Recently my sister posted on her Instagram account a picture of a wood growth chart that she made. I thought that is so cool! I want to make one for my kids.
Wood growth charts are much better than the old school idea of using the door jam to track you children’s growth. With a growth chart made out of wood you can have a stylish way of displaying your children’s growth. It’s fun for parents to track growth progress. It’s even more fun for children to see their progress as they grow up.
What made my sister’s growth chart cool was that she put a hinge on the middle of it so it can fold in half. The benefit of a hinge is that when you move it’s easier to pack up or to store away. If you’re a family that moves a lot (i.e. military family) then this perfect for you!
Because I thought this was so cool, I decided to write a tutorial on how to make a wood growth chart. Its pretty easy and it looks great once finished!
Wood Growth Chart Supplies:
- 1 piece of wood (I suggest 1x8x6 ft)
- A hinge (if you want to fold your growth chart in half for moving and storage)
- Wood stain & Polycrylic water-based protective finish
- Foam brush
- Sandpaper (I hand-sanded with a small square of medium grit sandpaper)
- Toggle Bolts
- Wood Burning Tool or Sharpie Paint Pen
- Number Stencils (I bought mine at Hobby Lobby)
Making a Wood Growth Chart in 7 Steps
STEP 1: Sand the wood down. Then using a cloth wipe it down so that it’s clean before staining it.
STEP 2: Using a wood burning tool and stencils, burn into the wood the inch tick marks, numbers, and letters. If you don’t want to burn in the letters and numbers, you can use a Sharpie Paint Pen and number stencils after you have done step 3 (stained the wood). One caveat, the Sharpie Paint Pen may bleed outside the lines of your letters.
Important Tips: *** If you choose to use a Sharpie Paint Pen instead of using a wood burning tool, stain the wood first and then use the Sharpie Paint Pen for the tick marks, letters and numbers. ***
Important Tips: *** When measuring out the inch tick marks take into account the desired height above the floor where you will be hanging the growth chart. For example when hanging on the wall, if the bottom of your wood growth chart is 6 1/2 inches off the floor then simply lay the ruler out by starting the first inch tick mark at 7 inches. ***
STEP 3: Stain the wood. Apply at least one coat of stain. If you want the wood to look darker apply additional coats as needed. Remember to allow plenty of drying time in between coats. Don’t forget to stain the sides, top, bottom and back of the wood. (You will also want to make sure to follow the directions on the stain can.)
STEP 4: Using stencils add the ruler tick marks, numbers, and letters using the Sharpie Paint Pen, if you chose not to use a wood burning tool (step 2) to burn in the tick marks, letters and numbers.
STEP 5: Apply the Minwax water based polycrylic protective finish. One coat should be sufficient, but apply additional coats if needed. (Make sure to follow the directions on the Minwax can.)
STEP 6: If you want to add a hinge to your wood growth chart simply cut it half and then secure the hinge to the back of the two cut piece. And now you have a growth chart the hinges so you can fold it in half to store away or for when you move to another house.
STEP 7: Mount your growth chart on the wall. There are a number of methods you can use to mount, we recommend toggle bolts to mount to the wall (one on top and one on the bottom). This will secure it really well and keep it flush to the wall.
In addition to these 7 steps below are a few videos from others who can help you see how to make a wood growth chart.
DIY Wood Burned Growth Chart Ruler
How to Make a Grow Chart Ruler