Ever since we moved to 1915 House, I’ve been meaning to get this simple growth chart done. I wanted to be able to say to my four boys, “You were ____ tall when we moved here – and look how tall you are now!” Alas, we’ve been here for almost a year and a half…and I just now got this super simple, super easy DIY growth chart done.
WHY is it that sometimes the easiest little things are the ones that sit there the longest? This puzzles me…but I digress.
Once I finally decided to tackle this little afternoon project, it went really fast. Just a board and a few supplies (that I already had on hand) and it was done before supper.
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Growth Chart Supplies
- one 1″x 6″ x 6.5′ pine board
- my favorite milk paint in Farmhouse White
- measuring tape
- something with which to make your tic marks (pen, pencil, whatever you’ve got)
- medium grit sanding sponge
- sharpie / permanent marker
- number stencil or make your own numbers (see below)
- paint and small paintbrush
Growth Chart How-To
You can most certainly use your own favorite paint for this project. I used my favorite Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Farmhouse White since I had some leftover from when I painted my dining room chairs. If you’re new to milk paint and would love to give it a go, be sure to head over to The Purple Hydrangea – she’s got a Milk Paint 101 series that will answer any and all questions you might have.
Since I used the milk paint on raw wood for this project, it gave me no chipping action…which I was glad for, in this case. I love me some farmhouse chippiness, as seen on my dining room chairs, but for this project, I was hoping for a smooth finish…and I got it. (yay!)
Milk paint dries super fast – which is great for impatient me! The growth chart board only needed two coats of paint – then I sanded it with a medium grit sanding sponge to bring out some of the wood grain. All the heart eyes for a bit of wood grain action.
—- A Note About Spacing —-
I knew where I wanted to hang our growth chart, and because our baseboard is 8″ tall, I started the growth chart at 8″ and worked up. Had I decided to just lean it up against a wall in the house, I definitely would have started at “zero” and gone from there. You can customize according to how and where you will use it. So, while we don’t actually expect that any of our boys will reach 7′ (lol!), that’s just how this growth chart ended up. And I’m liking the look.
Back to the project at hand. I grabbed the nearest measuring tape, a colored pencil and a pen and started marking off the inches. (Let it be noted that there’s no rhyme or reason behind the colored pencil…it’s just what was close at hand and gave me an easy visual to differentiate between the inches and feet.) I used the pen for each inch increment and a colored pencil for the “feet” increments.
Next, using my permanent marker, I went back over the tic marks so they’d be easier to read. As shown here.
Applying Numbers for the Growth Chart
Now it was time for the numbers. While I have a variety of stencils on hand, none of them were the right size or font for my growth chart. I had a specific look I wanted and knew I’d have to make my own.
After chatting with some girlfriends, my friend Kim from Farmhouse Made suggested I use the same technique that I’d used on my pillows and table. However, instead of cutting out the stencils, she suggested that I *trace* the stencil outline directly onto my growth chart board. Then, using the pressure of the pen to leave a slight indent in the wood, I would have an outline to fill in with paint.
Yep, she’s brilliant. Pretty numbers. Easy peasy. And don’t worry about any small imperfections – once you sand, you won’t even see them anymore.
Finished Growth Chart
Once the numbers were dry, I lightly sanded them to give them a slightly distressed look. Nothing too major, just enough so it didn’t look perfectly new. A quick installation of a saw tooth hanger on the back and it was ready to hang.
My boys got a kick out of getting measured (my oldest, especially, loves that he’s taller than me now). 😉
This little project took hardly any time to complete – I only wish I hadn’t waited so long to get it done. Oh well, better late than never?
This sweet growth chart would also make a great baby shower or birthday gift! You could personalize with a child’s name, a family last name or even a nursery theme. Just a couple extra ideas for you – 🙂
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