DIY Wall Ruler

This was a really fun project! I was exposed to some new materials and am definitely adding everything to my growing repertoire. 

I first became interested when I saw a few ideas on Pinterest and I thought, "I could make that!" It usually happens that way for me. Unfortunately I didn't plan on a tutorial while I made this so I will do my best to explain the steps between product pictures.  The ruler assembly is divided into two parts: prepping your wood and painting your numbers.

Prepping your Wood

I began by asking my dad for a board, lol. I roughly described the size and shape. I said "about 6' long and 6" wide and maybe 1/2" thick." Real descriptive, I know. He did great delivering that to me. My board measures 6'4" x 5" x 5/8". When he delivered the board to my house he gave it to me on the condition that I do not paint it or do anything to cover the grain of the wood because it was a really nice quality piece. My original plan was to do a paint-wash by diluting acrylic paint with water to sort of "stain" the wood a color. You essentially paint the raw wood and wipe it off with a damp rag to take off most of the paint. After my instructions from him I decided to use some tung oil on my wood to keep it the original color but seal it against moisture. Once I decided on my finish I lightly sanded my board since it was already pretty smooth. I did sand the edges of the wood so there would be no sharp corners, but I didn't want it to look routed. 

Tung Oil available at Lowes
The tung oil is seriously a dream to work with. Follow the directions on the bottle but you essentially squirt some on the wood and rub it around with a cotton rag. It takes 24 hours to fully dry between coats. I only did 2 coats and did not sand between, contrary to the bottle's suggestion, because I am lazy and didn't care if it was perfect. I like working with lots of products because as I gain experience I learn what kinds of shortcuts I can take ;)

My last piece of advice for the prep stage is to make sure you seal the front and back sides against moisture. A long, thin piece of wood like this would easily warp over time and you want your ruler to be around for many years!

Paint your Numbers

This step was fun and it took me one evening. I debated a long time over how I wanted to apply my letters. Originally I wanted to use a wood burning tool and I even ordered it off Amazon but once I got it I realized it would take forever SO I decided to hand paint the letters.

I searched on my computer for a font I liked and printed numbers out in varying sizes. This was a trial and error process on what size I liked and I ultimately decided to make "1" the smallest and enlarge them until "6" was the biggest. I used some carbon transfer paper underneath my numbers to trace them onto the wood. I decided to mount the board 6" off the floor so my ruler only has 6 marks underneath the 1-foot line.  You place the carbon paper face-down onto your board and put your printed numbers on top. Trace around your number with a dull object (I used a dotting tool for painting your fingernails) and it transfers through the paper.

Carbon Paper off Amazon
The paper is good for multiple uses!!
After my numbers were traced I used some black acrylic paint and a skinny brush to carefully fill in the lines, like coloring!
Black Acrylic paint from Walmart
I got a large tape measure out to make my marks with a pencil every inch down the whole ruler. I did 2" long hash marks at every foot and 1" long at each inch in between.  I used painters tape or masking tape in a straight line down my ruler 1" from the edge and freehanded perpendicular lines at each inch. (Confused yet?)
Longer hash mark signifies a division of each foot
I wanted to measure my daughter at each birthday and actually paint a permanent line for her height so future children will be able to easily compare. There is lots of room to add more marks so the easy part will be to have the children (har har).
I looked at Zoe's medical records to see her heights at each yearly checkup.
 My very very last step was to mount the ruler to the wall. I had my husband drill holes in the top and bottom to make installation easy. He also counter-sunk the holes (meaning he drilled out a small area of wood so the screw head will fit in flush - look it up). DON'T FORGET to mount your ruler the correct height off the floor or it won't be accurate!
You can see the screw fits into the hole flush.
Now we are done! Let me know in the comments if anyone actually finishes their own ruler :)