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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Playroom growth chart

How to not build a growth chart

Most of you I'm sure by now have come across the adorably clever giant 6 1/2 foot rulers to use a growth chart. The ones you can move with you instead of leaving it behind on a door frame when you have to move. I saw it..... let's say over a year ago, probably longer. I thought for the cost of shipping I'm sure I could make it. A couple weeks pass, I bring it up to the hubs and say let's do this. I even find myself at the hardware store getting the 1x6 I needed - without the hubs help. We already had stain and I thought to myself I'll have this done in no time. HA!

Rule of thumb on projects - never say it will be a quick project.

The next day the stain was dry and I brought it inside. Armed with my pencil, (regular sized) ruler and a black thin paint pen. Making the marks with the pencil went well, tracing over with the paint pen was going well too. Then came adding the numbers. A tutorial suggested printing out the numbers in a font you liked, tracing the back with pencil then rubbing it on so you'd have a good outline to use instead of free-handing them. Adding the one went well. Then came the number 2. And I realized as soon as I had filled it in... I put it in the wrong spot - at the 1 1/2 foot mark instead of the 2.

So I put it away and didn't look at it for a while.

Finally I pulled it out one fall day and decided I'd try to sand off the spot. The reverse side of the wood had some glue marks from somewhere and wasn't a good canvas to just flip it over. No luck... paint pen is much darker than the stain or the light wood and it wouldn't go away.

Back in the garage to sit it went.

Then my parents brought over some chalk paint and I got inspired to do something different. I'd paint over it. Only I didn't quite have enough paint to get even coverage over the whole board. So I started with a sparkly/shiny paint I had in a close blue shade and did the chalk paint on top of that. Still the coverage wasn't as even as I'd like.

Back in the garage it went.

Finally I decided I'd sand the paint to give it a rustic feel to it. And this time I wasn't going to use the paint pen to put on the number so I bought wooden numbers and painted them off white. After painting the numbers, I also applied wax to the board to give it a nice finish.

Then I redrew the lines and glued on the numbers.... I'm sure by this point you'll never believe that I glued them on at the 1/2 foot lines instead of the foot lines right? Ha! I swear I had As and Bs in math in school - but you'd never guess that from how much math trouble I had copying a ruler in giant form.

I was about to call it done and either just hang it lower than I had planned or pretend I didn't notice the mistake. Then one of the kids knocked it over and wouldn't you know it, the numbers fell off. Thank goodness for a wax finish and wood glue not working together well.

Finally the numbers were fixed and it was ready to be hung. So I used the ruler to make a straight line across and hung two sawtooth hangers on the back of the growth chart to hang it from.

I got smart and asked the hubs to help me hang it on the wall. (Well after I put two holes in the wall that were at the right height but not quite level... patience was not my strong point with this project after this long)

It looked fantastic (in my opinion) and I marked the kids heights. Though I haven't added their names or made it darker yet. I'm still terrified I'm going to mess it up again somehow.
chart to measure your littles
I swear it's straight here - just not a great angle

What do you know.... three days or so later? A nail (that I immediately retrieved from the ground) that had been holding the sawtooth hanger on the back of the growth chart fell out. Now it's crooked.
How to make a playroom growth chart
I think I'll stick to projects that don't require math or hammers for a while now....

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Colleen Pence said...

I'm just in awe that you took this project on in the first place. It's so cute but with that many stumbling blocks, I would have quit for sure. You didn't and the result is adorable.

Joyful Rant said...

It looks great! Even crooked. ;p