How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler | The Happy Housewife

By contributing writer Jordon

We have moved a lot for my husband’s job, so the few times I would mark the growth of my boys on the wall of our house, I would end up painting over it before we moved out. :(  My records of their growth came from the pediatricians office whenever they were seen, and I would write it down (when I remembered) in their books.

Yes, I have the record of their growing little bodies, but it is not much fun for them when they cannot see their previous height and compare it to their current height to see how much they have grown themselves.  Well, now they can. And we can take their rulers to any house and have a permanent keepsake for all those years of growth.  How exciting!  Not to mention, the rulers really do look cool in their rooms!

So, you want to make one too?!

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler (supplies)| The Happy Housewife

Supplies Needed

Remember, I made two, so you would only need one board.


1. Put down drip protection.  I put an old sheet down and my sawhorses on top to lay the boards across.  You can use an old table, cardboard on the ground, or anything else you can think of.  Just know the stain might drip, so you want to be cautious of that.

2. Lightly sand every inch of your piece of wood, including corners and edges.  Take a piece of your sandpaper and fold it in half and then fold it in half again.  This makes it easier to sand, and you can use all sides (you may have to refold to get to the fresh part).

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler (sand paper)| The Happy Housewife

Why is it important to sand before you stain or paint?  Wood is a relatively soft, porous material, which is why we are able to change its color by applying a penetrating stain or a dye. But since it is soft, it can be scratched and dented between the time it leaves the sawmill and reaches our garage or basement workshop.

These dents and scratches actually absorb more stain than does unblemished wood, so unless we sand them out, these dents and scratches will appear even worse after staining. In addition, the final milling process often crushes the top layer of pores in the board, making it more difficult for our stain to penetrate the wood. A light sanding will open the pores so that we can achieve the color we want.

3.  After you have finished sanding, grab your tack cloth. Wipe the folded tack cloth across the wood to remove dust. As each side of the cloth becomes saturated with dust, refold to expose a fresh surface.

Inexpensive tack cloths are available at hardware stores, or you can make your own by soaking a 12 inch piece of cheesecloth in a small amount of tung oil. Store tack cloths in a sealed plastic bag to prevent them from drying out between uses.

4. Stain the wood.  Pour about 1/4 cup of stain into your bowl (you will have to fill up a few more times).  Dab your brush in it and move with the grain, not against it. The longer you leave the stain on, the darker the finish. I used 3 coats.

5.  Make measuring marks. Most homes have baseboards, so depending on the height of yours, you adjust your first foot.  For example: I have 7  3/4 inch baseboards, so I started my ruler at the 8 inch mark, then I had only 4 inches until my 1st foot.

Mark the lines with pencil.  You will have 11 lines in between each foot, the 12th line being the next foot.  Each one is an inch apart.  Lines 3 and 9 of each foot I made 2 inches long.  Line 6 on each foot (half inch) I made 3 inches long.  Each foot line I made 4 inches long and the smaller lines in between them all were 1 inch long.

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler (marking lines)| The Happy Housewife

After all the lines are made, go back over them with a black paint pen. Then stencil in each number.

6. Let the paint dry and put a coat or two of polyurethane on, remember to lightly sand the ruler in between coats. Once that has dried, attach the hanger piece, and put it wherever your heart desires!

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler (hanger)| The Happy Housewife

That’s it!  Happy Measuring! :)

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler| The Happy Housewife

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How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife

By contributing writer Jordon

Ahhh yes, picnics, pools, lakes, farmer’s markets, BBQ’s ect. It’s Summer! One of my favorite things about summer is spending time with family and friends. I love having BBQ’s in my backyard. Mmmmm, the smell of the delicious food on the grill, the sound of the birds, the kids playing games, and a cold beverage in my hand while enjoying the company of special people. It puts such a big smile on my face!

I love when the sun goes down and you have the smell and sound of a fire crackling while being surrounded by the relaxing glimmer of light from Mason jar lanterns. Mason Jar Lanterns really add an ambiance to your get together and are always a good conversation piece! You can buy Mason jar lanterns many places, but when they are so easy and cheap to make, why not make them yourself?! You save some money and get to put your own creativity into it. :)

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife

Supplies Needed

  • Mason Jars
  • Wire
  • Filler
  • Candles
  • Wire Cutters
  • Needle Nose Pliers

Mason Jars

  • Garage sales and thrift shops are always good places to find them.
  • You can also find them at craft stores, but you might pay a little more.


  • Choose the wire you want to use for hanging your lantern.
  • You can use stainless steel wire, copper wire, floral wire or to add a different look you can use twine floral wire .
  • I like to use a little bit of a thicker wire to keep the lanterns sturdy, and I think it looks better.
  • For the Mason Jars I am showing you today, I will be using a 5 ft/4 gauge braided copper wire. Each individual piece of copper wire in the braid is 12 gauge. It’s perfect for mason jar lanterns! I found it at a Hardware store for about $7.00.

Filler around candle

  •  You can use glass pebbles, river rock pebbles, sand, beads, or whatever you would like!


  • You can use tea light candles, long thin candles or LED flameless candles. Iwill share this tip with you….the first time I made Mason Jar Lanterns, I just used small short candles that I had on hand. They looked really cute in my lanterns, however they had no glass surrounding them, so all of the wax melted into my rocks making a mess. This time I am using glass surround candles!

