Now everybody remembers having a growth chart when they were little. My Grandpa Nick had one by his sliding glass door that we would stand next to and get measured. We started one in our first townhouse on the door frame of the “Harry Potter” closet (closet under the stairs). And when we moved I transferred all those markings to a yard stick so we could continue at our next place. But life got in the way and an official growth chart never happened. Now we’re in our fifth place, having our fifth baby and enough was enough. So I dragged 2 of the kids to Home Depot, rounded up supplies and headed home. The next night I had a growth chart, and the morning after that it was all hung up. But the best part…I only spent $3 on the whole thing. So here’s a quick and easy DIY Wooden Growth Chart for you to make during the week (or in a night) and hang up the next day. And I give really good tips how to hang it! 😉 See, I got your back.
Now go round up supplies hanging out at your house and then head to your local hardware store for anything you don’t have.
Oh, and a little disclaimer…I didn’t coat the final thing with clear varnish for 3 reasons. 1. Clear paint is stinky and I’m pregnant…so zero harmful fumes for me. 2. I wanted to be able to sand off mistakes if I measured wrong (and good thing for that, because I added like 4 inches to my height, lol). 3. I like the smell of cedar, it repels moths and I wanted it to age well and develop a patina.
But if you prefer that shiny finish, then grab some clear spray paint and go to town afterwards (in a well-ventilated area).
- 1 Cedar Fence Post (6′ tall x 5.5″ wide x .5″ thick)
- Fine Point Sharpie permanent marker
- Sanding paper (100 & 60 grit)
- Ruler/measuring tape
- D-ring Mount
How to make this Growth Chart:
- Sand that puppy down. First use the coarse 60 grit to even out any knot holes, buffer the entire surface and smooth the edges. Then use the Medium 100 grit to give it a softer finish all over. If you want to get fancy you can use a finer grit after that and sand it down to a satin finish. But that was too fussy for me.
- Figure out how high this growth chart will sit above the floor/any baseboards. Mine has a 5″ clearance so it won’t hit the baseboards anywhere in the house. I made a quick note of that on the back so I’ll remember if we ever move.
- Whatever you decide your clearance is, THAT will now be the bottom edge of your growth chart…so if you’re bottom edge sits at 5″, the next mark you make will be 6″ (for example). Get it? Now you need to start making the measurement marks. First mark off every foot, and draw a 2″ perpendicular line from the side edge. Your lines will be like this: FOOT MARKINGS = 2″, HALF FOOT= 1.5″, INCH= 1″. If you’re lost, check out the pictures.
- Now on to the numbers. If you’re like me, grab your phone and google “free number font” and then free-hand the numbers onto the board the size and placement you want them. If you want to make it easier…pick a font you like, make the numbers about 3″-4″ big and print them out, place the print-out where you want your numbers and trace over the outline of the numbers with a pencil, leaving a slight indentation in the wood. Get out your sharpie and trace over those lines. For fun I’m going to show you size and placement of my numbers. I think it was a free font and it was like the 3rd result when I googled that.
- I saw this cute idea on Pinterest so I added my height and daddy’s height so the kids have to eat their vegetables to catch up to us. 😉
Taa-dah, you did it!!
Now pat yourself on the back, grab a cookie and let’s hang that sucker up. If math makes you curse like a sailor, you might want to grab a drink too.
How to hang up your Growth Chart:
- Turn your growth chart over. Mark 6″ down from the top with a pencil/sharpie. Now measure from that point to the bottom edge, mine is exactly 66″. Do the math, if it’s 66″ to the edge of the board and it’s supposed to sit 5″ off the floor…you need to hang that nail at 71″. Yep, doodle your math on a box next to you if you don’t trust your pregnancy brain like me. Now make a note so you remember, in case you rehang this later when you move or in another room.
- Put a D-ring mount on the back. The nail mark should be where the ring will hang on it. It’s really easy to screw this on. Don’t be scared.
- The fun step! Just kidding…this step seriously sucks, but has to be done. (I couldn’t even take pictures since I was by myself for this part). Figure out where you want this growth chart. Now measure up 5″ from the floor and make a pencil mark…the bottom edge should hit there. Measure up 71″ from the floor and stick a nail in the wall. Hang that board up.
- Does it match the bottom mark? No? Then lower or raise the board until it does. You can do some math if it’s like 1″ too low, then mark the nail 1″ lower… but I like to just make holes until it’s right. Lol.
Hanging this thing was a major pain by myself, so recruit a friend if you do.
You can make these for baby shower gifts. Get creative by adding the last name, baby’s name, whatever cute little quote you like along the side. Be sure to include the hanging measurements on the back to make it easy for them… lol or not, if you’re not really friends with them. I’ll leave that up to you. Hah.
And if you’re wondering how it came out to $3. The board was $2.39 and the marker was $.40 by the check-out counter. With tax it was $3. I had everything else around the house or garage.
Oh and here’s something funny…my hubby sees the chart hanging up and squints at the top of it.
“What does that say about me?” he mutters.
“It says ‘extremely stubborn and suspicious’ .”
Don’t forget to join us on Fridays for the Bump & Baby series until this Tiny One pops out! Tons of projects and ideas coming your way! 🙂