Vintage Measuring Tape Growth Chart: Free Download!

By now you can probably tell I’ll collect just about anything. At some point I began collecting measuring tapes, and then little marmalade jars, and together they make such a sweet display.I decided that it was time to put one of my vintage measuring tapes to unique use. I scanned one of the tapes, modified and touched up the image a bit and designed a free digital download for you to make a fun and unusual growth chart for your children or to give as a gift.

To begin, click on the text links to download the three files that make up the measuring tape: PART 1 and PART2 and PART3.Print the 7 pages onto 8.5″ x 14″ (legal size) paper.With a craft knife, trim precisely along the ends of the images.Use a black permanent marker to black out the white cut paper edges.Cut out the holes at the end of the tape measure and run the marker around inside the hole, again to remove the white edge.Align each section of the printed images and secure with small pieces of clear tape outside the printed area. (You can see that one of my sections got a bit crooked when feeding through the printer, so to be safe, align based on the image and not the paper.)Going section by section, align and tack with tape then flip over and run one long piece of tape along the seam. I made my chart a whopping 7′ allowing for the possibility that at least one of my kids might grow taller than 6′. You can make yours shorter by simply omitting one or more of the higher numbers. When the entire piece has been taped, flip back to the image side and trim along the sides to remove the remaining white sections. Give the corners a slightly rounded trimming.You can laminate your chart to a piece of upholstery vinyl or oilcloth with Mod Podge for a beefier chart, or simply hang as a poster. I like how it hangs loose over the baseboard for a realistic effect.
Now, go gather up some kids to measure. Mark their height and the date or occasion. If you make yours long enough, measure the adults as well, get the whole family in there!

To give as a gift, roll the tape measure growth chart around a cardboard paper towel tube trimmed to size, roll up in wrapping paper or fabric, tucking the ends into the tube and tie with a bow.

UPDATE: By special request, an enlarged centimeter tape for my metric friends. PART 1, PART2, and PART3.

FOR MORE D.I.Y. GROWTH CHART IDEAS: See my blog post over at SC Johnson’s Family Economics! CLICK HERE!

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114 Responses to Vintage Measuring Tape Growth Chart: Free Download!

  1. #1 - whi says:

    This is amazingly cool! I love seeing something huge that is normally hand-held size. You never cease to amaze me. Well done!

  2. #2 - Anji Johnston says:

    You just amaze me!!! Your talent and creativity just leave me speechless! Thank you for all your amazing ideas and freebies – you rock!!

  3. #3 - Sunny Tuesday says:

    That is a seriously cute idea!

  4. #4 - Amy says:

    That is sooo cute! We're currently measuring our husky puppy on a door frame (no chitlins in our abode just yet), and I can imagine some adorable pics coming from that :D

  5. #5 - BlueCastle says:

    That is so awesome! I love how your mind works. :)

  6. #6 - Anonymous says:

    GENIUS! Cathe, this is soooooooo clever & cute! Thank you!

  7. #7 - Kaycee says:

    This is SO cute and such a fantastic idea!!! Thanks bunches for sharing it!

  8. #8 - Molly @ thecreativemaven says:

    This is so awesome! I've been working on my son's room – which is like a vintage toy theme. I've started to chronicle some of the projects on my blog, and I'll definitely be adding this to his room and linking to it in the future… I'll let you know when that happens!

  9. #9 - WW says:

    This grow chart rocks. Love oversized things like this!

  10. #10 - Jill says:

    I'm not sure which I like more…your project or the collection of measuring tapes in the little jars in the wood crate! (REALLY WONDERFUL wood crate!!)

  11. #11 - Cathe Holden says:

    Thanks Jill, but it's not a crate, check out what it actually is HERE: http://justsomethingimade.blogspot.com/2009/02/scrapbook-paper-not-just-for-scrapping.html

  12. #12 - Julie @ Joy's Hope says:

    genius. simply genius.
    will make.
    can't wait.
    thank you so very much.

  13. #13 - Allison says:

    You are amazing. I will be making this tomorrow, and cross-posting on FB for all of my friends to see!

