Introduction: The Wall Ruler

Picture of The Wall Ruler

Create a visual keepsake of your growing children. This is easily removable if you relocate and can fit in with any decor.

Step 1: Get a Good Ole' Piece of Rustic Wood

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Of course you could use new pine at the local big box store, but I love the rustic look. I found this door at the landfill and brought it home. I took it apart and used one of the planks for the wall ruler.

Step 2: Decide How High You Want to Place the Ruler on the Wall

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You want your measurements to start exactly on the floor, since your child will be standing on it. :) Chances are, you won't be able to get the ruler all the way to the floor, as baseboard and heaters can get in the way. So, measure up the wall to where you want to start your ruler, and that is where you will begin writing the measurements on the wood. For example, I placed my ruler 4" off the floor. So my ruler markings started at 4".

Step 3: Add the Ruler Markings With a Permanent Marker

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For this step, you need a ruler, carpenter's square, black paint and a permanent marker. I decided that my "feet" markings were going to be 2.5" long, my 6" markings, 2" long, 3" markings 1.5" long, and all other markings 1" long. Decide for yourself how you want your "ruler" to look. Next, I took a ruler and made pencil markings every 1" up the side. When finished, I used a carpenter square and marker to draw in my lines at their appropriate length. To add the numbers, I just printed them on paper, rubbed charcoal pencil on the back, and traced over them to create and outline. Fill them in with your marker.

Step 4: A Keepsake for Life

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My little guy is happy to have a visual of his growing height. And I love the rustic look. It's a win for everyone. :)


_fatguy made it! (author)2015-07-18

I used a 1 X 8 X 6' select pine board. I made a stencil for the graduations and numbers using the mother-in-laws cricut. I used acrylic craft paint for the black and then sealed it all with verathane. I wish I had fine sanded the board down prior to starting, and I should have used a roller with the stencil instead of a brush. Still, the ol' lady likes it and that's all that really matters.
For the mounting I used keyhole plates so that I didn't have to drill through the board.

BangD (author)2015-06-16

simple....that's why this idea is lovely

mjronimous (author)2014-12-02

made mine for my daughters 2nd birthday. I routed one side and painted it bronze to replicate the metal edge.

corycar made it! (author)2014-10-31

I used a piece of 8" x 6' pine and printed out the big numbers in different fonts. I then outlined the numbers on the wood and stained them. I made little cutout pictures of my kids pointing to the right and both permanently mark their current height, and then use the little paper images to mark them too - so they can look and see how they compare to the other kids at a glance. I offset mine from the floor by 6" since my son was already 5'9" when I made it. He's 6'2" now (in one year!). GREAT project!!!

grolympia (author)2014-10-30

Great project and great idea. I don't know how many of us had marks on the edge of a door or (in my case) a post in the basement.

We no longer own the house and the new(er) owners were not keen on removing a post--so we lost 30 years of history, two generations worth.

warehouse32 (author)2014-10-28

This looks great! I love the idea

RickyJxxx (author)2014-10-28

Very cool, perfect for my son at his age. I'm going to start scavenging for some wood now. Your lil guy looks so stoked on it!

plantprof (author)2014-10-27

Great idea! I thought of doing something like that years ago and now wish I had so it could be removed and taken with you when it's time to sell. Both going through my mother's house currently, to get it sold to settle her estate, and having to repaint my own laundry room soon, underscore the need for doing this as we look at the dozens of growth data points from decades of children and grandchildren. Only thing that might made it even better would be some type of graphic/photo posting along with the measurements. Nice work!

ramski (author)2014-10-27

Way better than marks on the wall.

dlindstrom (author)2014-10-27

I love this idea! Excellent instructable, I'll be crafting one of these very soon using an old 6' fence post. Thanks for the inspiration!

MacCupcake made it! (author)2014-10-26

Ok, so mine isn't attached to the wall, but same idea. I just love "big" things. I bought a 4x4 which is destined to become a large pencil. :-)

bakunin (author)MacCupcake2014-10-27

Ha! Very cool. At the ready for convenient measuring of any object or space.

I can't wait to see the pencil!

co2h2o (author)2014-10-26

Beautiful RULER and beautiful smile on your boy's face. It looks like he approves and that's all that matters! I cannot wait to make this. I envied a lovely but overpriced one at a friend's house not too long ago. Thank you!!

thebeatonpath (author)2014-10-26

I LOVE IT! And I love the smile on that young man's face! Precious!

ladybgood (author)2014-10-26

for the vocabulary police out there



1. One, such as a monarch or dictator, that rules or governs.

2. A straightedged strip, as of wood or metal, for drawing straight lines and measuring lengths. Also called rule.

Buffalo69 (author)ladybgood2014-10-26

My sixty year old teacher used to say that 30 years ago. He was
incorrect then (as the word 'ruler' had already been included in the
dictionary as being accepted to mean both).
I also used to insist that a billion meant one million million but that too is no longer true.
I learned to get over it. Language changes, so should we.

pddonovan2011 (author)2014-10-26

Very cool and original Idea! Love it! Makes me wish I had children! I would buy a length of oak because foot rulers are made of Oak or Birch. This emulates a 12 inch ruler so Pine, Fir and Boxwood would emulate a Yard Stick. For something exotic I can see Sycamore or Tiger Maple, if you are prone to 'going the extra!' Sand smooth and imprint the marks and numerals and set out in the yard for as long as it takes to age properly, not under a tree to reduce bird droppings. Then finish with a satin of matte finish to retain the look and ability to write upon the surface. Then use a spray can of the same finish medium to lock-in your Data!

darnott (author)2014-10-26

one idea if you cannot find a old door like you did would be to buy a board at home depot like you stated and leave it out side for a couple week to let it get weathered look. that would work i think

paintedtherapy (author)2014-10-26

Hmmmm . . . I'm not at home and on the computer but I think it was Calisto MT. It was something already downloaded on the computer.

MTaylor729 (author)2014-10-26

Did you free hand the #'s on the ruler? I love this idea! Thanks for sharing!

I printed them with a Word program and then transferred them on to the wood. I used a carbon paper behind it, but you can use the side of the pencil and blacken the paper to transfer. Hope this helps!

Thank you so much!! I'll try the pencil method! Do you know what font you used??

winter300 (author)2014-10-23

I like the idea, the aesthetic, and how stoked that dude is. Ah, to be a kid again...

scooter76 (author)2014-10-23

What a great idea, will be making on soon "two thumbs up" from me.

dbeatson (author)2014-10-23

Cool idea!

Paige Russell (author)2014-10-22

Great aesthetic! Welcome to Instructables. I look forward to seeing more more projects.

connie46 (author)2014-10-22

Lovely :)

anguspodgorney (author)2014-10-22

That smile is worth millions!

jalaberita (author)2014-10-22

Nice project :)

dr_peru (author)2014-10-22

nice project! also a very nice first instructable - im looking forward to more :)

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