My little guy recently turned ONE! I think I’m still in shock. This year has gone by ridiculously fast, and I can’t believe how big he’s gotten in such a short time period! I mean, it was just yesterday that he was born, right? Goodness, when people tell you not to blink, they aren’t kidding!
Anyway, I decided that I wanted a growth chart to record my fast growing Goober. I also knew what I didn’t want: a cheapo plastic/paper chart with cartoons on it. They’re cute and all, but I wanted something that would last through Little Man’s entire childhood, and possibly ALL of our future kids. Something that would look nice hanging in our kitchen for everyone to see.
Enter Pinterest. (Seriously, what did we all do before that site came along?) I found pins of a Pottery Barn growth chart that was PERFECT! I loved it! The problem… they don’t make them anymore 🙁 Apparently they haven’t made them in quite a while. Boo. Buuuut, I also found THIS tutorial from 517 Creations on how to make your own!
So, Let’s DO THIS! I’m not afraid of a little DIY, and this project turned out to be uuber simple.
- Board: I used a 2×10 that was 6 feet long. I had originally wanted a 1×10, but our local hardware store didn’t have any, and after looking at the finished project I’m glad it’s a little bit thicker 🙂
- Power sander or sand paper
- Stain: I used Minwax “Special Walnut 224”
- Protectant: I used Minwax Quick Drying Polyurethane, which is a clear semi-gloss
- Foam paint brushes
- Ruler or Yard Stick
- Paint Pens: I used Uni Paint “Medium Line” Oil-Based Paint pens (One white & one black)
- Numbers (1-6): The original poster stenciled the numbers, but I wanted something a little 3-D, so I looked for wooden ones to paint black. I ended up finding plastic numbers in a font that I liked much better than the wooden ones, and they just so happened to already be black! Win-win! Mine are 4″ tall. Try THESE from Amazon.
Start by cleaning your board. Our local hardware store keeps all their lumber outdoors so my board was covered in dirt and bird poop. Yuck. I just wiped it down with a rag and my all-purpose cleaning solution, then let it dry. Then, sand your board to get rid of imperfections. I wanted mine to look like old barn wood so I purposely didn’t sand it very well.
I also rounded the corners of my board with the sander. Little Man has a knack for bumping into things and hurting himself. And he hasn’t even started walking yet! I wanted the corners to be rounded to minimize our chances of an ER visit in the future 🙂
Next comes staining. Make sure your board is free of sanding dust by wiping it down with a damp rag, then let it dry. This should only take a couple of minutes. Brush on your stain with a foam brush. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the stain to soak into the wood, and then wipe any excess liquid off the top with a clean rag. (One that you don’t mind throwing away) The key to staining is THIN LAYERS. You can put as many thin layers as you want to achieve the right color, but if you try to do one thick layer it won’t stain correctly and you’ll end up with blotchy patches. Also, make sure you’re brushing the stain on in the same direction as the grain of wood.
I loved the color of my board after the first coat of stain so I didn’t do any additional layers, but again, you can do as many as you want! Just make sure to let the board dry completely between layers (about 4 hours depending on the weather.)
Just look at that beautiful color! I love it! After you’ve stained the board to your liking, you’ll need to add the ruler marks.
I first used a pencil to mark the board off in inches. I made each inch marker a specific length: a pattern of short line (1 inch from the edge of the board), short line, long line (2 inches) so it looked more like a ruler. Then every “Foot” marker, I made double the width and 2.5 inches long. I think it makes more sense when you look at the picture haha.
I started at the 6 inch mark so the board wouldn’t be sitting flat on the floor. This also makes the ruler go up to 6’6″ in case any of my kids happen to be really tall 🙂 After marking everything off in pencil I went back over the lines with my black paint pen.
Here is where you’ll want to apply your clear coat protective finish. I forgot to do this before I attached my numbers, but I don’t recommend that haha. I applied two thin coats of polyurethane, letting the board dry completely in between.
Attach your numbers! I placed mine just in front of each foot marker because that’s how my yard stick was set up. It looks great!
I drilled a hole in the back for hanging, just big enough to slip over a nail or screw. Then Hubby and I used a tape measure to place the board exactly 6 inches off the floor. Little Man can just stand in front of the board and see how tall he is, and we can mark it with the white paint pen!
It’s perfect! I couldn’t be more happy with this little project!
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