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So, we don’t have kids yet, and still, I find myself sometimes wanting to work on projects that are either directly or indirectly related to our future kiddos. One such project was the oversized ruler growth chart I’ve seen all over Pinterest.
But, I had planned to just save this pin until we had kids big enough to be measured…or have kids at all I guess. Then, my friend Elizabeth set out to accomplish a crazy awesome amount of projects this summer and she included the growth chart on her list and asked if I wanted to make one with her.
As a DIYer who sometimes does projects by myself (thankfully, Wyatt is USUALLY willing to help), I jumped at the chance to have a partner in crime so we went to Home Depot a few days before she got here for a visit to pick out our board.
Since we’d need drying time, we both selected, sanded, stained, and prepped our board for the final touches (numbers) ahead of time. Wyatt picked out a 6 foot knotty pine board for us to use. It’s the cheapest “nice” wood at Home Depot and if you look carefully and long enough, you can find some really nice ones. It’s what we used for the mirror frame and our pin board travel map.
Here’s a quick link for you to add it to your online cart, now.
Wyatt did the sanding for me. He’s the best at sanding. Seriously, it’s like baby-bottom-smooth when he’s done with it.
This time, we tried a new product, the MinWax Pre-Stain Conditioner, because Wyatt thought the last time we stained this pine, the grain didn’t turn out all that pretty.
While I’m at it, here’s our favorite multi-purpose brush, the Wooster Pro 1-1/2 in. Chinex Thin Angle Sash Brush, which is great to add to your collection of DIY supplies.
I’m not sure the conditioner helped us get an even coat, as it claims to do, but it did seem to bring out the wood grain a bit, which was nice.
I only let it set on there for five minutes or so before wiping off the excess. I could have let it go a bit longer, but I’m pretty happy with the color.
I also gave it two coats of Rustoleum clear spray enamel, my favorite top coat because it goes on so smooth and dries super fast.
After we finished the prep work, and it had time to dry overnight, we got started on the details once Elizabeth arrived. I like how different our boards turned out looking.
We started by measuring the board, marking off each inch.
Then, since the board will hang exactly 6 inches off the ground (because our trim is about 3 inches wide and we want it to be a little above that), we marked the “1” line at 6 inches up on the board.
(This may be different for your house, depending on how high you want the board to hang. Just make sure your “1” line is really one foot from the ground, not one foot from the bottom of the board.)
After that, it was time to paint the rest of the lines. It would have been “easier” (but way slower!) to tape these off, but I trusted my freehand to do a good enough job that it will look “polished and rustic” not “awful and homemade.” I think I ended up somewhere in the middle.
And instead of painting the numbers, I picked up a package of cheap adhesive mailbox numbers at Walmart to use.
If I had it to again, I think I’d use something fancier, like these from Target. They’re so snazzy!
These worked great and provided a little more visual contrast since they stick up, just a tad, from the wood. And they solved my messy painting problems. We measured where we placed each one, (Yay teamwork!) and made sure they were level.
Elizabeth didn’t use the numbers, but she did trace around them and then fill them in with Sharpie marker, which I think looks awesome too. It’s cool how our identical projects didn’t turn out identical at all!
Since I’m not using this completed project yet, I’m in no hurry to hang it up, but I’m working on deciding where I want it to go. While I originally thought I’d put it on a skinny wall somewhere, like the hallway, I’m not sure that’s where I want it. (It’s really difficult to take a good hallway photo. Boo.)
Of course, that might be exactly where I want it…
Or maybe next to a tall piece of furniture? UPDATE: If you’re curious how we hung this on the wall, check out THIS POST.
No matter where it ends up, I’m pretty sure it will be super fun to mark our kiddos’ heights on there as they grow! And we can take it with us if/when we move! Genius, huh? Plus, it was super cheap to make since we already had pretty much everything we needed. Even if you didn’t, I still think you could make this for $25 or so.
- Board – $7.22
- Sander/Sand Paper – Free (Already Had)
- Stain – Free (Already Had)
- Pre-Stain Conditioner – $5.98 (Almost all of it is still leftover)
- Top Coat – Free (Already Had)
- Paint/Brushes – Free (Already Had)
- Numbers – $6.23 (Almost all of them leftover–we could make more!)
Total – $19.43 (Less than $20—score!)
Anyway, I had a great time with Liz on this super fast, easy project. Be sure to check out her post on the same project. Hers turned out awesome and even though they were the same project, they look really unique!
Do you mark your children’s height on the wall? Do you do projects WAY in advance of when you need them, just for fun? Any ideas on where our ruler should go? Let’s hear about it!