  14. #14 - Room to Inspire says:

    I love. love. love this! I made a growth chart awhile back because I couldn't find one tall enough – this one is perfect!

    Chelsea

  15. #15 - sandra says:

    This is amazing. It totally rocks!
    What a great idea!!

  16. #16 - Rachel@oneprettything.com says:

    You are SOOOO creative! I love this! And you made it so easy for us. =) Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

  17. #17 - will work for fabric says:

    Thanks SEW much! Not only will I make this so that I can transfer the markings and now paint my wall, but what a great border for my sewing room! I love your ideas!

  18. #18 - Createology says:

    Cathe you are just so amazing and extremely talented. I love love love what you do and share. Thank you. Keep creating…

  19. #19 - design_aholic says:

    Love this, how adorable. Totally bookmarking :)

  20. #20 - Michelle L. says:

    What a cool idea!! I love your collection.

  21. #21 - Melissa says:

    How are you able to constantly top yourself? ;)

    So many growth charts are too cutesy for me. This is exactly the kind I want in our home, and I know just where I'm going to put it. Thank you so much for making this and for sharing!

  22. #22 - D@nielle says:

    this is such a cool project, endless photo possibilities with this. Thanks so much for sharing!

  23. #23 - Molly says:

    This is amazing. I would never have thought of this so I'm sure glad you did. My daughter needs this for her 3 boys that are growing too fast. Thank you for sharing. I have taken your button for my blog so stop by and visit it.

    Sewing, Quilting and a Bunch of Whatever
    http://sewquiltwhatever.blogspot.com

  24. #24 - Multiductus says:

    Wow, this is super funny, thanks!
    I'm thinking about applying it to a plywood base layer… it could be a great decor in the right room… not only for children!

  25. #25 - nikkishell says:

    FAB!!!!

  26. #26 - Eartha says:

    this is gorgeous. what printer do you use for your projects?

  27. #27 - Kathie B. says:

    this is SO neat. I've been looking for a better way to measure my kids. I didn't like the cloying cute ones and we've just been marking on the wall. I thought about using a paper yardstick to mark and put in their baby boxes and I love this for our wall. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

  28. #28 - Shelly says:

    So cool! Thanks-Love it!

  29. #29 - MariesImages says:

    You are sooooo amazingly talented! Love all your ideas!
    Thanks for sharing!

  30. #30 - CraftCrave says:

    Thank you! This blog post will be advertised on CraftCrave in the Printables category today (look for timestamp: [16 Feb 01:00pm GMT]).

  31. #31 - Eren Brumley says:

    Cathe, this is fantastic. Is there a way you could make one with metric measurements for us who use that system?
    Please?

  32. #32 - Cre8tivegirl says:

    Awesome idea! Love it!

  33. #33 - Lynn says:

    OMG. You are so good to us! Thanks.

  34. #34 - Cathe Holden says:

    Eren Brumley said…

    Cathe, this is fantastic. Is there a way you could make one with metric measurements for us who use that system?
    Please?

    ………………..

    Yes, Eren, I can and I did! Click on the blue measuring tape for the metric growth chart. Of course, you'll be adding a zero to the numbers when measuring. I kept it with the original cm markings.

  35. #35 - Simply Sarah says:

    Oh my… you have such a creative mind! Can I borrow it? This is so adorable and perfect. I think this will fit in the scheme of things with our living room we are trying to finish up. Thank you thank you!

  36. #36 - Hopeful Homemaker says:

    We have a measuring board that my carpenter brother-in-law made to look like a ruler. We've been measuring our children for years! I cannot tell you how much fun it is to get it out every 6 months or so, measure everybody and marvel at how big we are or how small we've been. If you have children or grandchildren, PLEASE do this! You won't regret it.

    This is the best growth chart I've seen apart from ours. I'm going to share it with many people! Thanks!

  37. #37 - Claire says:

    Wonderful idea! great decoration – thanks!

  38. #38 - Heidi Meyer says:

    what a cute project! I {heart} the little marmalade jar display too!

