We love our DIY Growth Chart! We love to look back at how little our babies were, and as they grow up we can compare their heights. Creating this Growth Chart was a fun family project that we can look back on with good memories, as it hangs on our kitchen wall. I’ll help you along as you create your own DIY Growth Chart in the step by step tutorial found in this post. I think that this is a super cute family home decor item that is great to make for your own family or give as a gift. It is definitely a conversation starter and I love thinking back on how our DIY Growth Chart came to be.
When we moved to Kelowna B.C. about 3 years ago, my first born (Corpus Porpoise) was 3 weeks old! I KNOW!! It was a crazy time!! We didn’t have a place to live and Shawnikins was starting his new career in 2 days. So… we arrived in Kelowna and found a hotel to start our new life adventure. The plan was to find a rental to call home while we explored the Kelowna area to find the perfect neighbourhood and save up enough money to buy our first home. The first 3 weeks in Kelowna were super stressful, as we were living out of a hotel, with a newborn, under the pressure to find a rental home (in a less than 1% vacancy rate for rentals), and Shawnikins starting his new career (so he just wasn’t around). Looking back I can’t believe that we did as well as we did. Just when we wanted to give up on finding a place to live (we were considering buying a trailer to live in), one of Shawnikin’s coworkers found us a super cute condo rental with big windows and lots of light and we were able to move in 2 days later! YAY!!! life was back on track!
When we moved into the condo I was super excited to set up Corbin’s nursery, but I knew we wouldn’t be there long. So as I was researching decor that can be removed to move to a new home I came across these super cute DIY Growth Charts! And it didn’t look too hard to make… Right?!?! P.S. Everything is hard to make when you have a baby/toddlers around. And… Yes it did take us almost a year to get around to making this Growth Chart, but at least it got done!
To make this DIY Growth Chart I found a really great tutorial on the blog Wholefully called Tutorial: Giant Ruler Growth Chart. Her tutorial is super easy to follow along, but we decided to change it a bit and incorporate some of our own touches to make it fit our style and our family.
Changes we made:
- First of all I loved the stain that she used, however, once it was on our piece of wood I thought it looked too orange, so I had Shawnikins sand it down and restain it using a Varathane Wood Stain in the colour Provincial No. 230. (oups! hehe! He was not impressed). But I think it looks so much better.
- Then Shawnikins really wanted to use a dremal tool to carve out the inch marked lines to really make the lines pop. So in our bedroom of our tiny condo he used his dremal to carve all the inch marked lines out. I think we had sawdust coming out of every corner of that room till the day we moved!
- And the last change we made was to the height of the Growth Chart. I have a tall husband and if we have kiddos that are anything like him we will for sure surpass the 6 and 1/2 foot boards, which is the most common height for these growth charts. We made ours to 7 1/2 feet. Just in case!! haha
Because we made this board a couple years ago (when I wasn’t in a blogging state of mind), I didn’t take the photos of the creation process to go along with a full tutorial; however, I’ll walk you through the steps we took to create our board so that you can follow along and make a DIY Growth Chart too!
Materials Needed: We purchased all of our materials at Home Depot, but I have linked some of the items at the end of this post for your buying convenience.
- One 1 inch by 6 inch by 7 foot pine board
- Fine grain sandpaper
- Wood stain: We used Minwax Wood Finish in the colour Golden Oak 210B, then changed it to Varathane Wood Stain in the colour Provincial No. 230. (both found at the bottom of this post)
- Rags to apply wood stain
- Black Acrylic Paint (link found at the bottom of this post)
- Small Paint brush
- Dremel – We used the Dremel 4000 with a wood cutting tip (link found at the bottom of this post)
- Wood Sealant (link found at the bottom of this post)
- Hooks to hang the Growth Chart to the wall
Step 1: Collect your supplies. Pick out an awesome pine board. I love the look of wood with knots so I picked a board with the most knots that I could find. Pick out a beautiful wood stain. Home Depot has an awesome section of wood stains with examples on different types of wood for you to look at (because all stains look different depending on the wood you are using).
