How to Stencil a Growth Chart

by Kari Gibbs on September 06, 2021

Capturing the moments as your children grow can be as easy as making a wood growth chart ruler part of their room decor. Paint in colors and themes to fit the style to suit their room (keeping the style fairly neutral will help it fit in as styles and tastes change).

These wooden Rulers make amazing shower gifts for new moms and are sooo personal it'll make people cry when they receive them. You can also make a family growth chart that is for everyone's marks and keep it in a central location. Mom's aren't the only ones who love keeping track of the milestones. Grandmas swoon over these growth charts too.

You can secure these on the back of the door or on a wall with mountain hardware. Command strips will not be strong enough for this.

Our family had a strong tradition of measuring and marking on a wall... but you can't take your wall with you when you move. We even still measure when the grown kids visit, all 5 boys think they are still growing!

Choose a board that is at least 7 1/2 inches wide to leave room for the hash marks and ruler plus writing the details. Our stencils fit 12 inch boards. Cut the board to 6' or more depending on your family. (Many home improvement stores will make cuts for free or a nominal fee)

Much of the lumber will have knots, if you are painting and do not want the knots to bleed thru the paint pre-treat the knots with Bullseye Shellac.

Stain VS Paint?
Either works well. When painting any LONG piece of wood always finish back and front to prevent the board from warping.

Paint VS Vinyl?
Always paint when doing long-term "KEEPER" projects. I've seen so many vinyl projects start lifting and peeling after just a short time. Also some kids pick at things more than others. If you use a stencil to paint the details you'll be done faster than the folks who have to weed the vinyl.

If you are making growth charts for sale or as gifts, know that stencils are reusable and make it super easy and fast to paint.

How to Finish Your Growth Chart Ruler: 

Acrylic paint has some sealer in it and as long as you are not storing your growth chart outside you don't actually have to seal with anything.

If you do choose to varnish use a matte varnish so that you retain some tooth for writing. Many folks will choose to write with a marker. If you do this, it's super important to know that varnish will erase or smear marker if you brush it on. If you feel the need to protect the marks spray use "Matte Spray" varnish and only spray a fine mist on the first coat, then repeat. (make sure to spray in a well-ventillated area or outdoors, following manufacturers instructions)

If using chalk or pencil to mark your toddler's growth, you can protect it with a fixative spray available at hobby and art stores.

Using other finishes like wax or shiny varnish should be avoided.

Enjoy Crafting Growth Charts, you will be making future memories!

Check out how Kari painted this growth chart in the video below! 



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