Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Oversized Growth Chart

Ever since our son was a little boy and was going for his "well baby checkups" I wanted a way to chronicle his growth.

I envisioned an old door with many markings in every different colour of pen and scrawl.
And that made me happy.

Unfortunately, I knew our starter home wouldn't be the one my children would grow old in, so I needed something portable. I started scouring the Internet for ideas. This was before Pinterest. Which I can barely remember, since it seems like Pinterest (the over flowing plethora of gorgeous swoon worthy pictures and ideas) has been around for-eva!)

So... I googled around and came up with nothing.
That was until I fell upon THIS!

ruler growth chart

"Dear Lillie" made this GORGEOUS growth chart ruler.
The moment I laid eyes on it I HAD to have one of my own.

 I found this red chestnut stain and thought it would be the perfect colour for OUR own ruler.
We bought this 6 foot piece of pine lumber and I got to work with it one day MONTHS ago.
(Please give me a little break on how long it took me to actually finish this project! It was beach weather after all, and our baby was only a couple of months old. Don't hate me since I spent the summer post-baby-chubby dawning a bathing suit :P)
I applied one coat of the MINWAX stain with an old rag.
I didn't do anything special, just dipped the rag and wiped on the stain. Easy does it for this impatient DIY-er. :)

I applied a second coat in some coats after waiting a couple hours for it to dry.
People often ask what my children do while we are doing projects. So I snapped a quick picture of the baby being fussy and my daughter tending to her baby.
 Too bad we couldn't teach her to sooth the real baby.

Our son occupied his time by playing catch with the wall.
His resourceful ways are inherited.

Keep in mind these pictures were taken mid summer. I dont let my children run around barefoot and in shorts during these colder months. (Well, they might, but I dont photograph it.)

Flash forward three month later and you will come to TODAY.

TODAY I decided to cross this project off of the list!
Because I couldn't find a tutorial to follow.
I "wung" it.
So this post is for you.
This is your own tutorial so you don't spend a few months staring at a stained piece of wood wondering what the next step would be to complete your beautiful growth chart.
You ready???
Here we go!
1. Go to your computer and open WORD.
2. Find a font that you like. (You can go classic, or fun, or Gothic even!)
3. Select your numbers 1 through 6 and highlight them.
4. Figure out what size you want your numbers to be. (I enlarged mine to 600, since I wanted my ruler to look very graphic. Almost having a "zoomecd in" effect since I wouldnt be marking every inch on my ruler. I think 400 would make it look more like the original source.)
5. Collect your level, permanent marker, star screwdriver, measuring tape and pen.
 6. Find an open space and measure out your pine board. (It should be around 6 feet in length, if you have a genetically tall family (I do NOT) you might want a taller board.)
7. Lay your stained board down beside your measuring tape.
8. If you are going to hang your ruler six inches from the floor, then start your measuring your board against the measuring tape at 6 inches.
9. Use your level horizontally to keep a level line AND to mark the board where you want to.  (For this step I only used my pen just incase I made an error, later you will use your permanent marker. I made a three inch line across for every foot and a two inch line across for every two inches.)
10. At your "foot" markings, place your printed off numbers (straight or on their side, depending what look you are going for) and trace over them with a pen OR a pointy screwdriver. (I felt that the pen didn't leave a deep enough indent so I used the screwdriver)
11. After tracing the numbers, remove the print out and trace over the indent left behind from your numbers with your permanent marker (You could paint them in for a different colour, and get a different look! I wanted mine to resemble an old ruler so opted out of changing things up too much)
12. Use your permanent marker to make your lines. (Feel free to make some longer or darker for interest)
13. Colour in your numbers with your permanent marker (or paint them in with your contrasting colour.)
14. Wait until your marker or paint is dry and then take some sand paper and give your whole "ruler" an over all distressing. (This helps take the shine off from your marker and helps to give your growth chart a nice natural look)
15. Hang some clips on the back lengthwise to hang on a wall and to keep track of all your precious peoples growth accomplishments.
16. OR hang horizontally in an office or a class room for some visual interest and some vintage charm.
17. Wash the smudged permanent marker off of your hands, face and mouth before heading into PUBLIC. ( I did not. Now people question my habits.)
And there you have it friends!
My "Larger than Life Measuring Stick" is complete!
It is just leaning against this bit of empty wall on our main floor until I decide where we should hang it.
AND, I kind of want it in plain site to admire it for a little while.
It HAS been a long time coming...
For now, it is beside our little desk area.
This area is adjacent to our kitchen and right next to the living room.
A nice small desk to sign bills on write love notes on.
I love displaying adored objects. Don't you? :)
I have actually read these books.

This little owl was from Home Sense and it is so darling!
I think a lot of other people think so too! I have seen this sweetie all over blog- land in beautiful fall displays and vignettes.

I hope you feel encouraged to make your OWN measuring stick!
I know I mentioned a bunch of steps but really I just wanted to take the guessing work out of this project for YOU


My kids cant wait to mark this baby up!
I keep telling them that if they sleep A LOT and consume A LOT of vegetables they will grow and grow and surpass the number 6!
Thank goodness they DON'T know about genetics yet and the role it plays in growth...

Linking up to these wonderful blogs! Come on over and take a peek!

vif187{Primp}linky-partyThe DIY DreamerPhotobucketHome Stories A2Z


Erin said...

I LOVE this! You should definitely hand it out in "plain view" when you pick a place, so that EVERYONE can see it. It's beautiful!

Bethany@ said...

Thanks Erin! Now I need to find an empty wall. I am sure I will end up rearrangin the whole house a few times just to get it in the right spot. :)

Sam @ The Junk House said...

I love it! It turned out perfect! This is such a great idea too. I would keep in out in plain view too!

Sam said...

Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my blog! I absolutely LOVE this project! It's so creative and absolutely adorable! I kind of just wanna make one for my wall just cause its so cute!!

Can't wait to keep following you back!

xo Sam

DIY Huntress

Meghann said...

No stinking way!!! Ask Thomas how long I've been wanting to do this.....!! Ha. I've been wanting barn board...but staining just regular wood looks great! I still can't believe I have gotten around to doing this! Love it.

twelve-O-eight said...

I love this project and the entire space! Just beautiful (the owl is wonderful!)

xoxo, Tanya

Bethany@ said...

I agree ladies, it needs to be in plain view, though my son is begging to have it in his bedroom that we are currently fixing up! Ill let you know where it ends up!
Meghann- you are probably busy with a day old baby... you can wait till next week to make this one ;)
Tanya- do you have the same owl?? :) It was a steal from Home Sence!

Anonymous said...

Looks gorgeous. I loved the pic you snapped of your kids..too sweet and funny.

Lani said...

Nicely done! I liked it soo much I pinned it on Pinterest! :)

Bethany@ said...

Thanks for the pin Lani! I hope you will let me know if you get around to trying this tutorial yourself!

Debra @ Common Ground said...

Great job, with all your adorable kiddos, you'll really love having this!! thanks for joining in for Vintage Inspiration!

Bethany@ said...

Thanks so much for visiting Debra and for hosting the link parties! How sweet of you to take the time to visit and to comment. I adore your blog!

Sheila Page said...

I have been wanting to make this and I followed your tips in the blog and mine turned out perfect! I love it! WE have been renting for 10 years! I could not take the wall of pencil marks with me, so I made the ruler, and transferred the marks! I have a 22 and 19 year old and I will love having the memory of their growth in a cute place in our new home! Thank you for posting the idea and inspiring me in my ability to make it!

Bethany@ said...

Sheila, your comment made my day!! I love how you were able to copy it and you will be able to take your memories along with you wherever you go!!