I’m so excited to show you guys this project. It turned out even better than I thought it would! My friend recently had a baby and he’s getting close to walking and standing so she asked me to make this growth chart for her to document his height as he grows!
You first want to start with a wooden board. She supplied the board and it had exposed bark on the edges (which I’m obsessed with) but you can get just a normal board from a store that sells wood. Ours just happened to be a little over 6’.
We sanded the board to prepare it for the stain and blew off the sawdust to make sure it was completely smooth and clean.
Then it was time for the stain! I chose a Minwax stain in the color Special Walnut 224. The way we like to stain is by dipping a paper towel into the stain (after stirring it) and letting it sit for a moment (the longer it sits the darker it gets) and then wiping it off with a clean paper towel. We moved up in sections to be able to make it even all the way across.
The board itself was hard maple so when the stain went on, it pulled out every character and “flaw” of the wood. To me it shows the history and story of the tree and I love seeing all the little imperfections because that’s how you have a unique piece that no one else has. The stain was honestly perfect and I’m very proud of myself for choosing the color. It pulled out light parts and pushed back dark spots and showed every little spot where knots were beginning to form but hadn’t gotten around to it yet.
We put two coats of stain on and let it sit for about 6 hours.
Then it was time for the measuring! I took a tape measure and measured out each inch all the way up the board. We wanted ours to sit on the ground but if yours is going to hang up on the wall, you have to think about how high off the ground and start your measuring at that height instead of 0.
Once everything was marked out in pencil, I starting planning out how I wanted the marks to be placed so they looked even and cohesive all the way up the board. The bottom was almost twice the length of the top so to go from the exposed bark edges would look uneven and just not quite right.
My thought was to measure 6” over from the bottom left side and then 4” over from the top left side and run a piece of string from one end to the other. That would be how far my foot measurements would come out. Then the half marks would be 3” in from the string towards the left edge and the rest would be wherever I made my marks in the first place. This ended up being absolutely perfect and made all my marks line up all the way up the board and look cohesive. It was tedious but the best method I found.
I wanted it to be childish and cute for pictures with children so I made big numbers at each foot mark and a 1/2 sign at each half mark which ended up looking very cute and perfect for photographs.
Then we sprayed polyurethane on it and let that dry. In between the first and second coat of poly, we used a brown paper bag to act as the lightest possible sandpaper to smooth everything out. Then sprayed one more time and let sit overnight.
And that is it! I honestly love how it looks and it’s super cute and now I want one even though I’m done growing! Let me know what you guys think and if you recreate or make your own I want to see it!
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