Ok, so let me start off by saying, I'm no regular DIY'er. Yes, I have my very own toolbox. I am "handy" when it comes to fixing things in the house, hanging simple light fixtures, installing dimmer switches, hanging pictures, etc. But when it comes to arts and crafts, costumes or anything "creative", I look for where it can be bought. My brain doesn't work in an artistic way. This project, however? Even I could do...a DIY growth chart to track our little family's quickly advancing height!
A quick visit to Home Depot and this is all you need:
- One 6 foot pine board (I prefer knotty pine for a rustic look, 1x8x6 - $9; there are many varieties to choose from)
- A tape measure
- A pencil
- A Sharpie
- Wood stain in your preferred color
- Polyurethane sealant in your preferred finish
- a paint brush
- an old soft cloth
- a set square ruler (triangular ruler to help with the straight lines)
Stain your board.
According to directions on the can, brush on a thin coat and then wipe off to obtain the look you're desiring. These pine boards are great because they're pre-sanded and ready for paint or stain.
Apply your measurement markings.
Depending on where you will place your board, start at one inch (if resting on the floor) or six inches (if hanging on wall above the moulding). Draw a line - using your straight set to ensure straight, even lines - for each inch with the 6-inch line being longer and each foot being the longest (like a ruler).
Stencil or draw your numbers.
You can either purchase large number stencils at a craft store like Michael's, make them yourself by selecting a font you like and printing them (I did a 200 point font), or free-hand them on! I chose to print them off because the type A in me wanted them to look straight and even. ;) I found a tip online that suggested turning the numbers over, rubbing a pencil over the back of the number, then place the paper, shading down, on the board and then outlining the number with a ballpoint pen. It leaves a pencil outline of the number and then you simply color it in. Even this non-artistic DIY'er managed it. :)
Seal your board with polyurethane spray or liquid.
I already had a can of brush-on poly, so I used what I had.
Hang on wall!
You can either drill your screws right through the board and wall (pre-drill holes in the board to prevent splitting), or apply a sawtooth picture hanger to the back of your board and hang it that way...I chose what I consider the simpler route, drilling right through the board.
Voila! Instant keepsake item that not only holds such special meaning, but also looks beautiful. It's not perfect, but that's part of it's charm. There are MANY variations out there, so be as creative as you would like with colors, designs, fonts, stain options, etc. LOVE the new addition to our home! :) Disclaimer: It took me months to finish because I'm generally a procrastinator when it comes to anything artsy and DIY, however, it can easily be completed in one day! I must give credit to Erin, who was there for free advice along the way, and who has her own DIY growth chart that was my inspiration!