Watch Them Grow: A DIY Growth Chart for Kids
I keep lovingly telling me 3-year-old son: “Stop Growing!” To which he aways replies, “No! I want to get bigger so I can chew gum.” Sounds logical.
While we can’t freeze time, all we can do is cherish every moment the best we can, and keep record of all the important milestones. One thought I’ve had lately is to keep track of how my kids have been growing. When I was little, this was usually done by my mom or dad charting my height on a door jam. For my kids, I wanted to create something different, and build a chart that can be moved in the event we ever change homes.
I took to Pinterest to find some inspiration, and many folks had a do-it-yourself take on this growth chart from Pottery Barn Kids which looks like a giant ruler. This seems simple enough, and I knew I had the right materials sitting around in my garage.
Starting with a 6-foot common board, I marked off every inch with a measuring tape. I knew my ruler would start 6 inches off the floor, so that meant my foot markers would be offset by 6 inches accordingly. I marked my tick marks every inch, and made an extra long tick mark every 12 inches. Like a regular ruler, you may want longer marks which have the appearance of 1/4 or 1/2 inch marks. To do that, you would measure 3 inches and 6 inches respectively.
For the numbers on the chart, I printed out large numbers in “American Typewriter” font with my home printer. Roughly cutting out the numbers, I lined them up on the chart and taped them down with masking tape. Once in place, I used a ball-point pen to firmly trace the numbers, leaving the tracings impressed upon the wood. This left me nice guidelines for painting on the numbers. With some acrylic paint and a craft brush, I carefully painted the tick marks and numbers.
After the paint dried, I used Verathane’s Stain + Poly in the “Summer Oak” finish to help the color of the wood pop. I applied two coats and finished off the wood with some steel wool.
Now it’s time to hang your growth chart, and make your first measurements. We plan on measuring the kids every few months and gradually watch our Sharpie marks get higher and higher.