Monday, November 26, 2012

DIY ~ Our Growing Family Growth Chart

I have been meaning to tackle this project for a while now. 

David and I have wanted to start tracking Sydney's growth on a height chart. She is getting so tall and is the height of most two and a half or three year olds. The one thing I did not want to do was write directly onto the wall. I am not worried about having pen marks on the walls. What I worried about was what would happen to that piece of our family history if we moved away or painted the walls a different color. 

I started searching for a solution. I needed something that would go with the rest of the house and something that would be easy to move with us. I hit up Pinterest and managed to find quite a few cute ideas. In the end I fell in love with creating a giant ruler on beautiful raw wood that would hang on one of our walls. 

Here is how I did it:

~ One piece of 6x1" wood that is cut to 6 feet long exactly (I found a gorgeous fence plank at Home Depot for $8)
~ White paint (I used plain acrylic craft paint available at Michaels or $1.50)
~ Clear coat varnish
~ Thin paint brush

~ Computer and printer
~ Tape measure
~ Pencil and Pen

The Process:
~ Sand the ends of your plank smooth and make sure that there is no dust or dirt on it as well
~ Choose the side of the board that you would like to use and measure out every half foot (6 inches) with your tape measure, marking with your pencil
~ Cut a strip of paper that is 2 inches long and one half inch wide. This will be your template for the large tick marks.
~ Starting at the first marker (6 inches from the bottom) center the template on your measured mark and trace with a pencil or a light pen. Do this on every other tick mark (every foot)
~ Cut that template in half to create the half foot markings and repeat the same process as above on the remaining tick marks. 
~ Paint all of these marks with your white paint and allow to dry (They should dry in ten minutes or so)
~ While your tick marks are drying, open up a new word document on your computer. Type in the numbers 1-6 and select a font for your numbers. Re-size the numbers so that they will be approximately 2 inches tall once printed. 
~ Print the numbers on plain printer paper and cut them apart (you do not actually have to cut the numbers out in detail)
~ Line the numbers up with the large ticks on the board starting with 1 at the bottom and working your way up to 6
~ Holding the letter in place or sticking it down with tape, trace around the letter with a ball point pen pressing very hard. When you lift the paper letter you should see the outline of your letter on the wood. The second option for tracing the letter is to color the entire backside of the letter with a pencil and then use the ball point pen to trace around the number and transfer the pencil to the wood.
~ Once all of your letters are traced onto the board, paint them using the same white paint as before. 
~ Allow the paint to dry for at least 12 hours
~ Seal the entire board, front and back, with the clear coat varnish and allow to dry
~ Attach a hanger on the back of the board and hang on the wall so that the bottom edge of the board is 6 inches off of the ground 

We will be writing on our board with a fine black sharpie. I can't wait to see the board fill up with memories as the years go on. My hope is that one day I will be able to pass the growth chart on to one of our children to carry on with the tradition. 

Mrs. E

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