DIY: Kids Height Ruler

I’ve become slightly obsessed with checking out online resources – mainly decorating blogs – for ideas to decorate our home.  Yes, after nearly a year (in October), I am finally getting around decorating the house a little bit.  So, I figure that every once in a while, I might post a decorating project or a before and after on the blog.

I’ve always wanted a visual way to map my kids growth through the years.  When my mom was little, they marked their heights in a doorway/closet area.  Then my uncle bought the house and lived there with his kids (my cousins) who ALSO tracked their heights in the same doorframe.  Then my aunt bought the house and her kids heights are in the same area.  Cool to think two generations and three related families tracked their growth so they weren’t just comparing to their siblings growth but also to how tall their aunts and uncles were.

I’ve seen on blogs and pinterest (although I really try to stay off of pinterest because I’m afraid I’ll get addicted!) people who make rulers for the wall. So I set out to make my own.

Here’s how I did it:

1/ I bought a piece of 1×6 and had it cut to 6 feet long. I didn’t want it to be huge. They cut it for me in the store so it was one less step to do at home.  I sanded it a little and then propped it up on some old paint cans for a work surface.

2/ I used a mahogany colored stain. I love the look of a reddish dark wood.

3/ I did a three thin coats.  The first two coats I did with a brush, but then found it worked better to use an old tshirt. I lightly sanded between coats because there were some drips and paint streaks.  After I used the tshirt for the last coat, it looked much better.


4/Then I started making my marks with a light blue paint pen. I figured I would hang it on the wall, so I accounted for about 6 inches at the bottom (obviously you don’t want to start at o” if you are going to hang it, so figure out how high you are going to hang it off the floor and start there. Sidenote: You will see that I made a mistake in this part at the end.)  I just laid a ruler down the length of the plank and used a piece of cardboard to ensure straight lines.  I did slightly larger marks for each foot.

5/ Then I looked at my ruler and figured out I wanted numbers that were about 2-2.5″ tall. So I went on the computer, typed up my numbers (1-6) and tried out some fonts. I was going for a more modern look.  Once I found the one I liked, I resized it until the ruler in the side of my publisher file showed that it was about 2 inches tall.

6&7/ Then I cut out my numbers.  Note that I didn’t cut out the insides, for the insides (i.e. middle of the “6”, I just traced the circle shape very hard and it slightly indented the wood below so I could trace it.


8/ After I’d traced my numbers with a pencil, I went back with my paint pen and outlined them…
9/ and filled them in!

10/ The finished product. I think it looks cute and I’ll probably hang it in the laundry room – that way it’s in a fun place where we can go and track the kids heights but it’s also not something I have to decorate around.  And I don’t want my kids fighting over it if I put it in just one of their rooms.


Here is the mistake I made: My mistake was not measuring my baseboards.  The baseboards in my house are about 8″ tall and I only accounted for them being about 4-5″ in my mind, so I’m going to have to rip about 4″ off of the bottom so that it can sit flush against the wall and not be sitting on top of the baseboard.  Make sure you account for your baseboard height when figuring out where to start your measurements.

I have a whole sheet of measurements of my kids heights that I’ve been keeping on a post it note, I can’t wait to start marking them on the ruler and hanging it so we can use it regularly.

I think that I’m going to make my kids color consistent – like Brooks will always get the green marks and Landon the orange marks.

Do you track your kids height?


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