The Wall Ruler




Introduction: 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

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

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

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

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. :)

3 People Made This Project!


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26 Discussions

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

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


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.

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!

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!

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!


3 years ago

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!!

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.

1 reply

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.

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!

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

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.

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!

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

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