Wood growth charts are one of the easiest types of DIY growth charts. Working with the wood over other materials like paper or plastic is just that much simpler.
That being said, there are a few steps that you need to take as you go, or else you may run into trouble partway through.
Making a wood growth chart for your child or even as a gift for someone else’s child is a simple, yet extremely thoughtful thing to do.
The memories gained through years of marking one’s height are so precious, every parent should really consider doing this!
Of course, you could always buy a custom or pre-made wood growth chart from websites like iirntree.com. However, a DIY one is far more thoughtful and special!
Well, enough jibber-jabber! Let’s take a look at these steps so you can get cracking!
What You Will Need to Get Started (Supplies)
- Wooden Plank (Measured and Cut to Fit the Desired Space)
- Paint and/or Stain (If Desired)
- Permanent Marker
- Stickers/Other Design Materials (Explained in Step #5)
- Picture Hanging Strips
Step #1 – Preparing Your Wooden Plank
As we mentioned earlier, make sure you’ve measured and cut your wooden plank to fit the spot on the wall that you mean to set up your wood growth chart.
Once you’ve done this, you must decide if you want to stain or paint the board. Generally, we recommend doing this if you have a particular color in mind for the plank to match in the room.
Do make sure to think about the overall design of your wood growth chart before painting it. If you choose a bright color for the plank, it may overpower the design you’ve chosen.
Try as best you can to balance the colors and appearance of the final product. While we are doing this step-by-step, it is still important to envision the end product just in case.
Step #2 – Setting Up Your Measurements
Now that you have your plank ready, it is time to measure things out. The first thing to work out is how far off the ground you plan to hang your wood growth chart. (As this obviously impacts where you will place the heigh increments)
Once you’ve done this, you can measure and mark the location for your 1-foot mark. We recommend making the feet markers 3 inches in width and the inch markers 2 inches, just to make it obvious enough.
On top of that, we also recommend not marking your lines all the way to the edge of the plank. The permanent marker that you will be placing later tends to leave small marks on the side of your wood plank which doesn’t look so good.
Try to stop each mark approximately one inch from the edge to make your chart look nicer.
You also may find it easier to measure out these lines with a speed square instead of a ruler. If you have one available, feel free to use it!
Step #3 – Double Check and Add Permanent Marks
After making all the necessary marks for your lines, we suggest double and triple-checking your measurements. Once you’ve added the permanent marker, it is too late to change anything.
When choosing a permanent marker, I would suggest picking one that isn’t overly thick. It is much easier to trace with a thin marker. However, don’t make it too thin or else you won’t be able to make out the lines well enough.
When tracing over the pencil markings that you’ve made, aim to hit the very center of the pencil line, so that the permanent marker engulfs it evenly on each side, keeping your measurements accurate.
You should also make sure to keep within the 2 and 3-inch lines that you’ve made. You want every line to be exactly right so that the design looks flawless.
Step #4 – Adding Numbers
When it comes to adding numbers for your feet measurements, you can either attempt to hand draw them or use stickers. If you’re really good at drawing, you could attempt to hand draw them. If not, I would recommend stickers to be safe.
Step #5 – Adding a Design (Optional)
If you wanted to go the extra mile, you may want to consider adding some designs to make the wood growth chart more interesting.
Generally, stickers are the easiest way to go. You can gather stickers that fit whatever theme your child would enjoy and stick them on after you’ve done everything else in whatever free space you have left.
If you think of anything else to add to your wood growth chart, feel free to give it a try! The more personalized the chart is, the more into it your child will be and the more they will cherish it as they grow older.
Step #6 – Hanging It Up!
There are multiple ways to hang up wood growth charts. You’ve likely noticed that we recommend using picture hanging strips.
The reason for using strips over a regular hanger is that it limits the chances of your child accidentally pulling the chart off the wall and hurting him/herself.
Picture hanging strips are easy to use as well. Simply attach them all across the outside of the back of your wood growth chart and stick it firmly in place on the wall, making sure to keep it level with your measurements.
Try to keep the picture hanging strips slightly away from the very edge of the wood so that you can’t see them from the sides.
All that you have left to do now is mark your child’s height regularly. You can do it monthly, yearly, or whatever timeframe you prefer!
There is nothing better than showing off your child’s progress on a chart of your own making. Not only will you be proud of your child, but you will also be proud of what you did for him/her!