Friday, February 3, 2012

Ruler Artwork & Family Keepsake

I love today's project. I found the idea/inspiration on Pinterest (shock, I know) and knew that I could make it for less than the hefty price tag on it.

My kids are growing like weeds. I swear the boy has grown 4 or more inches since the summer, the girl has grown a bit too and I'm trying to capture as much of their growing as possible. We move around a lot, so the whole tradition of scratching into a doorway's trim their height and dates isn't a feasible option to keep track of their growth. Also, they are very competitive with "who's taller?" even though they are 3 years apart in age, so this project is perfect. :)

Here is the inspiration here and she found them here. So, an idea popped into my head, I can make this myself for a whole lot less- and get a piece of art for the wall with the bonus of capturing the kids' growth. :) Yay!

Here it is. My version of the previous two links. I love the way it turned out.

Ignore the dog's food bin in the picture- we have a 200# mastiff, and this is the only thing that he can't get into and eat his food! ;)

The cost for this project was about $10- but you could do it for less if you have some of the supplies on hand; which I did, so it only cost me $6.

What you will need:
1) 1" x 8" x 6' board- I bought mine at Home Depot for $6
stain- left over from Oregon Art project
brushes for stain and paint
stencils (optional)
picture hanger- bought these at Hobby Lobby- left over from Oregon Art project

Step 1: Sand your board- if desired. Mine had some rough edges and a stamp on it from the manufacturer on the side I wanted to use for my ruler.

Step 2: Stain board to desired depth of color. I ended up doing 2 coats for mine. Let cure. Mine took a couple of days because the weather was cold/rainy/damp for a few days after I began the process.

Step 3: Since my board is 6' long (Actually measured it at this point and it was 73" instead of 72"- so measure your board in case yours is off too. You could cut off an inch or so to make it 6' or you could leave it. Either way, it works.) I decided to make my tick marks at 2" intervals.

Step 4: I began my measurement with the bottom of the board is 6". The reasoning behind this, is because I will hang the ruler 6" from the ground, so starting from 0" would be unnecessary. So, the first tick mark is 8", second 10", third 1', etc.

Step 5: Decide on length of tick marks for varying heights. I ended up making my full foot measurements 3 3/4" long, 1/2 foot was 2 3/4" long and the remaining were 1 3/4" long. If this isn't clear, check the picture. :)

Step 6: Stencil in your numbers for the full foot measurements. Or you can skip this step if you are going to just paint them free-hand.

Step 7: Paint your tick marks and numbers. Let dry.

Step 8: Seal with acrylic sealer. Do this in a well ventilated area. I ended up with a headache from this and I did it in my garage. If you can do this outside- I would recommend that. :)

Step 9: Position your wall hanger on the back of your ruler, 1" from the top of your board.

Step 10: Hang on your wall- if you are using a 6" one that is actually 73" like mine is, I put the nail in at 6'6" so it lines up correctly.

That's it! :)

Enjoy your new art piece that will capture your kids' growth throughout the years- maybe even your grandkids too. :)


  1. I'm always surprised by how much they charge for things in stores and on cool artsy sites. In this era of DIY, does anyone actually pay those high prices? Crazy! Anyhow, your piece looks great. What a wonderful way to preserve heights as you move around.

    1. I know, right??! All I know is that the original for this was sold out and they were unsure when they were going to have them in stock again. So, someone has to be buying them! ;)