The Measure of Two Little Men

Just recently my 18 month old started counting. Within a week he could count to ten in English and Spanish. Within two weeks he was counting to twenty and then he recited the alphabet. This is all too early for me. Both of my boys started walking and talking early. In fact, my oldest was using words like transparent and amalgamate before his second birthday. I can’t say enough about the importance of reading to your children – even if they don’t seem to be paying attention!

In addition to teaching them and leading them in this life, as a parent I believe it is also my role to document their childhood and capture their memories. My memory will fade and it will become harder and harder to remember how tiny their hands were and the size of their feet.

I have seen growth charts all over Pinterest and Facebook and decided it was time to take on this DIY project.

Gather up some materials.


  • Wood
  • Sandpaper
  • Rags
  • Paintbrushes
  • Stain – I choose dark walnut
  • Measuring tape
  • One inch Painters tape
  • Pencil
  • White paint
  • House numbers 1-6
  • Polycrylic – Clear Coat

I started by sanding my boards. I rounded the corners and made sure no rough edges remained.


Then use the cloth to remove sawdust and carefully stain the boards keeping strokes in one direction and following the wood grain.


The next step I found to be the most time consuming and most difficult. I was trying to finish three boards, so just one might eliminate some of the time on this step.

Lay out the measuring tape and use the painters tape to tape the measuring tape in place. You don’t want it to be moving all over or you won’t get the board marked correctly. Before you mark up your board, consider how high off the ground you will be hanging your ruler and then begin marking.


After you have the tape in place, paint the marks with your white paint.


Let the paint dry and remove the tape.  Because I used a dark stain, I needed two coats of the white paint.

20151115_103453I made the foot markings longer to really give it the ruler look.

For one board I taped stencils to the board and used the same white paint to paint them. It required two or three coats to cover the dark stain. For another board, I used plastic house numbers. I painted the numbers white and nailed them to the board. Painting the numbers required two or three coats as well. I think the stencil look is great for a playroom and the house numbers are a great option if you would like to display your ruler in the living or family room.

For the board with stenciled numbers, the clear coat goes on last. For the board where I used the plastic house numbers, I applied the clear coat before nailing the numbers into place.



Two of my boards are being auctioned off at my sons school fundraiser. Let’s hope they bring in big bucks! On Etsy, these homemade growth charts can sell upwards of $75. Making your own is possible and much less expensive.

I challenge you to try this project. If DIY is not for you and you live in the DC Metro area, I’d love to personalize one for you and your family. Just leave me a note below.

As for my kiddos, we will move their markings from the wall and onto the chart soon. A white sharpie is all you need to add their milestones and capture inch-by-inch of their childhood. Warning, capturing it still won’t slow it down.



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