How to create a growth chart.

Create a Pottery Barn version of a growth chart

In case you haven’t notice, children are growing up quickly! one day you look at their pictures and realize that baby is not a baby anymore. Where has time gone? By any chance, are they using you as their personal growth chart? One day they measure themselves to your chest level, the next time they have reached your chin, seems like you blink and they grow!

Your child seems to leave behind great memories, cherish them and keep track of their height with a growth chart.  It is a fun and beautiful way of seeing your child’s progress.  They can also help you with this easy project which will create lots of memories, while having fun.

Here I am giving you step by step instructions on how to achieve a perfect growth chart.

What you need:

  1. Piece of wood – 1 inch thick x 8 inches wide x 6 feet tall
  2. Fine-grit sandpaper
  3. Stain (color of your choice)
  4. Satin Polyurethane
  5. Rags, fine paint brush and 1 ½” paint brush.
  6. Black or white acrylic paint (use black if stain is light, or white if stain is dark)
  7. Measuring Tape + Pencil
  8. Scissors
  9. Printer and paper (for number stencils)
  10. Small Nails + Hammer or screws and screw driver.
  11. String or Wire (if hanging the board using nails)

Step One

Lightly sand the wood using the fine-grit sandpaper going in the direction of the grain. Wipe off any dust with a rag or a brush. 

Step Two

Use the stain to paint the piece of wood using a rag, let it dry. Use 2 coats if you would like a darker tone.

measure every inch at 1", 1.5", 2" (half a foot), 3" (foot mark)
measure every inch at 1″, 1.5″, 2″ (half a foot), 3″ (foot mark)

Step Three

Grab your tape measurer and pencil, start marking every inch, paying special attention to ½’s and whole numbers, make those a little longer and emphasize each foot.


  • Mark the first inch, 1″ long.
  • Mark the second inch, 1 ½” long.
  • Mark the third inch, 1″ long again.
  • Mark the fourth inch, 1 ½” long.
  • Mark the fifth inch, 1″ long.
  • Mark the sixth inch, 2″ long.
  • Repeat this process. The foot-long mark; make it 3″ long.

TIP:  Make sure you measure your baseboard. Keep in mind your baseboard will be part of your growth chart.

Step Four

Get your acrylic paint and thin brush and paint right over the lines you penciled in. Don’t worry if you don’t have a steady hand.  You won’t be able to tell the difference from a distance, and the wiggly lines will give it a rustic look anyway.  You can use a different paint color at the 6″ mark, and at the foot mark, this is optional.

Step Five 

Print two-inch long numbers, from 1-6, use the font of your choice.  Cut the numbers, with the pencil write the numbers slightly below the foot-mark.  Remember, the foot-mark is 3″ long, the number looks better just below it.  Here is an example, place number 6 at 5’11”, not at the 6′ mark.

paint and fill in the numbers with acrylic paint

Step Six 

Using your acrylic paint and thin brush, paint and fill the numbers inside the lines. Let your board dry completely.

Step Seven 

Take the board outside, using the 1½” paint brush, give it two coats of satin polyurethane.  Rather use satin finish than gloss because gloss will make a permanent marker smear.

TIP:   Let board dry outside (preferably overnight), the fumes of polyurethane are very strong and can make you dizzy if you bring it inside. 

Step Eight

Hanging your growth chart. You can either use a wire to create a loop and nail the chart to the wall.  Or you can screw the board more permanently to the wall.

TIP:   Keep in mind your baseboard is technically part of your growth chart.

Step Nine

Start measuring your children as they grow, don’t miss the progress as they get bigger and bigger, use a different color sharpie for each child and write the date as they are measured. Don’t forget to use your child’s length at birth as the first mark on the chart.

This will make a great gift for first time parents, they will be absolutely in love with it. At Acropolis Painting, Inc, we feel very happy to share our ideas with you, creating a personal space should always be fun! Painting is a great, inexpensive and bold way of changing a space, and it’s a very personal way of making a house your home!

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