The kids rule

I’ve seen these rulers in magazines and thought how lovely they were but I couldn’t afford the price tag or the shipping to Dubai. So, I decided to have a go at making my own. Since, I’ve seen many examples on blogs and on Pinterest but the quality of the typography and lines aren’t that great. Getting the lines and text perfect is the key to having something you can proudly display in you home and I’ve come up with a way of getting it just right.

To make the rule you will need

  • Plank of wood cut to 6′. (The hardware store can do this for you)
  • Sandpaper
  • Varnish (I used golden oak)
  • Laser prints of text and measurements
  • Artists acrylic medium
  • Thin black permanent marker pen
  • Picture hook for hanging

Making the details

To get the lines and text so clear I transferred laser prints I produced on the computer to the wood. This is the same method as I used to do the signage project and transfering images to canvas project back in the summer.

On the computer I set up an A4 page in Photoshop (you can use an image editing or paint software). I added lines every inch, larger ones at the quarter and half way marks and a larger one at the foot mark. I added the number at the foot mark. I then reversed the image horizontally so I had a mirror image of what I needed the final result to be. I saved the page as a JPG, I did this for each of the foot measurements.

I did the same with the text I wanted down the side, I chose ‘Madeline and Harvey Rule’, again I saved it as a mirror image (all will become clear I promise). I then took the files to our local printers to get a laser copy, I had 8 copies made at just 5AED.

Making the ruler

I gave the wood a light sand and then stained it using the golden oak varnish and left it to dry.

I cut the laser prints to size and lay them next to the wood where I wanted them positioned.

I then covered the entire piece of wood in the artists acrylic medium and stuck down the prints, I smoothed them down removing as many as the bubbles and crinkles as I could.

I then left it over night to dry. This is important, the acrylic medium must be completely dry and not just dry to touch.

In the morning I soaked the back of the paper. Once drenched through I started to rub the paper off, very carefully. This reveals the print which has adhered to the acrylic medium.

Once I had removed as much of the paper as I could I gave the ruler two additional coats of varnish to seal it. Once the varnish had dried I then used a permanent marker pen to touch up any areas which required it.

That’s it, I then put a picture hook on the back and hung it on the wall.

Right, I know that might be a little hard to follow so here is the picture version.

Text for ruler

Produce a mirror image of the measurements and any details you want to appear on your ruler.

Giant ruler

Position the images where you need them to appear.

Stick the prints to the wood print side down. Rub to remove any large creases or bubbles.

Wet the paper with a sponge until it soaks through.

Once fully dry. Rub away as much of the paper as you can.

Giant ruler

Finally seal with a couple of coats of varnish.

Hang on the wall. The height you hang it will depend on where you started your measurements.

I added the children’s height using black permanent marker.


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