011/04/ruler-growth-chart-pottery-barn-knock.html), but I don’t have a Cricuit or Silhouette, so I had to hand-paint it all! Ahh!
I am definitely going back and adding all of my son’s measurements from his doctor’s appointments. What a great idea! 🙂
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!
Very Very cute!
Thank you so much!
Thanks for the great tutorial, just finished my last week, and my husband has it hung, now to mark it. Love it 🙂 Thanks again
Oh I can’t wait to see it! Add it to my FB page or email it to me (or link it up one week!)
I came across this after searching for a growth ruler. LOVE yours and would also be interested in buying the vinyl ruler.
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!
How small was the font you used for the silhouette?
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!
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 www.etsy.com 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.
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!
Help – Where can I get vinyl like this? I don’t have a vinyl cutter … can I go somewhere to have it done?
ummm there are lots of people with vinyl cutters that sell their work, I’d try Etsy? https://www.etsy.com/search?q=ruler%20growth%20chart%20vinyl%20decal&order=most_relevant&view_type=gallery&ship_to=ZZ&min=0&max=0&ref=auto1
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?
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?
the poly totally seals it in, you’d really have to scrape and almost cut the vinyl out. no bubbling at all for me!
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!!!!
I stained it, added the vinyl then polyurethaned it to permanently glue the vinyl onto the board.
Half the fun of a growth chart is seeing the progression! I’d totally add all the past info you have so they can see how fast and how much they have grown! I love this. It is exactly what I want to do.
I agree I love seeing the progression as they grow!
I really love this. Sorry to nitpick but you can read two of the children’s names through the stencil which has your surname and their date of birth on, I am only making this comment as it is clear you have (always) gone to lengths to hide their identities and thought you would appreciate the ‘heads up’.
thx for letting me know – I’ll add fixing this to my list of things to do