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March 5, 2013 / Mettā Reiki Center

Watching her grow!

When I was little, I remember Mom standing us up next to a door in our kitchen to measure how much we grew.  We had a “chart” on the door jamb that looked a little bit like this:

 

 

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It was so much fun to watch as we grew. I always figured we would be in that house forever – but as life will often do, things changed, we moved – and the growth chart stayed at that old house, no doubt covered with several layers of paint by now.

I wanted to find a way to keep track of Ali’s growth that we could keep with us always – even if life “happened”, it could be something we could take with us. I did a bit of searching online and found growth charts sold by places like Pottery Barn that looked a little bit like this:
pottery barn chart

I LOVED it – it was exactly what I needed! But the pricetags started at $50 and went up to $100 or more. That part I didn’t need. So I started browsing Pinterest for ideas and came up with a brainchild.

I headed out to Home Depot and picked up a piece of wood that was about 7 feet long, about 6 (?) inches wide and an inch thick. I brought it home, and laid it out with the measuring tape to see if I could try to semi-duplicate the Pottery Barn version of the growth chart with some paint and patience. The first step was measuring out the “tic-marks” for inches and feet. I used some painter’s tape and secured the measuring tape to the board and used a pencil to make small marks where the paint would go to mark off the inches. Since I knew that the chart would hang 12 inches up from the floor, I lined the bottom of the board up with the measuring tape at the 12 inch mark.

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Of course, I had some help…

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Once I finished making the small marks, I wanted to do some flowers. My idea was to do a climbing vine of flowers with little caterpillars at the bottom and a butterfly at the top. Another idea I found on Pinterest: use the bottom of a water bottle to make flowers. You dip the bottom of an empty water bottle into some paint and dot it onto your “canvas” where you want your flowers to be. The “star” shape of the bottom of the bottle makes perfect flower petals, so all you have to do is sponge a separate color in the middle and add some green stems and leaves to make a pretty flower vine:

growthchart1

growthchart2

Once that dried, I grabbed my “puffy paint” (black fabric paint) to mark off the “tic-marks” of my oversized ruler, making sure to make the 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 foot line markings longer so I would know where to put the numbers.

growthchart3

Again, I let the paint dry (that is the most time consuming part of the project!)…and added my caterpillars…

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The best part of the project was the butterfly. It is made out of Ali’s footprints. Daddy dipped her feet into some paint and put her footprints on the top of the growth chart (right foot on the left, and vice-versa, so the footprints look like butterfly wings). A little puffy paint for the body and antennae, and we have a metamorphosis!

butterfly1

My husband used some hooks in the side to tie rope onto the top so it could hang a little more securely from a hook mounted in our wall (with the alligator hooks to secure it, to be on the safe side):

hanginghooks

The final product was a growth chart similar to the $50-100 Pottery Barn ruler, but altogether, even with the paint, cost us less than $25. It’s a project you can get done in just a couple of days if you work on it in your spare time – the paint drying time is what takes the longest, but the time is worth it…this way, you can add your own whimsical fun to the project to make a beautiful and unique keepsake for your home!

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