DIY Growth Chart

posted by Andrea | 11/21/2012

Way back before we had kids (and way back before Pinterest) I had an idea of creating something that would hang on a wall in our house and would be used to measure our kids’ heights at every birthday.

I didn’t know exactly what it would look like, but I wanted it to be something we could take with us if we ever moved — and something that could withstand years of use. I was also hoping that it would be something I could make myself and treasure for years and years to come.

So, since Nora’s birthday is tomorrow (crazy, I know!) I’m super excited to share the fun DIY Growth Chart that I made.

I will admit to getting this idea from Pinterest — thank you creative people! And yes, I know that there are probably hundreds of homes with this growth chart hanging on their walls… but I bet the wood from their growth chart didn’t come from their 120+ year old kitchen walls ūüôā

I was thrilled when I found this board amidst the rubble during our kitchen demolition. It was literally the perfect size for our growth chart, so I immediately put it in the basement, and got it out last week to make the growth chart.

Once I got the board stained and¬†lacquered, it only took me about an hour to finish the project and hang it on our wall — so it really was quite simple!

Here are the supplies I used:

  • wooden board (1″ x 8″ x 6-7′ long)
  • stain or paint — we stained ours with leftover stain from our floors
  • polyurethane¬†(if you want the stained board to have a shinier finish)
  • number stencils — a blog reader (Becky) totally helped me out with her Cricut… thanks Becky!
  • pencil and black Sharpie for the inch lines and numbers (or paint if you prefer)
  • tape measure¬†and ruler to get the numbers evenly spaced
  • level to make sure the lines are straight
  • nails or screws to fasten it to the wall

Here’s how to make your growth chart:

1. Stain or paint your board and let it dry.

2. Do 2 – 3 coats of polyurethane (if you stained the board) and lightly sand in between coats.


3. Use your tape measure and level to mark the foot “lines” and then a ruler to measure the inch lines — marking them with a pencil. HINT: since we aren’t resting the board on the floor, we actually started at the 8″ mark… not at 1″.¬†


4. Use a Sharpie to darken these lines (you can also use a tiny paint brush and paint if you want)


5. Use number stencils and trace the numbers with a pencil. Then color them in with a black Sharpie or paint.


6. Hang the finished board on your wall at the correct height. (I literally just nailed it to the wall!)

We hung ours in the hallway right off our living room in hopes that it will be a good conversation piece throughout the years!

We also left enough room for 11″ x 14″ pictures to the left of the board. (I’ll be sharing more about our family pictures soon — but a big thanks to Modern Photographics for the fabulous pictures!)

I’m thrilled with how this simple project turned out — and I’m so excited to start this new tradition in our family!

Do you have any yearly family traditions?


Filed under: HomeDIY Projects

Leave a comment


  1. Kelynn


    Hey Andrea, love the growth chart. How big are the number stencils you used?


    Andrea Reply:

    They are about 3 inches!


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  6. Rosanna


    Hi there! Stumbled across your blog and love it, especially love how your DIY growth chart turned out! Especially using such old wood with character! Awesome.
    A few months back I asked my husband to help me make one for our boys and we had fun preparing the board, but got stuck on creating a neat, professional way to put on numbers and tick marks. We tried numerous methods, and weren’t happy with any of them, so decided to design a DIY vinyl decal that you can just transfer onto the board and were finally happy with it!
    Since then, knowing how popular this project is, we actually opened a shop on Etsy to sell the decals for other DIY-ers who wanted to make a board but didn’t have the creativiy or time to hand draw out or stencil numbers and tick marks. If you’d like to take a look, or recommend the shop in your post as an option to others who might be frustrated by the same step, it’s:
    Maybe it will be a help to others out there!
    Thanks and best wishes!


  7. skottydog


    This is such an awesome idea! I’m totally doing this! Thank you for posting it!


  8. ivy


    This is a wonderful idea! We always did ours on the back of the basement door and my grandparents house. I was very very upset for a long time because it got left at the house when they sold it.

    Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Birthday to Nora!


  9. Lora


    Looks great ūüôā
    Nice work!!!


  10. Stel


    Aaaah it’s nice. I saw the same, have the board ready, it’s stained, I just need to put up the numbers and hang it up!
    It’s been lying around for 8 months now. THIS weekend I will finish it.


  11. Paulette


    This child is SO stinkin’ cute!!!