Wooden Ruler Growth Chart DIY/Tutorial

I have wanted one of those ruler growth charts since Mr. Viever and I saw them at a "hometown fair." We looked at them and both loved them but couldn't bring ourselves to spend the $80 on it when we were fairly certain it could be something we did on our own.  Two kids and several years later.  I finally got to making it.  Partially, because I was reminded on our move up to Seattle while staying at a friend's house who had theirs hanging in their hallway (looking at you Amber).

Materials used for this project (alternative ideas at the bottom)
8ft x 9in x 1.5 in wood board
150, 180, and 220 grit sandpapers
Cloth diaper/rag
Varathane Stain + Ploy in Golden Oak
Behr Weather Proofing Wood Stain & Sealer in Grey
Behr Marque in an Aqua/Robin Blue
Small Paint brushes
Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover Clear Gloss Spray Can
D rings

I started with an 8 foot board from the discount bin at home depot.  As you can see there were splits on the ends and sections that were chipping off.  But as my son says, "But that's okay!"  I had Mr. Viever cut off the ends where the splits in the wood down the middle were and ended with a 6.5 foot board.

As for the chipped areas, I already knew I'd be sanding it down to use the stain I wanted (per instructions on the back of the stain can) so I focused on those chipped areas to get the nice and smooth.  I started with the 150 grit sanding all sides. Then did the same with the 180 grit and the 220 grit.  3.5 hours of sanding later and my board was prepped and ready for some stain!  **Make sure you are sanding WITH the grain.**

Here's where I deviated from the can instructions.  It says to apply with a brush.  Well, I like using rags.  I actually ended up cutting small 4x4 inch squares from an old cloth diaper flat using one piece to dip into the stain and a "clean" one to wipe away any access I noticed.  I feel with this method, I'm more able to get a more uniform, smooth paint job.

Apply stain, wait an hour to dry, sand board, dust off, and repeat.  In between paint jobs if I noticed I missed mopping up some access I made sure to hit those spots with the sandpaper a little more throughly before adding the next coat of stain.

It took me a few days to get all 4 coats of stain done as I did all sides and could only work on it when the kids were napping, Mr. Viever had the kiddos (digging for worms was the activity of choice this week), or the kids were in bed for the night.  But finally I had the staining all finished.

Time for the ticks!  I have two metal L shaped rulers.  I used my smaller one and measured out each inch.   I knew I would be starting my board 6 inches off the ground so I treated the base as inch six and worked my way up to finish the first foot.

 Like on a ruler I wanted some distinction between the inches so inches 1,2,4,5,7,8,10, and 11 all measure .5 inch in length; inches 3 and 9 measure 1 inch in length; the half way point of inch 6 is 1.25 inches; and finally the foot mark or in 12 is 1.75 inches long.  Continued all the way to the top which for me topped out at 7 feet 1 inch (plus a little).

Next the numbers.  I used the font Marker Felt and printed out numbers one through seven at a 400 size.  This gave me the BIG numbers I was wanting for the board.  You can of course adjust the size as you want or even pick your own favorite font.  Maybe something more scroll like?  Me I like the marker look.

Next take a pencil and scribble the back of the number making sure to include all edges of the number.

Then lay out the correct number next to the correct foot mark with the print side facing you and your scribble down on the board.  Trace the outline of the number using a firm hand.

You now have your outline!  You may need to use your pencil to darken the line on the wood but the impression should be there as your guide.

Break out the paints again!  Before we actually get started with the paint I'll let you in on a little secret.  I bought both the number paint and the inch tick paint from the "oops" bin at Home Depot.  Each pot was only 50 cents!  Now if you aren't picky about colors you might want to make a stop at the oops station yourself.

I used a thin brush to trace the outlines of the number first.  Then filled the outline with a thicker brush.  I found that stiff brushes were not good for getting a nice layer but the softer brushes gave me the even layer without many brush lines.  I did have to occasionally pull out the hairs of the brush when they pushed out to maintain a nice line.

With the numbers all filled in, its time to move onto the ticks.  Again I used my thinner brush here.  I started at the top of the board and worked down as then I was making lines left to right since I'm right handed and then I didn't run my hand through the wet paint.  Lefties would find it easier to go right to left (at least I'd imagine so...)

After my ticks were filled, i looked at my numbers again to see if they were filled to my liking.  I ended up doing one more layer b/c I had some thinner spots where the wood coloring was slightly peeking through.

Now finished with both numbers and ticks.  I waited overnight for them to dry and then did the hardware on the back.

Using the front to measure, I measured down to my 6.5 foot line.  Then I drew in that line on the back of the board.  Placed the D-rings so that the hook will hang approximately from the top of the inside of the ring.  Then used my ruler to make sure they were lined up on the bottom and marked the holes to drill.

Mr. Viever kindly pre-drilled holes for me.  Then I manned the drill and put in the screws.  Hardware done.

Time to seal it up!  Using the directions on the can I added two coats of gloss on the top of the board. Ohhhh shiny!  I had just sprayed in this picture when it's dried it's not nearly so shiny.

