4.19.2012

DIY Height Ruler for Our Toddler

Finally!  Finally we've stopped talking about it and got-it-done!  

We've wanted to get some kind of height chart for B since he turned ONE!  Yeah, like over 6 months ago.  parents of the year award.  right here.  

For months, I searched several websites that sold them and I never really could pin one down that I really liked.  

Then, I put it aside and forgot about it (which tends to happen a lot, lately) until recently.  

As soon as I saw this idea....I was determined to do it ourselves.  Instead of buying an "over-priced chart" from some company.  So, why not make it ourselves?!  It'll have more meaning, right?!  So we did.  

We got it done in one day and it was easy peasy!  Anyone can do this.  Seriously.  :)

Plus, it's perfect because we could always take it with us if we ever move.  And we can use this for all of our children.  We can just use different colored markers for each child's measurement.  It'll be neat to track the differences in their heights as they grow.

Ok, here's the down-low:  the blog that I used as my inspiration for making this was 517 Creations.  I loved her ruler and her instructions were easy to follow.  I did exactly what she did in making hers (except for the color of stain).

We started out with a 1x8x6 board of pine wood which cost around $8 at Lowes.
She used a different color stain....but since I already had an almost full can of Dark Walnut stain, I used that instead.  And I love it!  I use this color for everything I stain.  It's that perfect color of brown.....not too chocolate-y and not too cherry toned (red).
We have a ton of Jer's old white t-shirts so I used one to apply the stain.  I find it to be better than using a brush.  Plus, when you wipe it on, you wipe off the excess stain with a clean part of the t-shirt.
I let the stain set into the wood for a couple of hours.  The longer it sets the more deep it soaks in and the better it looks.  After a couple of hours you'll know if it needs more coats.  I only applied one coat.  It was the perfect color for what I wanted.  Any darker and you wouldn't be able to see my numbers as well.
I love the knots in the wood.  It gives it character.  It gives it a more "antique-ish" feel.  :)  We almost went with a better kind of wood without the knots (in fact, we bought it, which cost $23 but I ended up changing my mind and taking it back).
Later that evening, I brought it in and started making my marks and numbers exactly how 517 Creations did hers.  I started my tick marks (using a pencil) at 6 inches so that my ruler would end up being a 6 1/2 foot ruler.  I drew my "eight" marks 1 inch long and my "quarter" marks 2 inches long.
Once my marks were made, I printed out my numbers using Century font at 200 point font.  On the back, I traced them and colored/shaded them in with a pencil making sure it was really dark.
Then I turned them over, placed them where I wanted them and rubbed the front of the number with my pencil so that the shaded pencil marks on the back would transfer onto the board.
This is what it looked like after the transfer.
Lastly, for the tick marks, I used a thick point black paint marker (from Michael's) to go over the pencil lines.  And I used a fine point black paint marker to trace and color in the numbers.
Once the numbers were dry, I sprayed it with some clear gloss (low odor) finish spray to protect the stain, wood and paint.  This also allows me to mark on it and gives it a finished look, too.  

When we hung it, we used a sawtooth picture hanger to hang it.  

We also made sure to hang it 6 inches off the floor to give us accurate readings each time we measure Boston.   

We weren't sure where to hang it so we decided to put it in our workout room which has a perfect wall for it.   

I think he likes it.  :)
 We used our stud finder to hang it on a stud.
Since we needed to hang it 6 inches above the floor, Jer stood it against the wall and measured 6 inches from the top.  That's where he put his nail.
It's perfectly aligned!  Great job, Jer.
We.love.it!
Oh and we had to try it out with the little fella, of course.  We placed him up next to it and told him to stand there.  And he did!  We couldn't believe it.  So I took advantage of it and snapped away.  :)
He's almost 3 feet tall!
Where's the 4, Boston?  There it is!!  :)

We had a blast making this project for our main man.  We are excited to see his growth over the next several years (till he's 18!).  :)

Linking up with:

21 comments:

The Smiths said...

What a great idea! I'm going to have to make one of these for Jackson. :-) You did a great job!

Valerie Griffin said...

i love this!

nicole. said...

um. that is awesome. and i have been dying to make one of these. dying!!!!!

my son FREAKS out when the doctor tries to get him to stand for his height.. my theory is if i can get him to do it at home... he might oblige at the doc's

wishful thinking... but since this seemed fairly easy - worth a try ;)

Kelley @ TheGrantLife.com said...

What a super cute height chart! Yall put alot of work into it! I love it :)

Holly said...

That is a seriously cool idea! He looks so cute standing next to it! :)

Just dropping by from #FF. :)

Meri said...

I love how this is just the perfect mix of rustic DIY and looking professional and finished. Pinning it!
Cheers!
meri
http://merigoesround.com

MJ @ 517 Creations said...

Your growth chart turned out beautifully! Thanks for the blog credit! :)

Pinspiring Leah said...

Such a great idea for tracking your little boy's growth! I found you via the Sasse life.

pinspiring.blogspot.com

THE COOK'S said...

Thank you to everyone. Y'all ROCK!!! You all are so kind!!! I'm off to drop by some of your blogs now. :)

Play Eat Grow said...

I saw something like this awhile back and I wanted to make one, too. Your tutorial seems easy enough to follow, so maybe now I'll actually get around to it!

Angela said...

Thanks for the tutorial! Definitely want to do this too :)

~Angela
http://sunnysweetlife.blogspot.com/

Christine @ First Home...Love Life said...

I did this too a few weeks ago! I love it and get so many compliments! Yours came out great :-)

Aimee - ItsOverflowing.com said...

Featuring you today!!! This is on my to do list as well! Love it! XO, Aimee

Tutus & Tea Parties said...

This is wonderful! I need to make one for my little one now that she's growing like a weed! I would love for you to come share at my Pinteresting Party if you have a moment.

Mackenzie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mackenzie said...

So beautiful! I love it! We'd love for you to join us at Saturday Show & Tell on Cheerios and Lattes. Have a great weekend!
Mackenzie
http://www.cheeriosandlattes.com/saturday-show-tell-12-summer-series-preview/

Ashley C. said...

This is definitely on my to-do list! Thanks for the tutorial - I've been wanting one for awhile but like you, didn't want to pay an arm and a leg for a piece of wood. :) Visiting from It's Overflowing!

Clairin DeMartini said...

I agree Ashley C. This is a TO DO MUST project. I am book marking it and later pinning it. Thank you for providing step by step photos. PS, Just love the toddler photo and finger pointing. Precious. I am going to use this photo in my blog to show how precious 3' is, how significant life is when we watch for kids on the road. http://mvpmommy.com

Kristina Harvey said...

What do you use to mark his hieght? Markers, paint or just making a niche with a knife? Thanks! This is an awesome idea!

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