  39. #39 - Katy David says:

    Wonderful! I love the cracked vintage look of the project. Printing it out now. Thanks!

  40. #40 - Sooz says:

    thanks for all the awesomeness on your blog.. I am using some of your badges and buttons and gave you a shout out… You are so talented!

  41. #41 - Natalie says:

    This is SO SO cool!! I have a boy that grows like a weed and I wish I still had a record of what height he was at what age. (It is back on the door frame at our old house!) This is just awesome and plenty of room to record dates too!

  42. #42 - Mary Corbet says:

    I love this growth chart! It's so perfect – and much better than putting nicks in your wall, eh? Really cute!!

  43. #43 - Susan Y says:

    Gorgeous. Just put it on our sidebar. http://crafterhours.blogspot.com/

  44. #44 - Anonymous says:

    Thank You soooooo much! Going to give as a gift and save for me too! Family Rulers are my favorite pastime. :)

  45. #45 - a little bit biased says:

    That is so cute! It would be perfect in my little boy's room. Thanks for sharing the download & instructions!

  46. #46 - {Meghan} says:

    Love this– what weight paper did you use when you printed it out?

  47. #47 - Apt 3 Photography says:

    Completely brilliant, as per usual. I don't have kiddos but might use your templates for art projects since they are free–thank you! :)

  48. #48 - Carole says:

    I don't have children, so a growth chart wouldn't be useful, but this would make a neat art piece too. :-)

  49. #49 - sara's art house says:

    I LOVE this!!!! Thank you! Thank you!!!

  50. #50 - paula :: plays with mud says:

    {love}. thanks for the download. just found your site and so excited to look around.

  51. #51 - Mary says:

    I once saw a wide stick on tape measure. I regret not buying it to use in my studio on my huge worktable. This is a great idea, and even better that you share it. Thanks so much. And if anyone ever know where to buy that wide (about 3-5) adhesive tape measure, ;ease let me know at mary@hotpotatoes.com

  52. #52 - Rosana O. says:

    It's amazing!

  53. #53 - sharla@mylittlegems says:

    I have been wanting a cute growth chart- and this is the idea I had in mind. THANKS so much for the free download! I absolutely love it! Thanks for doing what I have been thinking :) I would like to link this to my blog if that is ok :) -sharla

  54. #54 - Heather says:

    Oh I love this idea and am going to use your pattern! Thank you! My daughter is now 3 and I never found the right growth chart since they all seem to be pink for girls and blue for boys. This will look great in her Dick & Jane primary color room. Thanks!

  55. #55 - Jane's Designs says:

    I love this, I'm going to make one to decorate my sewing area. Very cute….Thank you for sharing all your great ideas

  56. #56 - CC says:

    Thanks for posting this. I hung it above my sewing machine and it looks really good. My son came by and said where did you get that. He liked it and thought it was neat. He is an electrician and uses a tape measure all the time.

  57. #57 - Anne@LittleSproutBooks says:

    Adorable! Thanks for sharing your hard work!

  58. #58 - Ruthanne says:

    I finally finished it! It is beautiful!! Mine printed funny and is a little short but it is still beautiful hanging in my room. Thank you!
    http://thefochtfamily.blogspot.com/2010/06/measuring.html

  59. #59 - Limar says:

    Absolutely adorable! Thank you :)

  60. #60 - crystal korzep says:

    Oh boy is this fun! I can't wait to use this in a piece that I am working on for a trade.
    Thank you so much,
    please check out my blog!
    http://crystalscreations-stillwatersgallery.blogspot.com
    thanks again,
    Crystal

  61. #61 - sanne says:

    thanks for the CENTIMETERSSSSSS!!!

  62. #62 - crystal says:

    I just love this idea… I'm attending my newest grandson's baby shower tomorrow…. I'm going to make it tonight.

    Thanks

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  64. #63 - Jennifer Erickson says:

    This is so perfect for the hallway outside my daughters’ rooms. Brilliant!

