Brave New Home

creating authenticity where it matters most

DIY Growth Ruler


I love the idea of tracking your children’s growth on something you can take with you if you so happen to move (or re-paint!).  This DIY growth ruler does just the trick and is handsome enough to display outside of your child’s bedroom!before diy growth ruler wallI thought this narrow wall between our bedroom and bathroom would be the perfect spot for our growth ruler.sanding down wood for diy growth rulerThe Hubs picked up this wood for me at Home Depot for $7.50 (I originally asked for a pine floorboard so I could create the rule lip but he bought something else he doesn’t remember the name of).  I gave it a bit of a sanding before staining.walnut wood stainI had some stain on hand that I thought would work perfectly.stained diy growth rulerThe wood was porous and stained more easily than I anticipated.  I wiped the stain off immediately after applying it. It was a bit blotchy and it was just about then that I remembered the concept of pre-treating wood….oops!  I was a bit disappointed with how dark it was.  If only I had another piece to try a lighter stain…  natural stained diy growth rulerSo I flipped the wood over and gave it another go!natural wood stainThis time I used a natural stain which I also happened to have on hand.light versus dark stain growth rulerHere’s a side-by-side comparison of the dark and natural stain.  The dark wood just looked so much more finished so I figured I’d try that side first and if I didn’t like it I’d flip to the other.marking growth rulerI had a black paint pen on hand which worked well.  I originally tried using a Sharpee but there wasn’t enough contrast between the black and the wood.  I just free handed the numbers.finishing waxThen I waxed the wood carefully going around the painted parts.  If you’re noticing a Minwax trend here it just so happens to be the cheapest most affordable line of these types of products at Home Depot.drilling hole through black numbersThe Hubs drilled two holes through parts of the painted black since we were going to use black screws.  Daylight savings is proving perfect for snapping a quick evening photo after coming home from work!nail in diy growth rulerWe used drywall screws which I seem to be using for all my projects lately.closeup of nails in diy growth rulerHere’s a closeup to highlight how seamlessly the screw is incorporated into the project.hung diy growth rulerAnd here it is on our wall.  My one little tip would be to keep in mind wall placement when marking your ruler.  As you can see, the number one starts about two inches from the bottom of the ruler.  That was intentional because I had planned on securing the ruler well above the base of the wall.  measuring anak's heightAnak was way too excited and squirmy (there’s something new on the wall!)  for me to get an accurate height reading.  Our ruler goes up to 6’7″ so he has a good bit of room to grow : ]  All in all, not bad for a $7.50 project!

Linked to Liz Marie Blog, Lines Across.

Do you keep track of your children’s height?  Do you use a growth ruler or do you have some other means?

Author: Jennifer @ Brave New Home

Hi! I'm Jennifer from Brave New Home ( I blog about overcoming fear and transforming a house into a home one DIY project at a time.

14 thoughts on “DIY Growth Ruler

  1. The darker stain was the perfect choice. It looks great!

    (I just finished making a height chart myself, using Roman numerals.)

  2. Love the ruler and the stain is perfect! So adorable. I used to be so good about tracking my little guy’s height and I’ve really been slacking. Thanks for the motivation to get back on track, its such a special thing to have and look back on.

  3. Love it! It looks so cute! And great stain job!!!

  4. This turned out fabulously (I actually like the look of the darker stain…it looks really rustic and antiqued). I’m totally doing this one day…what a great way to keep a record of growth that doesn’t have to stay with the house if you end up moving.) And that photo at the end of little Anak is too precious for words.

  5. What a great idea! I wish I had thought of this with my kids when they were small. My son is 11 now, and still pretty small for his age, but he would not be so excited to get measured, ha ha. My daughter is taller than I, so I guess it’s a little too late to start with her, too. Your ruler looks great on the wall and will be a sweet reminder as Anak grows. (He’s so cute!!!)

  6. Great job! I made one as a gift and one for our family. For shame, as I am slacking as a mother. I have yet to hang our ruler for my three little ones. A ‘D’ ring is the perfect hardware, should you not want to use drywall screws or have visible hardware. Thanks for sharing this tutorial. I have one on my blog, too, but I think yours is much easier to follow. (You know me, I am quite verbose. It’s a curse, I tell you.)

  7. What lovely idea !!

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