Growth charts are a great and wholesome way to mark the growth of your children, so it’s no wonder that so many people make them. Today, we will cover two types of wooden growth charts: One for indoor use and one for outdoor use.

How to Make Two Kinds Of Wooden Growth Charts

These are not difficult to make at all, so have fun and get creative.

The Indoor Version

First, the materials:

  • a flat piece of pinewood: 6 feet long, 1 foot wide, and about 1/4-inch thick
  • Sandpaper
  • A vinyl cover sticker (optional)
  • 1-2 cans of spray-on polyurethane (optional)
  • Wood stain (optional)
  • Router and/or woodburner (optional)
  • Black/red paint and paintbrush
  • A drill
  • A few drywall screws with anchors
  • A drillbit that is slightly smaller than your screws
  • Ruler (preferably a “T-square” type)
  • A pencil

Step One: Prep The Board

First, drill four small holes through the board (one at each corner). Now take your flat piece of pinewood and give it a light sanding. We chose this wood because it is light-colored and so makes a great canvas. It’s also a softwood that’s very easy to work. This kind of thing doesn’t need to be all that durable, so pine is a perfect choice. A light sanding will also serve to brighten it up and bring out the natural grain pattern of the wood. Be sure to knock off any splinters or burrs caused by the drilling.



Step Two: Prep The Face

If you’ve watched a few internet videos about this subject, you might know that it’s possible to buy a large vinyl sticker for this purpose. It shouldn’t be too hard to use a search engine and find one if you want to do things the easy way. However, using one of these things does reduce the creativity factor. More specifically, it reduces your ability to create something unique and personalized. Still, it is the quickest way to get the job done, although you might have to resize the board to fit your sticker.

For those who want to do things right, use your ruler and a pencil to mark the board every six feet. These will be your feet lines. Essentially, you are just copying what is on your ruler onto this board. Start with lines that indicate feet, then do the inch lines. Now, write the numbers in their appropriate places. Once that is complete, you can make those lines and numbers permanent in one of three ways:

  • Paint them in black
  • Use a router to engrave the numbers and lines
  • Use a wood burner to burn the lines and numbers into the wood

Step Three: Finishing The Job

Your next step is to use spray-on polyurethane to cover the surface and protect it from damage. This is only truly necessary if you used the paint. If you used the router method, you might choose to use the wood stain instead. However, do not use the wood stain and wood burner method together because the marks will become harder to see. Now all you have to do is find a good place to hang it on the wall. You might have to chop a little bit off the bottom to account for the width of your baseboard, but that’s no big deal. What matters is that the bottom of the board is flush against the floor so the measurements will be accurate. As your child grows, you can mark the board in whatever way you wish.

How to Make Two Kinds Of Wooden Growth Charts - growth chart

The Outdoor Version

For those of you who would rather put the growth chart outdoors, iirnTree presents the “hillbilly growth chart.”

The materials:

  • a flat piece of white oak: 7.5 feet long, 1 foot wide, and about 1/2-inch thick
  • Sandpaper
  • 1-2 cans of spray-on polyurethane (optional)
  • Wood stain (optional)
  • Router and/or woodburner (optional)
  • Black/red paint and paintbrush
  • Ruler (preferably a “T-square” type)
  • A pencil
  • A shovel
  • Some rocks (large and small)
  • A tamping stick
  • Two bags of instant concrete (optional)

Step One: Prep The Board

As before, you should start by cleaning up the wood and sanding the surface. Get rid of any rough spots, burrs, etc. We chose white oak for the wood this time because it still has that nice bright appearance. At the same time, it is durable enough to last outdoors for many years.

Step Two: Prep The Face

As before, mark your measurement lines and the numbers that go along with them. This time, make sure you start at the top and work your way down. You’ll see why in the next step. You can use paint if you want, but that will mean having to use even more clear coat. For the outdoor version, the router or wood burner methods are preferred. There’s no need to make it fancy or pretty since this is the hillbilly version, but you can decorate it if you like. No matter what you do, use plenty of clear coats to protect the whole thing from the weather.

Dig, Mount And Use

Now it’s time to dig a hole. Don’t worry, we ain’t puttin’ no trespassers in them holes…we’re just planting a post. Dig a hole that’s about 1.5 feet deep and stand your post upright in the hole. Have someone hold the post upright while you pile small rocks around the base. Once that is done, start filling the hole with dirt. Every few inches, stop and tamp the dirt down with a stick. The tamping stick should be 3-6 feet long and should be thick and heavy. That weight allows it to effectively compact the earth as you repeatedly ram downwards. Tamp it down all the way around, add more dirt, tamp some more, and keep going until you reach the top. Once the hole is more or less filled, place your large rocks (the biggest you can get) around the base of the pole for extra support.

To use: Have your “young un” walk up to the growth post and stand up straight. Use a pencil on top of their head to mark the line of their growth. Then, after the child walks away, use your knife to notch the post at the right spot. It’s that simple.

Conclusion

And so, there you have two workable methods. Of course, you will probably want to add or change certain things to suit your style or needs, and that is fine. In any case, we hope we have given you a couple of good templates from which to draw ideas. Have fun and remember to keep yourself and your family safe.