January 19, 2015

DIY Growth Chart

Hello there everyone, I decided to do a night visit with you guys. Today I want to share a project that I have been thinking about forever. It's literally been pinned on my Pinterest for 4 years, and I have been waiting for the opportunity to make it. 

I think that a separate growth chart is such a great idea, and a much better route. My parents used to mark our growth on the inside of a door in our basement. The poor door was well loved, it was regularly beaten up and we put everyone on it (neighbours, dolls, dogs, we did not discriminate). But when my parents refinished their basement last year (yes at the same time we did. I know, we're crazy), they had to decide what to do with a door. They wanted to keep the memories, but what do you do with a door?

By having a removable chart it gives us the ability to take it with us if we ever move. I would hate to lose something like this, or have to make a tough decision down the road.

So, to get started you will need the following:

-6x8 select oak board                                        -tape measure
-stain (of your colour choice)                              -square tool
-pencil                                                              -finishing wax (Minwax)
-white paint (I used semi gloss)                          -numbers printed on paper

I know the supply list seem really random and unnecessary, but I wanted to let you guys know what I used before I get started showing you how I made this. 

First thing was Luis cut 5 inches off the board, making it 5.5 feet long. I wanted to start the chart a few inches below the one foot mark. If we had left the board at 6 feet, it would have been right up against the ceiling. Then I gave in a really good sanding with 200 grit sandpaper with my palm sander. I concentrated on the edges and the cut end. Next I used Minwax Jacobean stain:

I have used the gel stain, which could work here as well. But I find the colours very limited at our store, so regular liquid stain was my choice. I have used other colours, but I thought that Jacobean was a great dark stain without being too dark.

Apply the stain with the grain of the wood in nice even strokes, wiping off after 5-10 minutes:

I did two coats, allowing 10 hours between coats. I did not sand between coats as I didn't think it was needed. This was a really nice peace of oak, and with the sanding I did before the gel was nice and smooth (don't mind the white board, it's for another project):

Here comes the "fun" part. This wasn't hard by any means, just very tedious. You will want to measure up 4 inches from the bottom of your board to get your 1 foot mark:

Make a little mark then grab your square tool and use it to make a straight line:

You can see that there are numbers where you mark as well, so pick a length you like and use the same length for each following foot mark. Next measure each additional foot until you reach the 6 foot mark.

Next comes the actual fun part. You will want to pick out a font that you like and print the numbers 1 through 6 out. I used "Georgia" in size 250:

Then you get to go grade school on the the back of the paper and rub your pencil to transfer the graphite (see, fun!):

I'm not going to lie, it was pretty satisfying. Once I like the placement of the number I taped it to the board without covering the number. Trace very hard along the outside of the number, you are looking to transfer the image with the rubbing on the back of the paper. Once you are finished, you should have something like this:

It will be faint, so go over it to mark the lines darker. Repeat for all six numbers. Now comes the next tedious part, painting the six lines and numbers. Grab a very small craft brush and carefully paint each number:

Once these have dried you will want to do at least one more coat. I ended up doing three coats. Now you will want to grab your trusty square tool and measure each inch for the remainder of the board:

I did these lines half the size of the foot lines. One you have all of these lines finished you will paint them with the same white paint. I let this all dry for 24 hours, just to make sure that everything was nice and dry.

I used Minwax finishing wax, but you can use polyurethane if you prefer:

I have had horrible luck with the poly, but I love the finishing wax. I think that the wax will work better with something you will be writing on as well. You will want to take a cherry size piece of the wax and rub it over the board:

After you have finished waxing the whole board, buff the wax. I would follow the instructions on the container as I have found them to be slightly different between brands. Let this dry for 24 hours.

Now it's time to find the perfect spot and hang the chart. You will want to hang it so that the one foot mark sits one foot from the floor. We hung ours with a nail gun so that it is really secure:

I used a sharpie oil based paint marker to add our height:

Make sure you use oil based, it is made to write on wood.  You can mark however you want, I just put a simple "B" and the date:


Gosh I love it so much! I am so happy with how it turned out. We added our heights as well, that way Braxton will know how tall we are.

Do you guys have a growth chart in your house? Did anyone use a door or a door frame? Or do you have a separate growth chart as well?

I would love to see them. Feel free to share!


Linking to:
Kammy's Korner - Trash to Treasure #19
Kathe with an E - You're Going to Love it Tuesday 1/20/15 
Someday Crafts - Whatever Goes Wednesday #257 
A Handful of Everything - Great Idea Thursdays #82 
Craftin and Cookin - My Two Favorite Things Thursday #3 
Intelligent Domestications - Merry Monday #37 
A Night Owl - Monday Funday 1/26/15 
Nap Time Creations - Create, Link, Inspire 1/26/15 


  1. So stinking cute! I want to make one of these asap! Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Someone made one of these for my daughter at her baby shower!! So cute!! What a great idea!! Thanks for Sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday!! Come back again next week!!