Sunday, February 10, 2013

Over sized ruler height chart

DIY over sized ruler height chart
I made our existing height chart on a whim with the girls as an afternoon's activity a few years ago.  Whilst it is bright and colourful and made by them its not going to stand the test of time.  .  
My girls love their height/growth chart.  They are bounding with enthusiasm and excitement when Daddy gets out the special book as they stand like soliders with backs against the wall and can be crestfallen if they haven't grown since he last measured them.

When I think about height charts I think about pen marks up a wall.  I love the permanency of that, seeing your little people grow up before your eyes.  So at the back of my mind I had a thought that I wanted to upgrade our existing chart to something that would stand the test of time.
When I first started really looking at blogs I came across this beautiful embroidered growth chart at the Student Teacher. Sadly her blog is no longer accessible but she did have a great tutorial and I strongly considered make this one.

Image: The Student Teacher

A friend of mine whose blog is also out of action made this great height chart from old rulers, which I think may have sparked my imagination.

Image: A Year Above the Shop

One day (or was it night?) whilst looking at Pinterest wasting my life away looking for ideas I came across this growth chart from Dear Lillie. Bingo! Obviously I wasn't going to pay $70 when I could enjoy making one myself.  However it is a lovely chart so if you don't fancy making one pop on over to them.

Source: Dear Lillie oversized ruler growth chart
The first port of call was Home Depot for a piece of wood.  Mr Maker is the wood man so he took pleasure (seriously) in picking me up a plank; it is cedar and was $25. You could get a cheaper piece to get the cost down but make sure you spend time getting a flat, level piece.

I tried out various stains I already had and then went with the darker milk paint.

However I didn't like the end result.  It came out blotchy, most likely application error rather than the paint itself.  So I sanded it off and applied a coat of Feed-N-Wax.  The end result was rather pleasing; a warm wood colour with the grain highlighted. Sometimes the best results are the product of a mistake.

The stencils were from Lowes (click for link) which turned out much cheaper than any from Michael's.  I decided on the format and penciled on the numbers and lines.  As per instructions on the stencil box I attached them with tape and began dabbing/blotting on the paint.  An old not-washed-out-properly stiffened paint brush was the perfect applicator.

Bam! School boy stencil error!  Rather serious paint bleed from the edge of the stencils.  Take two:  I used a spray adhesive to hold them in place which gave lovely crisp lines.

Job done.  Two weeks later its finally up on the wall, now I just need to copy over our old measurements.  

Old & new
Reluctant dressed up model
Break down of costs

  • Wood - $25
  • Stencils (which are reusable) - $5.66
  • Paint - $4.95 I only used a miniscual amount so plenty left for future projects
  • Milk paint & wax - $0 
  • Wall hook - $2
Really the total cost was about $28.  This doesn't include my time - a few hours, but what a saving.  Got to love that.

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