Wednesday, November 14, 2012

diy: wooden growth chart

Here's a fun little project that only took me 2 naptimes (or about 4 hours).  I just LOVE all of the growth charts that are currently at Pottery Barn kids, on etsy and all over pinterest, so I decided to go ahead and make my own.  A wooden growth chart is the perfect way to keep track of how incredibly fast our little ones grow (and it doubles as cute wall art).  You can pack em' up and take em' with you if/when you relocate. 

I made one of these for my niece, Mari, a few months ago and I couldn't resist making one for Carson while I was at it.  It was simple and fun.  Now that I know exactly what I'm doing, I'll probably gift them off to a few more of my favorite little ones!

I promised a friend of mine that I would get this tutorial up so she could make one of these too.  As promised, here it is!

Here's what you need:

  • a 1"x6" pine board (I used a 6', but I guess you could go longer depending upon how tall you think your kiddo will be)
  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • painters tape
  • an electric sander and 100 grit sandpaper (or just sandpaper and some elbow grease) 
I happened to have everything I needed in my garage (hmmm...maybe that's why we can't fit our cars in there).

Step 1:
Quickly sand your board.  Just make sure it's not going to give you/your little one any slivers.

Step 2:
Stain the whole board front and back.  Follow the directions on your choice of stain.  Most stains are left on for 10 mins. or so then wiped off.  I used quick drying, so I was on to the next step very quickly.

Step 3:
Measure and tape.  I started with a brown stain stripe at the bottom because I wanted white numbers.  Tape off six inch stripes.

Step 4:
Paint your white stripes.  I used paint + primer and I knew I was going for that distressed look, so it only took one coat.  If you want a more uniform look you may want two coats.

Step 5:
Stencil your numbers.  I carefully did this while my white stripes were drying.  My stenciled numbers were far from perfect.  That's the beauty of a distressed piece!  Little smudges just give it more character.  Truth is, I didn't even tape down my stencils.  I just held them down and dabbed the paint in.  You may want to tape them down for more control.  A couple of them did move slightly on me, but I didn't mind.

Step 6:
Remove all tape and stencils and let dry completely. 

Step 7:
Once completely dry, you're ready to distress to your liking.  Just go to it with your sander (or your sand paper and muscle power)!

I sanded the front and back.  I added a little finishing touch by stamping initials and birthdate with my handy stamp kit.
Step 7:
Seal your artwork.  I used Minwax wipe-on poly.

Final Step:
Add your growth milestones!  You can write directly on the board or I created little hang tags.
For the tags I simply used some paper key tags that I had lying around.  I printed out the date and Carson's height and weight and cut it to fit the tag.  I think it would be just as cute to just write on the tags.  In fact, I might make new ones...
I used mod podge to seal the tags and hung them with tiny little eye screws.

Here's the finished project!  He sure grew a lot in year #1!

1 comment:

  1. Hi there! Stumbled across your blog and love it, especially love how your DIY growth chart turned out!
    A few months back I asked my husband to help me make one for our boys and we had fun preparing the board, but got stuck on creating a neat, professional way to put on numbers. We tried numerous methods, and weren't that happy with any of them, so decided to design a DIY vinyl decal that you can just transfer onto the board and were finally happy with it!
    Since then, knowing how popular this project is, we actually opened a shop on Etsy to sell the decals for other DIY-ers who wanted to make a board but didn't have the creativity or time to hand draw out or stencil numbers and tick marks. If you'd like to take a look, or recommend the shop in your post to others who might be frustrated by the same step as an option, it's:
    Maybe it will be a help to others out there!
    Thanks and best wishes!