Today, I want to show you how to make a few simple, easy growth charts for your family or as a gift for a child/family you love. The in-depth tutorial presented here is going to take through the process of making a growth chart using canvases and paint, two of my fondest arts & crafts loves. However, at the end, I link you to another few tutorials for making growth charts out of wood (a 1″ x 6″ x 8′ board to be exact).
Canvas Growth Chart
3 Canvas Panels, measuring 9 x 12″
4 Small Hinges
Acrylic Paint (I use Master’s Touch brand from Hobby Lobby)
Poly-Acrylic (I use Minwax brand from Lowe’s)
1 Picture Hanging Sawtooth (or D-Ring)
1 Picture Hanging Hook/Nail (optional)
1. Start by lining up the canvases so that two of the 9″ sides touch. This allows the 12″ sides give you as much length as possible (for measuring growing children!). Then, screw the hinges onto the back sides of the touching 9″ sides as shown below.
2. Turn your hinged canvases over and make 1″ markings along one side of the canvas. You can make all of the markings the same width or vary their length to look like a ruler (which is what I did if you look closely at the second picture below. I believe that my 2, 3, and 4 FOOT markings were 2-3″ in width. My 3″, 6″, and 9″ (quarter foot) markings were 1″ in width. And, all the remaining inch markings were 0.5″ in width. In any case, you can play around with the width of them until you get the aesthetic that you’re looking for.
3. Next, I drew the inspirational picture onto the growth chart. In my example here, it was lady bugs climbing a vine. But, the sky is the limit here. You can draw anything. I would look at growth charts from Pottery Barn, Land of Nod, Etsy, and Pinterest until I found one that I (or a dear child in my life) fell in love with.
4. Now, get out your paint and fill in the drawing. I’m not going to lie, it can take a while. But, for me, this is the most fun part. I love to paint! Can you tell?! 🙂
5. Once the painted part is how you like it, allow it to dry thoroughly (at least 24 hours). And, then, apply 3 coats of poly-acrylic, following the directions on the can (I think it’s one coat every 2-4 hours). Then, allow the entire chart to dry thoroughly again (at least another 24 hours).
6. Last, but not least, attach a picture hanging sawtooth or D-ring to the TOP of the back side of the canvas. If you’re giving the growth chart as a gift, you may also want to give a picture hanging hook and nail set for the wall mounting convenience of the recipient.
You can also include an inspirational note or message on the back of the canvas as I did on the left side here. I simply used an ultra fine point sharpie to write the message and went over the writing with the poly-acrylic as I was sealing the rest of the painting.
This is my favorite way to make a growth chart with a picture, but it’s certainly not the easiest or least expensive way to make one. I also love the simple, rustic look of the growth chart in the tutorial here:
And, this rustic growth chart tutorial would also be easy to adapt with paint and stencils to make one like Pottery Barn sells here:
In any case, if this inspires you, go make something fun for a child in your life and, most important of all, WATCH and ADORE them as they GROW! 🙂