Mounted the board using the hooks that came with my d-rings.  Measured up the wall to the 6.5 foot mark, lined up the bottom of the hook with the line, and nailed in the hooks.  Hanging after that was easy breezy.

So how accurate or off was I?  I think I did pretty good!

Without further ado, here is my finished wooden ruler growth chart!  Ta Da!!!!

I went out and bought some extra fine sharpies in colors my kids like for their height markers.

Storage for the markers so we know where they are but the kids can't get to them.  Check.

Ultimately I'd like to get paint pens to do their marks with but the store didn't have colors I liked...  Another idea would be to use metallics rather than colors to make the markings pop off the board, especially if you've gone with a darker color stain/paint.

First marks!  I'll be adding their birth lengths and measurements from their well checks later.

Other Tips and Ideas
Don't like stain?  Choose your favorite color to paint with!  Chalkboard paint.  Shabby Chic styling.  The possibilities are endless!

Numbers and ticks:  Mailbox decals, vinyl cut outs, decoupage scrapbook paper cut out into numbers, stencil and use a paint pen or sharpie, wood burning, search on etsy and buy the decal to stick on

Inch Ticks:  I didn't do this on mine but read about it later as a way to get nice straight lines.  Instead of marking the actual inch line mark 1/16 to each side of the inch mark then draw those two lines to the length desired making a rectangle of sorts.  Then fill in.  Voila straight lines!

Add a personal flair with your family name down the side or a favorite quote.

Use your nursery theme (or a piece of the theme that will grow with your kids) and include images down the sides.

Use the picture frame rubber bumpers on the bottom corners of the chart to minimize any rubbing against the wall when bumped.  (I can't find mine or I would have take pictures of this!!  Will update the posting if I ever find them... or buy a new set)

Keep your clear gloss spray pain around and seal the marks you make every couple of years so the lines don't wear away with time.

Have fun creating!

It's Parfait-tay Time!

Things are busy for us during the summer over here at That’s What She Crafted and projects take a back seat to vacations and back to school shenanigans.  With all of this busy-ness, one needs a sweet escape every once in a while.  I like my desserts to be super delicious and super fast to make.  Today, I’m going to share a snack recipe with you because it’s my Parfait-ty and I’ll bake if I want to.  Whomp whooooooomp.

This raspberry cheesecake pudding parfait is made up of things you prepare one time and assemble and enjoy throughout the week.  You can change it up in true parfait fashion switching pudding flavors and pie fillings, but this is the combination that I ADORE.   We’ll start with the simple stuff: Raspberry Pie filling and Cheesecake flavored pudding.

Open a can of Raspberry pie filling and place in the refrigerator in an airtight container.  I leave it in overnight to get it nice and chilled. 

Prepare one package of Jello brand cheesecake flavored pudding- stovetop or instant- per the directions on the box.  Cover and place in the refrigerator in an air tight container until well chilled.

Now to make the graham cracker crust dust.

1.5 cups of Graham Cracker Crumbs
5 Tbs of Sugar
1 stick of butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix together the sugar and graham crackers  until well blended

Melt the stick of butter and add to the dry ingredients.  The mix will look crumbly.

Press into the bottom of a 10” round pan

Bake for 8-10 minutes and let cool completely

Once the crust is cool, break into pieces and place in a clear bag.  LIGHTLY crumble the pieces with your hands.  You want clumps and crumbs, so don’t Hulk smash it.

Store in your plastic bag until ready to use!  

To assemble the goodness, start with the graham cracker crust dust on bottom, then pudding, then pie filling.  Keep this going until you reach your desired number of layers.  Then sprinkle some more graham cracker crust dust on top and enjoy.  

The best part about this dessert is that you keep all parts separate and just assemble when you need a sugar rush.  It feels like a special occasion even if you just cleaned sharpie off of a wall while in sweats and no bra 5 minutes earlier.  That’s what I’m talkin’ about.  



Paisley Roots Saffron Twirl: Pattern "Somersaults"

Yo peeps!  I had my own blog and now I don't.  There were some pretty cool tutorials over there and now they're not available, so I'm slowly bringing them to this awesome blog.  First up, some Saffron Twirl dress mods!   I am so happy with the way these dresses came out! I'm going to share my tiny flips of this pattern- they're more like pattern "somersaults" actually.  We're quite a ways from the pattern Olympics.  You ready?!?!?

***Excuse the weird photo editing.  These pics were taken before I knew how to shoot well and edit like a boss.  It's a little painful, but it's all I've got right now.  Power through.  Just power through***

**********Somersault #1: The teardrop applique neckline********** 

 The only thing I added on my first dress was the teardrop appliques. You're going to need to print out this free template I put together for you. You're welcome. You know you thanked me. Make sure to print it at 100% or actual size...whichever you do normally for pattern printing. You can always increase or decrease these sizes to suit your taste, but my way is usually the best. As far as your method of applique, you can do it however you normally do it. I like to trace my shapes on to Wonder Under (write on the smooth side) and follow the manufacturers instructions for ironing it on.
 I measured out 5/8" from the edge of the raw neckline on the bodice front. Why? Because 3/8" is the SA and I gave myself 1/4" extra for any mistakes. I didn't mark on my fabric because I hate that. I just laid my clear acrylic ruler on my fabric. Then I placed my largest drop down on the center with the point touching the line (the edge of my ruler). Once I was satisfied with the placement, I ironed it into place (yay for sticky, wonderful Wonder Under). I eyeballed the placement of the rest of my drops, making sure the points all touched the line and were evenly spaced. Ironed those suckers down too. They were all like "what!?!?" Then I zigzagged around each drop. Once that's all done, you just sew the dress up as directed and it'll turn out PURTY.  