Wire Cutters and Needle Nose Pliers


Alright, you are set! Let’s do this!

I am going to demonstrate with the smaller blue jar which is 9 inches in circumference, so I will be using 13 inch wire pieces. The larger jars are 11 inches in circumference, so I used 16 inch wire pieces for them.

1. Grab your needle nose pliers and make a loop on one end of the wire.

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife


2. Wrap it halfway around the lip at the mouth of the jar and have the rest of the wire sticking straight out. Cut the wire a half inch from the jar and them make another loop.

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife

You will be repeating what you just did on the other half of the jar. Make sure when you make your loop, you leave a little bit of an opening to connect to the other loop, then close it up with the needle nose pliers.

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife

Now that it is all connected, we are going to connect our hanging piece.

3. Use another 13 inch piece of wire (16 if using the bigger jar) and make another loop again leaving some room to connect it to the other loop on the base. Repeat on the other side and also stretch the wire to give it a nice shape.

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife


4. Now you just need to fill it! Pour rocks (or whatever you chose to use) in first, and then place the candle in.

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife


There you go! Your own Mason Jar Lanterns!

One more thing I wanted to share with you!

You can also make a mason jar lantern without the hanging part. Here is one I made to sit on my mantle using an LED flameless candle. I love it!

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife


Okay….there you go. Run with your ideas or use mine and create some mason jar lanterns!

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Frugal Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

The following is a guest post by Rebecca Brandt.

Last year we knew we needed a kitchen makeover when the veneer on our cabinets began peeling. We didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars to replace the cabinet fronts or the entire cabinets. However, we wanted to take care of our kitchen and create a warm room that our family would enjoy and would be kid friendly.

A few months ago, I walked into my neighbor’s kitchen and she had done exactly what I was thinking. So, I asked her what she did and thus began the journey of our kitchen (and bath) makeover.

Frugal Kitchen Cabinet Makeover at The Happy Housewife

I’m very pleased with the results. Above are the before and after pictures, and below is a tutorial on how to update your own kitchen (and or bathrooms) for less than $150!

Frugal Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

The first thing you’ll want to do is look at the colors in your kitchen and identify the look you’re going for. Then buy your supplies.
Frugal Kitchen Cabinet Makeover at The Happy Housewife

Supplies Needed


Step 1:

After you select your colors, wash down your cabinets and then remove the veneer. If it’s peeling, just begin at the peel. It took my son a total of 30 minutes to remove the veneer from the kitchen cabinets. If you have one cabinet that isn’t peeling, take a small knife and cut a little bit off a corner, and then peel the entire cabinet.

Step 2:

Paint your cabinets with two coats base color (using a bristle brush). If you want to have a really good antique look, you ca paint the antique white under the brown. Then, when you sand off the brown, the white shows through. I wanted a golden look, so I sanded to the original color that you see beneath the paint.

Step 3:

Coat with your glaze (using sponge brush). I could not find a glaze I wanted so I mixed the Millstone Milk paint with clear glaze. I used a wet towel and then a dry towel to wipe off the glaze until it was close to what I wanted. It was a little too chalk boardy for me, so used the glaze mixed with the Dark Chocolate Milk paint to get the rich, brown destressed look I was after.

Step 4:

Sand the corners and areas where you want to make your cabinets look refinished and antique.

Step 5:

Coat with at least three coats of Polyacrylic.

Bathroom Cabinet Makeover

Once I began in my kitchen, I wanted to work in my bathrooms. I used this same method for our downstairs bath so that there is consistency in cabinets downstairs.

Frugal Bathroom Cabinet Makeover at The Happy Housewife

Here’s what I did for this look:

  • Peeled veneer
  • Painted with two coats of Antique White (using a bristle brush)
  • Painted with VanDyke Glaze (using a sponge brush)
  • Wiped off glaze with a wet cloth then dry cloth until I was able to get the look I wanted
  • Painted with 3 coats of Polyacrylic (using sponge brush)

Rebecca_BrandtRebecca is a homeschool Mom who writes/speaks to encourage women to stop living in negativity and find the joy they are meant to enjoy. She blogs at Mom’s Mustard Seeds.


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4th of July DIY Roundup

Are you looking for a fun 4th of July craft, recipe or kid friendly activity this week? I’ve had a great time searching the web and found some really neat 4th of July projects that are simple and inexpensive. Click on the link below each photo for a tutorial.

If you try one let me know how it turns out! 

4th of July DIY Round Up

Click on a category below or scroll through the entire list:


4th of July Wreath

Vintage Flags


Tin Can Luminaries

Patriotic Wreath



Very Blueberry Smoothie


Strawberry Salsa with Homemade Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

frozen berry dessert

Frozen Berry Treat

frozen lemon bars

Frozen Lemon Bars

All American Strawberries

4th of July Marshmallow Pops

Cream Filled Strawberries

Red White and Blue Scones

American Flag Cookie


Red, White & Blue Spinach Salad


Grilled Chicken Summer Salad


Grilled Asparagus

For the Kids


4th of July Robot

4th of July Paper Lanterns

4th of July T-Shirts

Popsicle Stick Flags

Painted Stones

Handprint Fireworks

Cupcake Liner Fireworks


4th of July Free Printables

Plus, don’t forget to check out our 4th of July Pinterest Board filled with more amazing ideas!

Follow The Happy Housewife’s board Homeschool (4th of July) on Pinterest.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.