Tuesday, November 5, 2013

DIY Children's Growth Ruler

Hellooo there!  I am excited to be filling in for Heidi as she loves and cuddles on her new baby girl!!!  You might be wondering who I am and others of you may know me.  I am a wife of 15 years to my darling hubby, Josh; a mom to two loving children, James age 12 and Hope age 9; I am a blessed child of a Savior who loves me and gave everything for me and I am a craftaholic.  I love to craft!  Ok, maybe I didn't emphasize that enough.  I LOVE TO CRAFT!!!  It doesn't matter if its scrapbooking, crafting with paper, wood or fabric.  I enjoy sewing but struggle with knitting.  My wash cloth I am trying to knit has been sitting 1/3 of the way completed for at least 3 months.  Another passion of mine is fitness and nutrition but that's a topic for another day!

My babies are no longer so little.  My first born just turned 12 and I have enjoyed looking through some pictures of him growing up this last week.  He was and still is so cute!  We have a tradition that on our kiddos birthday we mark on the wall how tall they are.  Well, when we moved we couldn't take that wall with us!  At least, not with the new owners being very happy with us.

Pinterest to the rescue again! Solution: DIY Children's Growth Charts.  They are customizable in so many different stains, fonts and any other way you can think of.

This is the one I have made for our family.  Hopefully, this week I can get their heights added to the ruler. I'm just ecstatic to finally have it hanging up!

I don't have pictures of each step along the way but I will take you step by step through the process.

Step 1: Purchase a board at your local hardware store such as Lowe's or Home Depot.  My board is 6'x12".  When I choose my board I like to look at the grain and see which one has the character in it I like.  I also look for knots.  I love what they add to the board but I want to make sure they do not align with where I may want to paint a number, line or document their height.

Step 2: Lightly sand and wipe with damp cloth.

Step 3: Stain.  I chose a stain from Minwax.  #224 Special Walnut

If you haven't stained before, relax!  It is super easy.  I place my board on two saw horses and use one of the cheap foam brushes you can get anywhere.  I swipe the stain across the board with the brush, working in then with handful of paper towels I go over it wiping of the excess stain.  I work in 2 foot sections.  I don't stain the whole board and then wipe.  I just work my way down the board until it is all covered.  Let it dry for a couple hours and then flip and do the same thing to the other side.  My board only has one coat of stain but if you prefer it darker you can do more.  I usually let my board, after it is all stained, sit outside in the garage over night.  It's stinky and will feel a little greasy.  Letting it sit over night seems to take care of both of those issues.

Step 4:  While your  board is drying you can create your numbers on your computer.  I picked a simple font and size that was pleasing to me.   My numbers are roughly 2" in size.  Print them and cut them out about the size of a playing card.  This allows extra paper around the number for when you tape your number to your board.

Step 5: So your board is all dry, stink free and ready to have the lines painted on it!  I have found the easiest tool to use to paint the lines on is a paint pen.  You can find them at Craft Warehouse, Walmart or any store that has a craft section.  I have even found them in the paint section at Bi-mart.    I use my handy dandy ruler and mark with a pencil every inch going up the left side of my board.  I make a 3" line for every 6" (this will be your foot and 1/2 foot markings) on your ruler and 2" line for inches.  YOUR BOARD STARTS AT SIX INCHES.  That means your first line should be 3" long.  After I have written the lines on the board in pencil I go over it with my paint pen.

Step 6: Once my paint dries, I tape my numbers on the board at the foot markings.  Remember your board begins at 6".  Using a rounded pencil or ball point pen, trace the outside edge of each number.  You don't have to push really hard but firm pressure is needed.  This will leave an indent in the wood for you to use for your paint pen to trace and fill in.  

Step 7:  After your painted numbers dry, spray it with a matte clear acrylic sealer. 

Step 8:  Put a saw tooth hanger on the back and embellish any way you desire!

I used my Silhouette Cameo and cut out my children's names, birth date and stats in vinyl and placed them going up the right side of the board.   Another idea I am contemplating is modge podging a picture, of the corresponding year, on the board by their height.

These make great gifts for baby showers or even great gifts for soon to be or new grandparents.  They're just a little awkward to wrap and deliver. :)

Thanks for letting me share my Pinterest test with you today.  I can't wait to hear what creative ways you come up with to customize your board!

Happy Crafting!! ~Christina  

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