********** Somersault #2: Skirt band and contrasting ties********** 

 For the contrasting ties....I used two fabrics. Yeah, that's all. Tutorial over! For the Band on the bottom I just used math. THESE MEASUREMENTS WERE FOR THE SIZE 4! The math will be the same, but the final pieces of the larger skirt section will be larger or smaller based on the size you make. My skirt height was 16". I picked 4" for the band height because I wanted a finished band of 3.5" after the hem (hem is 1/2" total). Soooooo 16-4=12. Give yourself a sticker. Now add on SA to each piece since you have to attach them to one another.... and you have one piece that's 12 3/8" tall and one that's 4 3/8" tall. WHEW! All of that addition...making kindergartners sweat.

Now put your band on the bottom of your skirt RST and sew using your SA. Finish off that seam with a serger or zig-zag and press the seam up. Iron your seam up and top-stitch into place. Now you have a 16" tall skirt piece just as the pattern calls for.

Sew up your dress using these new skirt pieces and you're done.  WOO HOO!!!!  Winning all over the place.

You can get the Saffron dress HERE and make sure to "like" Paisley Roots on Facebook.  You can like her in real life, too.  She's a pretty cool person.  She's also one of the SHEs so, yeah.


Tobago Babies

Hey everyone!  It’s still 9,000 degrees here and while everyone starts up their Autumn and Winter sewing, I’m still on the tank train.  Even sewing long sleeves makes my pits start dripping and my palms start warming up like little portable ovens.  We didn’t even hit long-sleeve temps in winter last year, so tanks are a fair option until about mid-November.  Luckily one of my totes fave designers (Carla with Scientific Seamstress and Sis Boom) came out with the best little tank ever about a month ago and the bonus is that it’s a fast sew.  WOO HOO!  Tobago, baby.  TOBAGO.

It’s taken me a while to write about the Sis Boom Tobago because they’re so easy to make that I didn’t even have that “I better freaking blog about this damn project that took half of my life” moment.  They just slipped into the girl’s wardrobe without stress or complications.  But they’re way too amazing to keep to myself, so you get to hear about ‘em.

The Tobago comes in lengths for top, tunic and dress which you pick by measuring.  There are two neckline options- curved and notched- and it also has a slit with button closure in the back for the smaller sized children, because toddlers have giant heads.  The sizes range from 3/6 months to 13/14 and then you have the women’s version (The Tortola releasing on its own in October.  It’s part of the road Trip Pattern Club now).  It’s a 30 minute project that anyone can sew.  The strap construction is GENIUS and if you join the Lab Group on FB, there’s a video to walk you through it.  This tank is made with WOVENS by the way.  It’s designed to be cut on the bias for drape, but I’ve made one with it on the grain and it’s still perfect.

I even made one for my boy...then he went and got all fabulous on me.

We’ll continue to bake here while you all wind down from the brief heat you’ve encountered.  I hate you all.


Jenny Follower

I will NOT be left out of the fabulousness that is SisBoom's Jenny.  Last month our SHE's held a Jenny off (Guest Post: Jeanine, Karly, Winner: Crystal) while I was off on vacation (and by vacation I mean a trip in which I took my two littles on an airplane by myself and spent two weeks in triple degree heat; however still wouldn't have traded it for anything as my kiddos got awesome quality time with both sets of grandparents, their cousins, their aunts and uncle, their great grandparents, and various other friends and family.)  So now that I'm home, it's on.

I pick out fabric from my bin that was purchased with my mother in law when she was teaching me how to sew... seven, eight years ago.  It was originally slated to be a skirt, and I only had 2.5 yards to make my medium Jenny.

As suggested, I started with a muslin.  Fit was pretty much spot on.  Didn't want to mess with it too much as I didn't have the right length zipper (remember all my stuff was bought many moons ago). On to the actual cutting and sewing!  I managed to squeeze out the pieces from my fabric and didn't even need my back up plain fabric to use as my lining pieces.  Wahoo!

Sewed up beautifully.  If I had a longer zip the only adjustments I'd make would be to take in the bodice a touch and maybe shorten it's length.

The dress is fantastic.  Perfect for running around town, a lunch date, play date, and parent-teacher conference.   Or just spinning on your deck with your little one (not pictured... but I swear she's there!)

Happy twirling!  Oh and if you love the look but not really a dress person?  Check out Crystal's tutorial on making a high waisted Jenny skirt!