DIY Growth Chart Ruler

Sunday, March 22, 2015

This is a project I've been wanting to do for quite some time now. I just could not for the life of me figure out how the hell I was going to get the tick marks and numbers on a piece of stained wood and it not be a complete and total disaster...until I came across these AMAZING vinyl decals from Little Acorns by Ro on Etsy. The best part: They are only $10, she includes an insane amount of directions [from wood choice, wood prep and application of the decals] and they are e-a-s-y.

** When you order the decals, Little Acorns by Ro seriously gives you every direction you need to create this ruler, so I'm not going to go into super detail... And if you want the directions beforehand, as soon as you order your decals, message her on Etsy and she will totally send them to you! :]


* 1 x 8 x 8 pine board and had them cut it to 6ft [Lowe's does that for free]. They sell 1 x 6 x 6 as well, but the 8in wide boards look better in my opinion, and you also want to leave room for your markings that you will make on your growth chart.
* Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner [I used Minwax]
* Stain of your choice [not anything too dark because you want to see the decals well. [I used Minwax Provincial]
* A cloth for conditioning and a cloth for staining [an old wash cloth works or they sell them at Lowes in a two pack
* Medium grade sanding block
* Pencil 
* Tape measure
* Credit card [squeegee] 

What I Did:

* I gave my board a light sanding with a medium grade sanding block. I rounded off the edges a bit as well, and paid special attention to the end that was cut because it was a bit rough. I highly suggest getting the dust off with a tack cloth which you can find at Lowe's or any home improvement store. 
* Follow all the directions for the conditioner and the stain.
* This may be a no-brainer, but make sure to stain the sides and the ends of the board as well since you will be able to see them. I also chose to stain both sides of the board because I wanted to see which side looked better. 
* I let my board dry for about four days once it was stained. [I did two coats, didn't bother to seal. I'm sure it will be fine]
* It's SUPER important to let the board dry COMPLETELY so that it is not sticky in any way, otherwise your decals will not adhere properly. 
* Since the board is meant to hang 8in off the ground, we measured accordingly, starting with marking the first foot at 4in up the board, marking every 12in after that, and applied the decals [they come in multiple strips and the numbers are separate].
*The way they are cut makes them incredibly easy to apply. I always found once we made sure they were good and stuck [squeegee them with a credit card], we peeled off the transfer paper at an angle and boom! It was done! 
*I nailed a sawtooth picture hanger about one half inch from the top of the back of the board [make sure you take that into account when hanging it. Ours was initially too low when we tested the height up the wall with a tape measure]
* Use a tape measure to find your 8in mark from the ground and hang your ruler! :]

This hanger worked out great. The ruler sits flush to the wall.

Such an awkward apartment wall between the thermostat, vent and outlet, but definitely the best spot for our
growth chart ruler :]

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