Completed project alert!!
I've seen this project on Pinterest for some time now and have been meaning to make a wooden growth chart for ages. And finally! I actually did it. And honestly, it was not difficult at all. I cannot believe these are going for $100 a pop on Etsy. Sure, they were a project that took a few evenings but it was a lot of fun for me to make them for our kids. Love the end result.
They love it, too.
So if you want to make your own giant rulers here is the scoop:
-You will need a 1"x10"x6' board. I got ours from Home Depot and at first I was going to do one ruler for all kids, but then when I realized these boards were $4.79 each I decided to splurge. Wanted to make sure Nate knew that a project like this doesn't mean we are necessarily done having children. Could always make a third ruler down the road, FYI. ;) I tried to find an old, shabby wooden board for us to use in our garage but they were all too warped. I'm glad I bought these new.
-You can stain the boards like I did or keep them natural. I really like a lot of the pins that show the rulers being VERY true to life. Meaning, I'm sure they didn't stain the boards and they used stencils to make the font a perfect ruler font. I did not go this route, though, and wanted my charts to be a little more personalized.
-You'll need a paint pen to mark on the boards. I used Sharpie's brand and it was fine, and was $3.50 from Home Depot. They also have it at Joanns. It's oil based and easy to use. I was torn about using a different color for the actual height markings for my kids compared to the ruler itself but I went with white for all and it looks fine.
-Then all you need is something to hang the boards--I picked up a few triangle hooks and Nate used one on each board. They were $4.60 for a pack of two.
Which means I spent about $19 on these guys. It took me a total of 3 hours to make plus hanging them up after that.
And now for the procedure itself.
1. I lightly sanded the boards and then stained them a dark brown that we already had. Staining wood is really cool but really messy. This took me about 30 minutes total for both boards.
2. The next night I got out one of Nate's corner level thingies (yes that is a word) and measured off the tick marks. Now this is the trickiest part, in my opinion. You have to decide BEFORE you draw anything where you are going to hang these bad boys. We measured our baseboards to be 8" and figured that if we started the bottom of the board two inches up from there we'd be good. Does that make sense? I didn't want the '1' to be right at the bottom but I needed it to be pretty close. So I marked everything off after deciding on that pivotal point. We had two inches of blank space on our wall, and then two inches before the first foot began on the board because of how tall our baseboards are.
3. This is when I decided that my growth charts were not going to be as 'perfect' as the ones on Pinterest. I HATE stencils and never ever use them for things. I'm all about free handing even if it's not perfect, so that is what I did for my numbers. Just eyeballed it and went from there.
4. Then I decided that I needed more tick marks than just every-other-inch. I fattened up the numbers to my liking and this whole part of the tick marks and numbers took me 2 hours.
5. The third night I grabbed Truman and Cecelia's baby books and 'cheated' by adding all of these heights right onto my boards. I think it's kind of funny that I have their birth heights on there since obviously, they were not standing up next to the boards to be measured. But I like to have the markings start at the beginning, then I chose 4 months, 9 months, 1 year, 18 months, 2 years, 2.5 years-ish, and will do 3 years to get us started. Whew! I didn't do a line for each measurement here---just wrote right on the board instead. This took maybe 15 minutes max. I was nervous about this part of it because none of my inspiration pictures online showed any heights written on the boards. It seemed like the perfect stenciled ones were all for show and never actually measured the kids growing up. But alas, I like the way it looks with each entry!
6. I originally got the 10" boards because I thought they would be wide enough to add my kids' names to the rulers like this. But I ran out of room and was bummed that I couldn't personalize the rulers for each of my babes. So then I decided to head to Joann's Fabrics and I picked up these wooden letters that were $5 each. I stained them to match the rulers and let them sit overnight. This took about 15 minutes.
7. Again with the personalization, I had to write the kids names on the letters to make it more 'special' somehow. I did tick marks on there, too. The 'C' had some weird defect where it wouldn't take stain at the top so I tried to blend that in with the writing.
8. Time to hang it all up! This is where Nate saved me because I am NOT good with numbers or levels. He had to make sure he hung the triangle hooks in back (that he added for me) in the exact right spot. It was sort of chaos to hang these but we had a lot of helpers, obviously.
Helping daddy with a level.
She is not amused by big brother reading her a book.
I love that we could move these around our house and not lose the precious growth measurements of our children. My mom kept track of my height and my brother's height directly on their wall. And now I believe she has that part covered up by a large protective, clear, plastic shell. But it can't move with them if they ever go. And again---could totally add more rulers. Or you could do one ruler for the whole house. You could make it more 'professional' looking by using a stencil for the font and being really meticulous with the length of the hash marks. But I did it this way and it turned out how I had hoped.
Do growth charts make anyone else choke up a little bit? Look at how fast my kids are growing already! Can't imagine them getting up near that six foot line, but I know it will be soon.