Monday, December 27, 2010

Airplane growth charts

One of the things on my to-do list when I was pregnant with my youngest son was to make him a growth chart similar to the one hanging on my oldest son's bedroom wall. Fast forward to last week, when my little guy celebrated his 2nd birthday, and still no growth chart. Fast forward again to 1:30 am on Christmas morning, when I was down in my craft room finally finshing his growth chart. He's napping now, so no photo of his, but here is a snap of another I made as a gift for a friend's son.

The photo doesn't do it particular justice (not surprising since I took the pic in the basement, at night), but I'm really happy with how the growth chart turned out. Best yet, while I chose a boyish airplane theme/palette, these charts would be easy to personalize for both boys and girls young and old.

Here are the basics:

I needed to make three growth charts, so I purchased a 12-foot length of white MDF and had it cut into three equal pieces (4 feet each). Using a foam roller and a sample can of blue latex paint from Walmart, I painted the front and edges of each board -- three coats total, with drying time between coats.

Next, I used yellow craft paint to add colour to three sizes of wooden stars. I did up a bunch at once, and let them dry on a piece of paper, while I used a paint marker to colour the name letters (wooden cutouts from Michael's). One coat did for both letters and stars. Craft paint would have been fine for the letters, too, but I had the pen in mind for marking inches along the side of the board, so thought I'd use it on the letters, as well.

Once everything was dry, I placed the letters and stars on the painted board, along with some wallpaper airplane cutouts. I played around with the arrangement, and used E-6000 to glue down the wooden pieces when I was happy with how they looked.

The wallpaper cutouts were easy to use...just soak them in water for a minute to activate the adhesive on the back and then smooth onto the board. I blotted with a paper towel, and used a plastic straight edge tool to squeeze out extra water.

Next up was adding the measurements along one edge of the board. I used a light pencil crayon and a quilting ruler to mark one-inch increments.

For the first two growth charts, I just used the paint marker to go over the pencil crayon lines -- and that worked fine. For the third, I used a piece of painter's tape to help keep the edges even. Better! When the lines were dry, I went back and freehand continued them around the side of the board and added numbers at each foot mark. Since the boards are only 4 feet long, I started my numbers at two, three of four inches from the bottom. When the chart is wall mounted, the bottom will be just a little under two feet above the floor. Did that make sense?

And here's the finished version again. When my son wakes up, I'll get a photo of his now mounted growth chart so you can see how it looks on the wall.

Edited to add new photo:
Finished and mounted at the proper height!

Update!!  This project is my entry to hopefully become a competitor at 

Linked to:

mmm button


(Cost breakdown for THREE growth charts: board -- $12, wallpaper cutouts -- $10.50 (including shipping), paint and paint marker -- $10, stars and letters -- $8. Total: $40.50 or approx $13.50 each.)

Catch a Glimpse Button


  1. Great job on these Tanya, ingenious use of those wallpaper cutouts!

  2. These are really cute! I definitely want to do this when I have a child or even for baby shower gifts! Thanks for the idea!

  3. These would make such great gifts. Thanks for explaining how you numbered and mounted them. I'm sure I would have messed that part up!

  4. I love growth charts that you can take with you if you move! Great tutorial too. Thanks for linking up!

  5. I love this! I am bookmarking it to possibly make one for my cousin's new baby girl coming in March :)

    THANK YOU so much for linking up to my very first "20 Below Thursday" party! I hope you come back next week too! :)

  6. That looks great! What a fabulous idea!
    Thanks for linking this up as well!

  7. Aww! I love this. I need to make one for my nephew...before he's born in March! :D

    Great job! Thanks for sharing!

  8. very cute idea. love the airplanes