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Soooooooo, I had been thinking about starting some kind of growth chart for the kids. My Grandma always penciled us into the doorway of the backstairs in her house every six months or so as we grew and although I'm not sure if it is still there, I always think fondly of it. I wanted to do the same with my kids so the brainstorming started. I knew I didn't want to do it directly on the wall as I don't intend on living in the house forever and I certainly can't count on not repainting over it (yes, I may have a painting problem, haha). I also knew I wanted something more sturdy and substantial and less cutesy than a paper version (like this one). But not more than a couple days after I started thinking about it, did I come across this one from Cape 27 after seeing it on a YHL House Tour. Here's the inspiration!
I can't even tell you how excited I was!!! I'm such a dork and within two days (were talking work days where I can't get out to Home Depot until 8:00pm) I had my very own 2x8 for $8 at home ready to do this and here's how it all went down!
First up, cut down to size which is six feet. Hey, I may never be six feet but it could happen to Ruby or Archer and I think it is a good size for a wall.
Next up was to sand it down using our hand sander.
Since I really liked how they did it on Cape 27, I went for the same look. Since that meant staining, I pulled out our pre-stain which we bought when we started getting into woodworking almost two years ago - it goes a long way!
I then applied some Dark Walnut stain that we also already owned (we used them on our desktops). I applied it with a cloth (like the pre-stain) since I didn't feel like dirtying up a brush. I've ruined a brush or two from staining (how do you clean those things without the mess?) so using an old t-shirt seemed like a good idea.
After just one coat of stain, I brushed on a quick layer of satin poly (that is one of my crummy brushes) that we also already had on hand (this project is feeling cheap, yay!) Don't those knots on the wood remind you of an owl face?
I waited a day or so after doing the coat of poly to draw the ruler lines of the growth chart using a sharpie and our square tool. On the left you can see how I made little ticks at each inch, keeping the square pressed firmly up against the wood. The right side here then shows how I used the end of the tool to draw the line either one inch long or two inches for every quarter inch.
To draw the numbers, I found several stock fonts on the pc and then asked Aaron to play the role of decider. He picked out this one and I love it. I printed it out on some cardstock I had on hand and then carefully cut each one out.
I traced the numbers onto the growth chart and then filled them in with the Sharpie too and then applied one more coat of satin poly.
Here's how it looked!
I actually finished this project about a week ago and I can say it was super easy. I've only waited to post about it because I was hoping to get it hung up first. But no dice. We really wanted to hang it in the spot to the right of the fridge next to the basement door but it is all air duct in there so we decided against it. So we looked around and decided the dining room was our best bet. Unfortunately (not really!) that paint problem of mine is rearing its way up and now the dining room isn't in any condition to have a board hung in there.
Hopefully I'll have the dining room done by next weekend and we can hang it in there, but so you could see a proper full shot, we temporarily brought it into the living room and leaned it up against the wall.
And a close up! For a grand total of $8, I love how the growth chart turned out and I especially love that it was such an easy and cheap project that we'll enjoy for years and years to come. Now I can keep track of the kids' grow over the years and not have to worry about leaving it behind or painting over it.
What's got you guys excited lately? Besides this I'm pretty excited about some DIY Christmas decorating that I'm working on. We did get up a mini tree this weekend too. Have you started Christmas decorations? Anyone score any good deals while shopping this weekend?
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