DIY Children's Growth Chart
by Jennifer Vardy Little (Apr 13, 2012)
One of the things that frustrated me the most when I was looking for a baby book for my son was my inability to find anything that went beyond age two. Everything also seemed to be stuck in the past; none of the areas where you could fill in information had changed since my own baby book and really didn't take into account that today's kids are growing up in a tech-savvy world.
I wanted something that would grow with him, at least until he got through primary school, and something that I could update quickly with a few words to mark each of his milestones.
That's why I decided to make my own growth chart. I was amazed at how quickly I made it - from start to finish, it took under two hours - and it was great to be able to personalize it for my child. Best of all, my design will allow me to take the growth chart apart once it's no longer needed and slip it into a scrapbook for posterity.
Here's what you need:
Start by marking measurements along one 11" side of each of your five pieces of same-colored cardstock. Instead, to save some time, you could buy a new ruler tape and adhere it to the side. Ensure you leave a one-inch overlap at the top of each piece of cardstock where you do not mark your measurements; that area will overlap the previous piece when attaching each section to the next.
Measure approximately an inch in on the opposite side of the cardstock. Cut five 10" pieces of ribbon and attach a piece of ribbon to each sheet of cardstock, to create a border.
Next, take three sheets of colored cardstock. Cut fifteen 2 ½" x 3 ½" pieces to use as mats for pictures of your child as he or she grows. Arrange the mats, three per page. If you'd like, you can cut some of the mats larger or smaller for different-sized pictures, but the 2 ½" x 3 ½" size will fit a wallet-sized photo perfectly. The photos will create a great visual record of your child's growth.
Cut the white sheet of cardstock into five pieces, approximately 4"x 3", but this can be adjusted depending on the placement of your mats. These will become journaling cards for your growth chart. Ink the edges of each piece to make it pop against your cardstock and adhere a journaling card to each of your five sections of your growth chart. On each of the white pieces of cardstock, write some notes to remind yourself of the dates and events in your child's life that you want to remember. Some ideas could include:
Personalize your chart to include what you want to remember about your child's development. Other notes could include a spot to record your child's height and weight and key times in his or her life. Having room to make notes makes it easy to jot down information you don't want to forget - and having it right on your child's wall makes it hard to forget to do.
Embellish your growth chart. I decided to do a fun, bright chart in primary colors and embellish it with stars, making it suitable for a boy or a girl. A fun chart for a little girl could feature butterflies; a little boy's chart could be filled with cars or trucks, but really, the sky's the limit.
On the piece of cardstock that will become the top of the chart, adhere your title. I chose "Watch You Grow," but a quote or even the child's name would be good options as well.
Finally, it's time to attach your five cardstock sheets together to form your chart. I opted to attach each piece with large brads so that they can easily be detached and slipped into a scrapbook once the chart is no longer needed. Taking your first piece of cardstock, line it up carefully with the second piece so that the second piece overlaps by one inch. Using two to four brads, secure the two pieces together. Repeat until all five pieces are connected.
Hang on your child's wall. Make notes on your journaling cards and adhere pictures as your child grows.