My nephew turned 1 last year and true-to-form, I wanted to make him a gift. As the guests arrived at Thomas’ party and the gift table piled up, I couldn’t help but laugh at my gift, leaning in the corner and getting some strange (but nice!) looks. What did I make him? Well if the blog post title didn’t give it away, lemme spell it out for you:
Giant Ruler Growth Chart
I can’t stress to you just how easy these are to make! If you can sand, stain and paint, you’re golden. If you receive one of these as a gift from me one day, please forget everything I’m about to say and know that I painstakingly slaved for HOURS on your gift, suffering countless splinters and nearly passing out from the intoxicating stain fumes.
They’re not hard. You just have to get off the couch and crank them out! (Which let’s face it… half the time that’s 110% of the obstacle!)
So here’s a breakdown on how to make this happen. Let’s do this.
How to Make a Giant Ruler Growth Chart
Start by picking out a STRAIGHT 6′ pine board. I opted for 6′ long and 6″ wide and trust me… I dug and dug and DUG to find the straightest board with minimal knots and nicks. It’s worth the effort to search high and low for the perfect board at Lowes. You want a super flat board so that it will hang nicely on the wall.
Sand the board. I used my random orbital sander, starting with 80 and eventually working up to 220 grit sand paper. Don’t have a sander? That’s okay – just use some good ol’ fashioned elbow grease.
For this project I used my new FAVORITE stain! Have you seen this new color by Minwax? It’s called Minwax Classic Gray and it’s tuh-die-for! Seriously swoonable. (It’s a word… close your dictionary. Trust me.)
Crack open your stain and stir away!
In the photo collage below you can see the board after sanding, after 1 coat of stain (allowed to sit for 15 mins) and after a 2nd coat of stain (bottom 2 photos).
I mcLuv how the grey stain gives the wood a great weathered finish while still allowing a bit of the natural color to peak through.
Start by marking your ruler “ticks” in pencil along the board. I just used the bottom edge as the 6″ point. This way the board can be hung 6″ off the ground, allowing the board to miss your baseboards all together!
Once I had measured and re-measured and reeee-measured, I was ready to paint! I used my metal square to keep my lines perfectly perpendicular and equal length.
For the numbers, I had a blonde moment. No, I didn’t mess them up – I just forgot to take pictures of this part! All I did was print off the #’s using MS Word and cutting them out to make stencils. I traced them onto the board and then hand painted them.
Want to hear my best tip I can offer? Use a paint MARKER for the ticks and numbers! It made my life SO much easier!
With all the fun papers and bows (and the adorable turtle toy on the right), it’s easy to miss my oversized ruler at the gift table… but I like
hoping knowing Thomas will have his ruler for YEARS to come!
So Happy Birthday Thomas… and one to grow on! Now if we could just get you to stand still for a photograph!
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