Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Samuel's Growth Chart...

So it has only been about a year since I saw a friend blog about making one (before I even saw it on Pinterest!), but I finally made Samuel a growth chart the other night. For something so easy, I'm not sure why I procrastinated so long on doing it!

After having a few friends ask me for specifics on how I made it, I figured I'd just go ahead and put it on the blog. So here we sit...Samuel is watching Yo Gabba Gabba on YouTube while I type... :)

Just fair warning...I didn't think to take pictures as I worked on the growth chart, so I don't have the handy DIY step-by-step pictures that you typically see with the instructions, but oh well. The growth chart only ended up costing me about $8 since all I had to go out and buy was the piece of wood and the d-ring hook, so yay for it being a cheap project!

What you'll need:

A wooden board (I used a 1x6x6 board which was approx. $6 at Lowe's)
Your choice of stain -- I just used some acrylic paint that I had in my office
Paper towels / old rag
Black permanent marker
Clear acrylic sealer
Printed numbers in your preferred font
A d-ring hook

The first thing I did was sand the front and sides of the board so as to prevent Samuel from getting any splinters. After it was smooth, I took the brown acrylic paint and mixed about 1 part paint and 3 parts water, then used an old rag to wipe down the board. Here's where you can test out the colors until you like the end result. After two coats, I wasn't sure I liked the look, so I wiped it down with the green paint (mind you, these were both left over from Samuel's letters in his nursery). With the green paint, I didn't dilute it as much -- about half and half. Sure enough, it looked like moldy wood, so that was a complete fail! All wasn't lost in the end though, as I did one more coat of one part brown paint and one part water and it turned out exactly how I had envisioned. The green paint actually ended up giving some depth to the color, so it all worked out perfectly!

Once it was completely dry, I brought it inside and started making 1 inch markings, with every 2 inches double the length and each foot triple the length -- all with pencil. I then went over those lines with a Sharpie permanent marker. I've read on a variety of blogs that they don't recommend this, but instead you should use a paint pen. I wasn't going to bother going out and buying one of those when I had several permanent markers on hand and it all turned out fine. So, I wouldn't stress it.

I then went and found the font that I prefer (Prestige Elite Std) and printed out 1,2,3,4,5,6 at 200pt. I quickly penciled over the back of each number, then traced each number where I wanted them on the board. With the height of our baseboards, I started the board at 8", so with a 6' board, I still had all six numbers to trace to make it complete. Afterwards, I went over the traced numbers with the permanent marker (several times to make it as dark as I wanted it).

Once the inch markings and numbers were drawn, I took it outside again and quickly sanded the edges just to give it a little bit of a distressed look, then I sprayed two coats of the clear sealer over it to finish it off. After letting it sit all night to dry, I added the d-ring hook and was done!

Oh, and if you have a curious toddler like me, I suggest you add some kind of tape on the bottom of the board so that he/she can't swing the board back and forth nonstop on the wall. Samuel thought that was AWESOME. Luckily, I had some of those 3M Command hooks (like this) that come with those easily removable adhesive strips, so I just put two of the strips towards the bottom on the back of the board and now it won't budge. (And it won't take the paint with it when you do take it off, as I've already had to do that while adjusting the height.)

Now that it's done and hanging on Samuel's wall, I need to get in gear and find all of his measurements since birth! We plan to mark from the day he was born and each well visit after that. It will be fun to visually see how much he has grown already! :)

And now, here are a few pictures, both from my phone and Canon...

Since I didn't think to take a picture of the piece of wood beforehand, this gives you an idea of how much of a difference the acrylic paint made...

In the works...

Samuel's first impression...

And then earlier this evening...

A close-up of the markings/number...

Someone's cheating...

Annnnnnd, he has lost interest...

If you happen to see this and decide to make one yourself, send me a picture! I think these are such a great way of documenting a child's growth -- especially when you move around so much like we do and can't just mark a door frame...


  1. looks awesome! I'm excited to get started.

    Do you have Jake and Olivia's length? Think you'd maybe add it to the board? Cale was 20in. . .I'm thinking about adding him.

  2. Oh, that's brilliant! I didn't even think of doing that! Thanks for the idea!!