  65. #64 - Kelli says:

    Hi Cathe. You are truly an amazing a gifted person. Thank you so very much for sharing your creations with us. When I saw your growth chart I immediately knew I wanted to replicate this and use it in my boys room. However, when I printed it on Legal-sized paper, it didn’t add up. Meaning, The one foot mark wasn’t really 12 inches. What did I do wrong?

  66. #65 - Mandy says:

    Found you through Sara’s Art House blog. Love this tape measure! Thank you!

  67. #66 - Vicky says:

    Perfect growth chart. I will let you know if I’m able to execute. Thank you!

  68. #67 - Anna says:

    Ive been looking for the “perfect” growth chart for our newly adopted daughter. Thank you for such a great idea and free resources!

  69. #68 - Lisa says:

    This is wonderful! Just what I’ve been looking for. One question: are the inch marking numbers supposed to correspond to feet when it is enlarged? With my print out, it’s not quite one foot between the numbers. Wondering if I did something wrong in the print out or if it doesn’t actually correspond to feet?

    • #69 - Cathe Holden says:

      Yes, it is an accurate measure of 1″ = 1′. Double check your printer settings to make sure it’s not resizing slightly to fit onto the page. Also be sure you are using 11 x 14 paper (legal size.) Hope this helps. -Cathe

      • #70 - Lor says:

        I had this printed at staples and had the same problem with it being slightly smaller than a foot. I had it printed on legal sized paper. Shouldn’t their printers be accurate? Any suggestions? I wanted to do this for Christmas. It is sooo cute! Thanks

  70. #71 - Taylor says:

    I saw something like this for sale recently, thanks for the tutorial and download I was about to do the same myself!

    Taylor

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  72. #72 - Deb Bunnell says:

    I have tried multiple times to download your measuring tape chart, but only certain pages show up – for instance the #1 page is blank. Any suggestions? I think it is an adorable idea if I could get it to work! Thanks for all you do.
    I send a flat baby with my daughter and her hubby when they took a short trip just recently (I stayed home with their 3 year old) and they loved it! She went along with her Mom and Dad in flat form and was able to visit all the sites in NY that her parents did, everybody had a lot fun with it and I got that idea from you also!!
    Thanks, Deb

  73. #74 - Debby Hester says:

    I need help. I have had this in my to do folder for a while. I finally got around to doing it. But, when I printed it out each foot was only 8 inches long. Do you have a suggestion on how to fix it?

    Thanks! I love this and can’t wait to have one hanging on my wall!

    Debby

  74. #75 - Debby Hester says:

    Reading the directions always helps! LOVE IT!

    Debby

  75. #76 - JM says:

    Thank you so much for this – i just added this to my boys room and have gotten so many compliments!

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  79. #77 - ~Bambi says:

    Love it! Thanks for sharing!!

  80. #78 - Carron says:

    for some ridiculous reason I cannot get Part 3 to load!!! I love love love this project & already have everything else printed out, could you email me a pdf? stepner4(at)gmail(dot)com THANK YOU!

  81. #79 - Emily says:

    Cute, cute, cute! Thank you for sharing.
    Emily

  82. #80 - Beth says:

    I tried to do this by myself a couple of weeks ago by scanning a tape measure but I gave up in total frustration! Thanks for making it so easy!

  83. Pingback: The Room, Part 2 | Team Parker

  84. #81 - cornelia Butler says:

    I love the tape, I have been looking everywhere for a cm tape where the numbers are upright, you don’t have one that goes to 2 meters? I want to make my chart with cms as well as inches. Hope to hear from you soon.
    Cornelia Butler,
    my email is connycons@gmail.com

  85. #82 - Susie says:

    I too had trouble printing it the correct size. I had it set on legal paper, but each foot was only 11 1/4″ long. I had to set my printer to “Do not Scale” then it printed perfectly. Thank you I love it!

  86. #84 - Tara@Trendy Treehouse says:

    Love this so much! I shared it on my blog today!

    http://thetrendytreehouse.blogspot.com/2012/01/apology-and-few-fun-things-i-found.html

    I will definitely be making this. Thanks! Found you through the Better Home and Gardens “Do it Yourself” issue! ;)

  87. #85 - Amanda says:

    LOVE! Thanks for giving it away!!!