Step 2: Prep your pine board. Sand your board until it is completely smooth. Make sure to sand the edges too, as they will also be seen. don’t bother sanding the back of the board. Then stain the board by pouring some of the stain onto a rag and rubbing it into the board. I would suggest doing a trial area on the back of your board before committing to the whole front of the board, as I made Shawnikins restain it a different colour because I wasn’t in love with the first stain. These are the stains that we used. We first put on the Minwax Golden Oak 210B Stain on, but I felt it looked a bit orange, so we sanded it down but didn’t completely remove it, then we restained it with Varathane wood stain in Provincial No. 230 which was a bit browner. Because we used 2 stains the outcome was no a true representation of one colour. If you are not in love with the first stain that you choose don’t be afraid to play around and change the colour. It worked out or us! You can also add more stain if you want to make it a darker colour.
Step 3: After the stain has dried, use a ruler to measure and mark every inch line onto your board at your desired lengths. I used 3 different lengths of lines. Every foot was a long line and each inch between has a small then medium length line switching back and forth. IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure the bottom of your board starts at 6 inches to accommodate for possible baseboard on your walls.
Step 4: (OPTIONAL) Use a dremel tool to carve out each of the inch lines. Preferably in a garage or and outdoor area. Our Bedroom was a mess!
Step 5: Create the numbers to represent each foot marking. I Created a document on my computer with the size and font of the numbers that I loved the look of. Print the numbers (we used 1-7 but most use 1-6) onto regular paper and cut them out. Trace the numbers onto your board. We turned the numbers to the side because I thought it looked more like a real ruler that way.
Step 6: Paint the routed lines and the numbers on your board with black acrylic paint (you can use whatever colour paint you like). I used a very small brush head to make sure I didn’t go out of the lines. And let it dry.
Step 7: Seal the wood with a clear finish. We used Varathane Fast Drying Professional Crystal Clear Finish. And let it dry.
Step 8: Have everyone in the family sign the back of your DIY Growth Chart to remember your awesome family project. It was a good memory!
Step 9: Hang your Growth Chart on the wall with what ever hanging device you have. And remember to make sure that you hang the board 6 inches off the floor so that your board is at the correct height.
Step 9: ENJOY!! Measure away!
I love our Family Growth Chart. We measure the kiddos every 6 months so that the board doesn’t get too crazy with markings. And now we can compare the heights of the kiddos. Ivy is an inch shorter than Corbin was when they were both 18 months old. Although we have only had this board for a couple years it already represents so much cuteness of our babies. I remember when Corbin was barely walking he would go stand up against the board to be measured. He was so cute.
If you are not feeling the creative bug and would love one of these boards for your own home there are many Etsy shops that sell beautiful versions of a Growth Chart. I have listed a few of my favorites here for you to check out:
- Wooden Growth Chart – by FIREArtbykatrin
- Growth Chart – by TheOneCraftyMother
- Wood Growth Chart Ruler – by TimberFallsDesign
I also found a listing on Etsy for a Growth Chart Vinyl Decal Kit which essentially is Vinyl number and inch stickers that you could easily peel and stick on a board to create your own DIY Growth Chart very easily. I think this is a great idea for a quick Homemade DIY gift for a friend. I just might do this in the future. It would defiantly cut down a lot of time. That listing is found here:
- DIY Growth Chart Ruler Vinyl Decal Kit – Traditional style – by LittleAcornsByRo
I just thought I would add a little Corpus Porpoise and Ivy Lynnkins cuteness right here! It was very hard to get a photo of Ivy doing the board. The only way she would is if I gave her a sue-sue. Love their guts!
I hope you find this tutorial helpful. I’m so glad that we took the time to create our DIY Growth Chart. It was a lot less money than ones you can find in stores. Pottery Barn Kids sells these cute Personalized Growth Charts for almost $140. Over all this DIY Growth Chart cost us the price of the board and stain because we had all the other materials already at home. It did however take a bit of time and love! I love the memories associated with creating something as a family. If you have any questions at all about making this DIY Growth Chart or if I didn’t make any of the directions clear enough, don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you with a helpful response as soon as possible. I’d love to help you create beautiful things for your home. Until next time, just love and enjoy creating beautiful things!
Canadian Friends Can Find products like the ones used in this Post here:
American Friends can find products like the ones used in this post here: