Creating a Growth Chart that Looks Like a Giant Ruler

I was contemplating what to get Mrs. Brimmed Hat for her last birthday. She wasn’t too subtle when she started hinting that she wanted me to make her a growth chart so she could mark the kids height as they grew.

Many people we know use a wall to chart their kids growth. She really liked that the chart could come with us if we were to move or simply if she wanted it in another place in our house.

She showed me a Pinterest growth chart board she had created and described to me what she was looking for.


Step 0 – Select Your Vinyl Kit

We found this kit on Amazon and as you can tell from the video, it is pretty straight forward and easy to put on. If you are considering doing this project, please click the vinyl kit below to purchase it and get it coming to your house.

Step 1 – Gather Your Supplies and Tools

The supplies you will need include the following:

    • Board – I used a 6 foot by 8 inch select pine. If memory serves me correctly, I picked this up at local big box home improvement store for around $20
    • Stain – I used Minwax Puritan Pine 218 to try and have it look as much like a ruler as possible

    • Topcoat or Polyurethane
    • Sandpaper – 120 grit is what I used
    • Paint brush – Any old thing should do
    • Rags – To wipe away excess stain
    • Wood buttons 3/4″ – To cover up where the mounting screws

    • Drywall anchors and washers – To mount the ruler to the wall

    • Level
    • Tape measure
    • Palm Sander
    • Putty Knife
    • 3/4″ butterfly drill bit
    • Drill
    • Command Strips (if you don’t want to drill into the board)

Step 2 – Sand and Stain the Board

I used my palm sander with 120 grit sand paper to sand the front where I planned to adhere the vinyl kit and each of the sides.

I then applied the stain. I left it on the board for about 30 minutes before I wiped the excess off with the rags. If you want a darker look, leave the stain on longer.

When I initially stained the board, I did not have the buttons so I had to stain them on a separate occasion. If you’ve got them you might as well stain them now as well.

Unfortunately I did not get any pictures of video of this step. If you need more information on staining wood, there are countless YouTube videos at your disposal. Essentially, put the stain on, wait a while, wipe off excess. It’s that easy.

Step 3 – Wait 72 hours to Apply the Vinyl Kit

I was a little late gifting this to Mrs. Brimmed Hat because I didn’t first read the instructions on the vinyl kit. It indicated that the vinyl is prone to peel off if it is put on too soon after staining.

Step 4 – Apply the Vinyl Kit to the Board

I followed the instructions that came with the vinyl kit above. The board is designed to go 8″ off the floor. For this reason, the first set of tick marks start at 4″.  Before you begin adhering your tick marks, use your tape measure and a pencil to mark the following lengths from the bottom. 4″, 16″, 28″, 40″, 52″, 64″, 76″. After you have your board marked you can begin to add the tick mark strips. The last one will hang over the top of the board. Cut it off flush with the top of the board. You are going to use this piece on the bottom.

Create a mark 1″ down from the 4″ mark. (If you have’t watched the video above, now would be a good time so you know what I am talking about.) Apply the piece that you cut from the top there at the bottom.

Run a putty knife over the vinyl to remove any air pockets. After you have all the strips on, you can pull the wax paper off.

Now you can place your vinyl numbers on the board. I wish I had placed mine above the foot markers instead of below. I didn’t notice this until it was too late. I placed the number where I did because I wanted to leave plenty of room for marking the kids height.

Run a putty knife over the numbers and pull off the wax paper.

Step 5 – Applying a Topcoat

I had some leftover topcoat from when I stained my front door, so I just used this. I applied two coats. I was pleased to discover that I could rub my fingernail across the vinyl after I applying the topcoat and it would not come off. I had been concerned that the kids would find a way to pull them off. The topcoat did a good job of adhering everything together.

Step 6 – Hang the Growth Chart

You have options here. You could do it as I did and use hardware to mount it to the wall, or you could go the command strip route if you live in an apartment and can’t damage the drywall.

Each options has its pros and cons. With command strips, the kids could potentially pull it away from the wall and knowing me, I’d just stick it back on there without measuring the 8″ from off the floor. This option is definitely easier, but is prone to inaccurate measurements.

To go the route I did, I used the 3/4″ butterfly bit to drill about half the thickness of the board. I used another drill bit the thickness of the anchor bolt to drill through the rest of the board.

I then used the drywall anchors and bolts to mount the board to the wall. I used the washers to give the bolts more surface area to grab onto the board. I covered the holes with the buttons.

Step 7 – Measure your Family

Now for the fun part. Measure each person in your family. I like to use a book. If you use a book like a square, you can get more accurate measurements.


I think Mrs. Brimmed Hat really enjoys the growth chart. She is so sweet, she wouldn’t tell me if she didn’t like it.

If you found this to be helpful, please take a moment to subscribe to our blog, pin this on Pinterest or share on Facebook. We greatly appreciate all the publicity we can get. If you end up making one, please send us pictures of your project.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *