I am so happy to finally share with all of you one of my all time favorite projects. This project is a big part of why I decided to start my own blog...it really made me feel like I had something unique and special to share with the world. I want to show you how easy it can be to make a truly one of kind gift for your children....
a Growth Chart!
I used to love being measured as a child, and comparing the marks with my siblings and parents. Maybe it’s because we are all so tall (my sister and I are both 6’ tall), but I’m excited for my children to relive all those fun days we had with a pencil in the laundry room. There will be one major change though, this growth chart will be hung on the wall, and can be moved into a new house at any time. No more cutting out drywall, or worse: crying on moving day from leaving behind growth charts written right on the wall!
(Yes, you are seeing that correctly. My 17 month old is already around 2' 9" tall!)
Since I finished this project before my blog existed I don't have a lot of good pictures to share with you of the step by step process, but I will sum it up here with any tips I learned along the way.
Supplies you'll need:
-a long and thin piece of wood. I used an 11" x 48" piece of unfinished pine from the hardware store. It was only about $7 and was lighter than the white finished shelving pieces I also considered. Check out the scrap bin for even cheaper options.
-wood cutouts to spell your child's name (not required, you could always paint the letters on. I got my 4" white letters from Michael's for $2 each)
-paint and brushes
-ribbon to hang it with
-other wood cutouts to match your theme (also not required)
The first step should be drilling the holes for the ribbon to hang the growth chart. I did not do this until after Meredith's chart was painted and the drill caused a few splinters and the paint lifted off. You definitely want to do this first!
There are an unlimited number of designs and patterns that you can use to paint your growth chart. Any google image search will give you lots of options for children's themes. To paint the board, I needed three white base coats to cover the wood grain, and then two coats of blue for the sky. Next I added some simple green hills at the bottom, and some clouds at the top. A very simple background so the name and decorations will stand out.
For the letters, wanted a bright and eclectic look to her name, so I opted to paint each letter a different pattern using bright pinks and greens. This kept the look somewhat uniform, while adding a lot of charm and whimsy. And if you do a quick Google image search for painted wood letters you will get TONS of ideas on patterns and designs to paint on your letters.
(Can you tell how much I love Google images?)
Here are some close ups of Meredith's letters...feel free to copy any of the patterns I used.
Once the letters are painted you can attach them to the background. I used a piece of blue painter’s tape to make sure the letters were straight and attached them using hot glue.
Once the letters are on, you can finish the rest of the chart. I added some 3-D flowers and butterflies painted to match the color scheme of the letters. These were less than a dollar from Michael's, and come in various shapes and sizes. I also painted one large flower right on the board.
When the background is all done, you’ll need to add the ‘ruler’ for the measurements. Since I am expecting my daughter to come in at least 6’ tall…I used 6’2” as the tallest height on the chart and went down from there. I only added numbers next to the foot increments, but you can label every inch if you’d like.
When the chart is all painted, spray it with a few coats of clear coat to seal the paint.
That's all there is too it! One piece of wood and some paint and you can make a very special gift for a very special child in your life!
You just have to find the time!