My sister-in-law had her baby shower a few weekends ago down in south Florida. The whole family and I went down for the weekend and had an absolute blast. My sister-in-law has the crafty gene too so we get along really well. I decided to make her a ruler growth chart. I had made one for our family a few years ago before I started the blog, so I was happy to revisit this project and also give her a gift I knew she would love.
The first step is to go to your local hardware store (I went to Home Depot) and pick out a board. My board was six feet long and eight inches wide. Try to get one without a lot of knots in it. Also sometime they mark them up with markers so make sure you have at least one good side. You may have to rummage through them before you find a really good one.
Next lay your board out on your table. I first put down some cardboard to protect the table and also used cans to raise the board off the table.
Next comes sanding. Sanding is very important. You want the wood to be smooth and without any splinters. I used a fine sanding block for this project. Make sure you sand with the grain. You only need to sand the top and sides.
Do these cloths look familiar? They are actually cloth diapers but I used them as burp cloths for my kids. They have long outgrown the need for burp cloths so they are now used for crafty purposes. Use the cloth to wipe down the board to remove any dust from sanding. The cloth will also help you to feel any rough spots that you may have missed and need additional sanding.
After the board has been cleaned it is time for staining. I used a Minwax stain in Golden Oak. This stain also seals the wood.
The key to staining is to working in sections. Using a foam brush, I brushed the stain on a 1 foot section. Next I used another burp cloth to wipe away the stain. The longer you leave the stain on the darker the color will be. After wiping the stain away I would then move on to the next one foot section. After the staining is complete let it dry overnight.
Now comes the time to put in the inch marks. This board is made to sit six inches off the ground. You need to take into account the height of the baseboards. This is why you would not start it off at zero inches. Using a ruler and pencil make one inch pencil marks going up the board, one inch apart. When it came to a foot measurement I used a two inch pencil mark instead of a one inch. This makes it look more like a ruler.
After all the pencil markers are on the board, it is time to put the numbers on for the feet measurements. I printed out numbers one through six on a piece of paper. The font is up to you, just make sure the numbers are around two inches high. Next I cut the numbers out into rectangles.
Using a pencil rub the lead across the back of the paper.
Turn the paper over and position it on your board by the two inch marks. Start with one towards the bottom of the board and work your way up to six at the top of the board. Using the same pencil outline the numbers onto the board.
When you move the paper out of the way you will have an outline of your number on the wood.
Now it time to add color. I used DecoArt oil base paint markers. For some reason the blue and green work the best. I was not successful with using pink or yellow. I used the back of my board to test out the colors before I put them on.
Using the green paint marker I traced over all the inch marks and colored in the numbers. After it is dry I would suggest another pass with the paint marker to eliminate any pencil lines.
Once it is dry you can turn it over and add the hardware to the back. I used two ring hangers and screwed them in about six inches from the top of the board and about two inches in from the sides. In my gift I also included the hardware for the wall. I bought tremor picture hangers that are kid safe and will prevent the board from falling down off the wall.
As a nice touch I added s special note to the back of the board written in black Sharpie, “We can’t wait to watch your family grow up!” One of the nice things about this board is if you ever move you can take the board with you and continue making the marks each year. If you do it on a wall and you move, well then you are out of luck.
So what do you think? Here is our family’s hanging on our wall in the hallway between our kid’s rooms. It’s a pretty simple project that the gift recipient will sure to love and appreciate for a lifetime.
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