Friday, April 27, 2012

DIY Growth Chart

Every time I go to my sister's house, I'm envious of this little spot she has in her mudroom where she marks the boys' heights. It's so cute and original, written in whatever writing utensil she had available at the moment, with the names and dates for each measurement. It's a great tool to be able to see how the kids compare at a particular age, and my 5 year old nephew, Cash, gets so excited to see how much he's grown since he was 1, 2, 3, etc and to see how he compared to his little peanut of a brother, Briggs, at that same age. I wanted something like this...but I'm lacking a practical spot in my home that would accommodate such a thing.

I began searching personalized growth charts for Easton for his birthday - thinking I would get him one for himself that I could hang in his room, perhaps on the back of his door, etc. and loved the idea that it was portable, so it could move with him as he changed rooms, and if we ever move. A personlized growth chart is not ideal for using as a comparison with other kids, and heck, that means I'd need another when baby #2 rolls around.

Pinterest to the rescue! I came across this marvelous idea of a DIY growth chart and I was sold! Off to Lowe's I went to pick up a 1x8x6, some wood stain and a paint pen. I started by lightly sanding the wood, and wiping it down with a damn cloth to get off any of the sand particles. I applied two coats of dark walnut stain, letting it dry between coats. I brushed the stain on with a foam brush, and wiped most of it off with a rag to give it a vintage look.

Sorry it's not Sherwin Williams, Lia. :)

After letting it dry, (I gave it several days due to lack of time), it was time to make this piece of wood look like a ruler. Using a pencil and a ruler, I made 1 inch marks along the entire length of the board. In order to mimic the look of an actual ruler, I made the "quarter" lines (1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1 inch marks) all 2 inches long, and the other lines (1/12, 2/12, 4/12, 5/12, 7/12, 8/12, 10/12, 11/12 inch marks) all 1 inch long. When this was done, I went over the lines with my paint pen. Also, I started my ruler at 6 inches, because I wanted to hang it on the wall so decided to start by ruler at 6 inches and hang it 6 inches off the ground. Depending on how you plan to display the growth chart, you may or may not need to do this.

As for the numbers, this was the tricky part for me. I tried printing the numbers off the computer, and tracing over them to make a small indent in the board, but it just wasn't working. So, I pulled out the handy dandy Cricut and some vinyl. After many trial runs, I landed on a font and size I was happy with (which I don't remember what they were), and cut it out on the vinyl. I took the shadow of the number, and laid it on the board, then colored inside the number with the paint pen. Note that when working with the shadow, you need to include the interior cuts of the number on 4 and 6, so that you don't just have one blob of a number.
There we have it. $17 dollars later, and I have myself a growth chart! And I found the perfect little spot for it in the entryway from the garage. I love it! And we just added Easton's 1 year measurements. I can't wait to see how he grows!

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  1. I love this, it turned out great!! I need to find a place for one for Eliza!!

  2. Very cool! I do ours Colleen's style on our pantry wall. :-)

  3. Hi there! Stumbled across your blog and love it, especially love how your DIY growth chart turned out!
    A few months back I asked my husband to help me make one for our boys and we had fun preparing the board, but got stuck on creating a neat, professional way to put on numbers and tick marks. We tried numerous methods, and weren't happy with any of them, so decided to design a DIY vinyl decal that you can just transfer onto the board and were finally happy with it!
    Since then, knowing how popular this project is, we actually opened a shop on Etsy to sell the decals for other DIY-ers who wanted to make a board but didn't have the creativity or time to hand draw out or stencil numbers and tick marks. If you'd like to take a look, or recommend the shop in your post to others who might be frustrated by the same step as an option, it's:
    Maybe it will be a help to others out there!
    Thanks and best wishes!