Make your own kid-friendly growth chart with painter's drop cloth customized with a cute design. It's an easy way to cherish the toddler years, and you can add to it for years to come!
I've been wanting a growth chart for the kids but I wasn't sure which kind to get. There were the freebie paper charts at the pediatrician's office. Those would last about four seconds in my house (each boy is allotted one second of destruction time). Then there are the ultra-chic wood charts painted like a ruler. I was gravitating toward that until the boys knocked a picture off the wall for the 47th time. All I need is a 30 lb piece of plywood falling on my kids' heads. So I came up with this instead.
My material of choice was painters' drop cloth. It is super durable canvas and the price per yard is phenomenal. Not even a house full of boys can destroy this stuff. I find many crafting uses for it. You can find it at any hardware store and also on Amazon.
Decide how wide and how long you want your chart to be. Keep in mind that you will hang it about a foot from the ground. Fold and cut. Nothing fancy here. You will find that I despise perfection when it comes to art. I take any and all short cuts.
I wanted my chart to measure up to 6 1/2 feet tall. Yes, I am expecting some height in my family. So my chart is about 5 1/2 feet tall and 18 inches wide.
Time to hem. Drop cloth is already hemmed on all four sides so if you cut a piece off the end like I did you will only have one edge to hem. Iron smooth.
And now you're ready for the fun part. Place a drop cloth under your...um...drop cloth. Fabric is porous and the paint will soak through.
Add water to your paint before you begin. Whenever you paint on fabric you want the paint to be thin. Fabric soaks the paint up very quickly and it is impossible to spread it if it's thick.
I chose a simple tree pattern. I did a quick outline with the paint and then began filling it in. The right side of the chart is for your design and the left side is for the measurement markings. Make sure your design doesn't crowd the left side too much or there won't be enough room to see your measurements.
Continue to fill in and adjust your design.
Now comes the only precision part of the whole project. Starting at the bottom of your chart mark off inches and feet making the feet lines slightly darker so they stand out. A permanent marker works great for this. Go ahead and mark numbers at every foot measurement, keeping in mind that the bottom of your chart starts at one foot because you will hang it a foot from the ground.
Stand back and admire your work for a moment. I like trees because there is no confusion. Someone might look at my giraffe and say, "That's a great...wait, is that a...donkey?" But no one is confused by my trees. At least not yet.
It is ready to hang! One small nail in each corner will tack it down nice and smooth. I decided to add a few embellishments with white. Well, actually they started out green but that didn't show up well against the black. Trial and error. Make it up as you go.
The boys are in awe of how tall it is. So am I when I think THEY will actually be that tall someday. This is my special way of capturing their littleness. I marked their height as soon as I hung it up and I already felt like I stored a precious memory.
Sara is a stay at home mom with four busy boys ages four and under. She loves soaking up life with her little ones. When she's not changing diapers she is usually writing, painting, or building forts. Her kids join her in her creative endeavors and their household is a constant whirlwind of creative energy.
Learn more at mommyreel.blogspot.com