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How to make a Personalized Growth Chart

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!
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24 Response to How to make a Personalized Growth Chart

July 28, 2010 at 6:01 AM

That is really cute! Sure beats marking it on the doorway that gets painted over.

So pretty! Every kid loves getting measured and comparing.

July 28, 2010 at 9:33 AM

That chart is really cute!!! I am now following you thanks to Welcome Wednesday!It would be nice if you could share back the love on my blog ! Also if you need any help tweaking your blog or easy HTML tips, you can find that under our Technical Support! Happy Wednesday!

July 28, 2010 at 3:45 PM

this is wonderful. You daughter is sooo cute. I have super short kids and they love when they grow the tiniest bit. Of course, I'm only 5'2 so the odds are against them reaching 6 foot.

following you and I'll be back if I can find the time

July 29, 2010 at 12:42 PM

What a fun project!! I love the idea of using her name as the measurement!! ADORABLE! Thank you for sharing!

July 29, 2010 at 1:18 PM

absolutely lovely!

come bring it to our readers:
http://www.finecraftguild.com/diy-tutorial-linky-party-8/

July 29, 2010 at 7:25 PM

I have to get my hubby to help me put these together! he is the wood craft master in our house and these are too cute! Thanks!!

July 29, 2010 at 11:04 PM

This is SO cute & I'm so glad you linked up last wk to Fabulous Friday! I so wish I could sew so I could make cute wristlets like you. love the idea!
Heather @ www.savingmoneylivinglife.com

July 30, 2010 at 1:30 PM

So precious! I love all of your ideas! I will be hanging around this blog for a while!

Stopping by to follow and give you a high five!
Thanks,
Lisa
http://homemadehodgepodge.blogspot.com

July 30, 2010 at 6:34 PM

What a precious idea. Your daughter looks so happy with hers.

Thanks for linking up to the “Cheap Thrills Thursday” party at Black Kats Design. I hope you had fun and will join in again next Thursday!

Kat
www.BlackKatsDesign.blogspot.com

July 30, 2010 at 10:47 PM

So sweet!!! I'm putting your growth chart in the PoPP Spotlight on Saturday!

July 31, 2010 at 8:38 PM

This turned out wonderfully and I can't wait to make one for my niece! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful idea :)

August 2, 2010 at 4:50 AM

Oh this is soooooo cute!!! I really love it! And you are so talented at painting. Mine would not turn out nearly as cute I fate to say...

Thanks for linking up!

August 2, 2010 at 9:35 AM

OH I LOVE THIS!!!!! I am TOTALLY doing this for my sweet Alie Marie!!!!! I'm your newest follower!!

Please stop by and have a visit! :)

August 2, 2010 at 12:16 PM

That is super cute!!!!!!

Amy
August 3, 2010 at 8:04 AM

I love growth charts!! This one is so cute...but you may need to make it taller. We have tall people in our family too it definitely makes clothes shopping interesting!! Thanks for sharing!

August 3, 2010 at 1:58 PM

That is super cute!!! I really want one to but they always look so expensive..

Amanda
At http://patriciaraedesigns.blogspot.com/

August 3, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Really cute! Your painting is amazing. I think I may try to copy this exactly :) What do you use to make the markings? Sharpie? Thanks for the great idea!

August 3, 2010 at 5:06 PM

Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party!

August 3, 2010 at 5:46 PM

Such a good idea and something I wish I'd thought of long ago! Yours is also so dang cute!

Thanks for linking up at Craftastical!

August 8, 2010 at 4:32 PM

That is so cute!
Thanks for linking up!
~Liz

August 9, 2010 at 6:12 AM

Hi! It's so cute! I like it!

August 11, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Growth charts are so special. I still have mine! Thanks for linking to Tickled Pink a couple weeks ago...I took a little (unexpected break) but I am back!

October 30, 2010 at 9:12 AM

This growth chart is adorable. I'm gonna make one for my grandkids for Christmas.

April 11, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Hey Kathryn,

I am a amateur at doing crafts but I really want to make this growth chart for my niece :

http://icanfindthetime.blogspot.com/2010/07/how-to-make-personalized-growth-chart.html

I have a couple questions:
1. How did you paint those clouds?

2. I'm using acrylic paints from Michaels, are they ok to use?

3. When I painted the background blue on the board you can see marks from brush strokes how to get even color without any stroke marks?

Thanks a lot..I really appreciate it !!

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