How To Make A Yardstick Growth Chart

Just days before Christmas I realized I needed one more gift for my 21-month old grandson. The only day I had free to shop was on Black Friday. I'd rather go to the dentist than navigate my way through the crowds and long line-ups on that particular shopping day.

Deciding instead to come up with a quick and easy handmade gift, I went looking for inspiration on Pinterest. I found the perfect idea for a special handmade gift from Grandma that took only a couple of hours to make from start to finish. I'm sharing my Yardstick Growth Chart tutorial in the hopes that it will inspire my readers who are also grandparents. It would make a terrific birthday gift.

How to make a Yardstick Growth Chart

How To Make A Yardstick Growth Chart From A Fence Board

The picture above was taken in the makeshift nursery at Grandma & Grandpa's house.

What I love most about this gift, is that it is portable and can be moved from room-to-room or home-to-home with my grandson. When my kids were little I charted their growth on a wood-paneled wall in our basement. The panel had to be cut from the wall and now that my children are grown, I cherish that little piece of paneling.

I've included affiliate links in this post so you can see what products I used or recommend to make a Yardstick Growth Chart. See my disclosure policy.

Materials List

Yardstick Growth Chart from a fence board

Staining the fence board 

All you need is a straight, unwarped 6-foot fence board (mine is pine) to make this project. The picture above was taken after I applied two coats of Minwax Wood Finish in Dark Walnut using a lint-free rag, wiping away the excess.

Drawing Marks on DIY Yardstick Growth Chart

Drawing Measurement Marks

You will need a tape measure, pencil, and small square to draw the measurement marks along the fence board (as pictured above).

12-inch Foot Marks (look like 1-inch marks)

  • From the bottom of the board, measure 12-inches and mark it with pencil on the left side.
  • From that mark, measure another 12-inches and mark it with a pencil.
  • Repeat this step until you've reached the top of the board (6-feet).
  • Using a square, draw the lines 3-inches long.

6-inch Marks (look like 1/2-inch marks)

  • Measure 6-inches from the bottom of the board and mark with a pencil on the left side.
  • Measure 6-inches between the 12-inch foot lines and mark with a pencil on the left side.
  • Using a square, draw the lines 2 1/2-inches long.

3-inch Marks (look like 1/4-inch marks)

  • Measure 3-inches between the 12-inch and 6-inch lines and mark with a pencil on the left side.
  • Using a square, draw the lines 2-inches long. 

1 1/2-inch Marks (look like 1/8-inch marks)

  • Measure 1 1/2-inches between the 12-inch, 6-inch, and 3-inch lines and mark with a pencil on the left side.
  • Using a square, draw the lines 1 1/2-inches long. 

Painted numbers and marks on Yardstick Growth Chart

Stencil the numbers and paint the lines

Directly BEFORE the lines marking each foot, stencil the corresponding number using a 2-inch stencil and black or charcoal gray paint (as pictured above). I used chalk paint in the color Rocky Mountain by Country Chic Paint.

Using the same paint color and chisel artist brush, paint the lines on the chart.

Personalized DIY Yardstick Growth Chart

Personalize the growth chart

  • In Microsoft Word or PicMonkey, type the name of the child using the font of your choice in 200 pt size.
  • Save it and print it onto bond paper.
  • Cut around the graphic and tape it onto the growth chart wherever you prefer (mine is on the bottom).
  • Using graphite paper behind the graphic simply trace the child's name onto the growth chart. 
  • Using a script liner art brush and the same paint used in the previous steps, paint over the transfer.

How to hang the Yardstick Growth Chart

How to hang the growth chart

Install either a large sawtooth picture hanger OR two D-Hook picture hangers onto the back of the growth chart.

Another option, especially if you're a renter and don't want to put holes in the wall, use two Large 3M Command Picture Hanging Strips (holds up to 16 pounds), one at the top and bottom.

My tutorial is based on a floor-length growth chart (resting on the floor). Please note even though it's resting on the floor, you MUST ensure that it is secured to the wall for the child's safety.

Option 2 - Hang the growth chart 6-inches above the floor. 
With this option, you will need to shorten the board by cutting it on the first 6-inch mark. Hang the board on the wall 6-inches from the floor.  Also note, if you use this option, you will need to personalize the chart somewhere other than the bottom.

To make the growth chart extra special, write a sweet note from Grandma and/or Grandpa and include the date of the special occasion on the back of the growth chart. I wrote a special note to my grandson, Westin wishing him a Merry Christmas 2016 with a red sharpie marker and drew hearts.

I hope I've inspired some of you to make a Yardstick Growth Chart for those adorable little ones in your life. If you enjoyed my DIY Yardstick Growth Chart Tutorial, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

How to make a Yardstick Growth Chart

You will find this project linked up to these inspiring link parties.