DIY Growth Chart for Kids
Documenting memories and milestones for my children is one of the most fun things I love about being a mother. I’m naturally crafty and while time doesn’t permit me to do everything, there are things that stand out and make it onto the to-do list. Making a DIY growth chart for my kids has been on that list for what seems like For.ev.er!
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I remember as a child, I loved making marks for my height and seeing the progress year after year. I started doing the same for my kids beginning at 1 year of age. They absolutely LOVE when we make a new mark. And I LOVE when they smile and shrug their shoulders in bashfulness when I say, “Look how much you are growing!!”
We have been marking their growth on the inside of their closet door in permanent marker. Optimus is in red (his favorite color) and Bumblebee is in blue (his favorite color). It’s a great tradition I wish to hold on to. Which brings me to my reason for wanting a portable growth chart. We really want to move out of our home and I will lose all of their measurements and markings. So, I needed something that I could make and take with me wherever we end up.
Pottery barn has great stuff and I always go there for inspiration when I want something for my home. But I’m also working on paying off debt (you can see my journey here), so their $99 price tag didn’t really sit well with me. I knew it was something I could make. After all, it just looks like a piece of wood with some numbers on it, right?
In this post, I’m going to show you exactly how I made my DIY growth chart.
Materials you will need to make your DIY growth chart.
- 1x8x6 piece of pine board
- 150 Grit Sandpaper
- Paint or wood stain of your choice
- Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish
- Paint brush
- Paint marker
- Number stencils (I made my own)
- Ruler or tape measure
- Command Strips
Tutorial for making your DIY growth chart
Step #1. First, sand the wood.
It will be important for the stain or paint to stick. Remember to sand in the direction of the grain. If not, you’ll be flaking and scratching the wood.
Step #2. Next, apply your first coat of stain or paint. Then, allow to fully dry.
I used Dark Pewter in a Flat matte from Behr Ultra. I already had it on hand when we were thinking of painting our walls, so it was an easy choice. I wanted a grayish, white-wash look.
Step #3. Next, apply your second coat of stain or paint, if desired. Then, allow to dry.
Step #4. Next, sand your painted wood.
This will give it a vintage look.
Step #5. Mark your starting point.
Figure out how far off the ground you will be placing your DIY growth chart. Then, with a ruler and a pencil, mark where 1ft would be. That will be your starting point. Mine was 6 inches off the ground, so that was my starting point.
Step #6. Next, using your ruler or measuring tape and a pencil, mark your lines.
My 1/2″ marks will be .5″ long. 1″ marks will be 1″ in length. 1ft marks will be 2″ long. This gives it a natural “ruler” feel. You can see how it looks in the next step.
Step #7. Now it’s time to print your numbers.
I used a Microsoft WORD document and printed out numbers 1-6 using a font called Bakersville Old in 300px. This yielded about a 2 inch sized number. You can also purchase stencils Here if you’d like.
Step #8. Next, transfer/trace the numbers onto your board at the “foot” marks.
There are a few ways you can do this. One way is to do the carbon transfer technique found here. Another way to do this is to cut out the numbers and trace them onto the board. I simply cut out the numbers and lightly traced them.
Step #9. Now that you have your line marks and your numbers, it’s time to go over it with your paint pen or permanent marker.
I used black to make the numbers stand out. A paint pen or marker is great because you have more control than if you were to use a small paint brush. Let this dry and apply a second coat if needed.
Step #10. Next, apply a coat of polyacrylic protective finish.
I used a satin instead of a gloss so that it would be easier to write on.
Step #11. Next, affix your board to your wall.
Since we are moving soon (hopefully), I decided to go with command strips. These can hold up to 20 pounds of weight which is more than enough for the 3-5lb board.
Here is the way ours came out. (It is not affixed to the wall yet)
The boys absolutely love their DIY growth chart. I do have to keep them from marking on it since it’s so available now. They like to see progress every week.
I hope you enjoy the tutorial! If you decide to make one, I would love to see it! Please use #diytified on IG and show me yours!