  88. #86 - Lisa says:

    Can anybody direct me to a website to buy 8 1/2 x 14 canvas paper? I can a only find 8 1/2 x 12.

  89. #87 - Rosalyn Harless says:

    I just saw this in the latest “Do It Yourself” mag and had to have it for my sewing room!!!!! Unfortunately my baby boy is 40 so I think he has grown all he needs and my granddaughter has a “fancy” one in her room……but this one is sooooooooooo much better I may just have to do one for her as well because even though she is only 5 she loves to sew with me. By the way, thanks to that article I discovered you!!!
    Thank you very much for all the goodies I just saw on your blog. God bless you and yours.

    With kind regards,

    Rosalyn (aka Abuela)

  90. #88 - Noreen says:

    What a fun idea! And you don’t have to destroy the measuring tape to do it. I love what you can do with current technology!n Thanks for sharing.

  91. #89 - Theresa in Kitimat says:

    Thank you so much for the great tutorial and template. What a neat gift to give to a new baby.

  92. #90 - Eve says:

    Thanks for the great idea! I have an old wooden ruler that I adore…I’m going to scan and print it onto a special canvas I bought for my printer.

  93. Pingback: Make It or Buy It: Growth Charts « The Baby Gossip

  94. #91 - Helen W. Monie says:

    Read every word about how you made the usuable tape measurable and loved it !!

  95. #92 - Bee says:

    This is really special …. thank you ever so much :)

  96. #93 - Darla Conley says:

    Love the tape measure I made two one for my sewing room just for decoration and one for my grandson to see how big he is getting

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  98. #94 - Inspire Me Heather says:

    Thanks for posting this Cathe, I know it was a long, long time ago but it’s a keeper! I also have this linked to my oversized ruler growth charts post today, thanks!

  99. #95 - Gina says:

    Wow! Just found this posting via Darcy Wilkinson…thank you for such a fabulous download!!! :D XXX

  100. #96 - Deborah says:

    Thank-you thank-you thank-you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  102. #97 - Amanda says:

    Thank you!! I have been searching for a growth chart like this forever! I wanted a growth chart that wasn’t just cute and would still look nice in our home after the little kid stage. A measuring tape seemed like the perfect fit but I struggled to find one. Plus I have a feeling my boys are going to be taller than 6′ and very few go past this mark. This is the perfect solution! Thank you!!

  103. #98 - BARBARA HORTON says:

    I know i”m about 3 yrs late, but when I saw this, just knew I had to make it for my toddler Sunday School Class! Just made it this afternoon, and can’t wait to start measuring kids! Thank you for sharing!

  104. #99 - Tresa says:

    This is EXACTLY what I was looking for in a growth chart. My kids have been marking up the walls (husband is guilty too) with their heights. I am so happy I can transpose their info to the chart and keep my walls clean!!!

  105. #100 - Robbie says:

    I love this idea i have 4 grandchildren and grandpa is always measuring them they love it and i just love the idea of having something made so when they come over it can be marked in a memory way thank you for sharing that

  106. #101 - Bobbie Bayer says:

    My son will be 40 this year and I have been saving his measurements (plus my daughter’s and grandchildren’s) for all these years to put on a giant yardstick, but wanted the numbers to be printed–not my handwriting–AND I FOUND THIS ON YOUR BLOG. God bless you and all you do for us crafters. You just don’t know how much your work means to me. Can I send you some vintage goodies to scan or use for yourself? Thank you again. Your site is number one to me!

  107. #102 - Laurel says:

    ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS! I found this about a week ago and had to order legal size cardstock from ebay!

    NOTE ON PRINTING SO MEASUREMENT IS CORRECT:
    the first page I printed came out to 11 1/2 inches so I deleted the print job and checked the printer’s settings and sure enough, I had it set on “scale each page to fit paper”. I switched to “no automatic page scaling” and it printed out perfectly! 12 inches exactly!

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  109. #104 - Debby says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m redoing my craftrrom and this is my inspiration My grandkids will love it too:)