Thursday, October 6, 2011

DIY project - Children's Growth Chart

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Whew. Its done. Its FINALLY done. Hallelujah/raise the roof/break out the champagne/ and everything in between. I have no idea why it has taken this long to get this project done. Months and months! First, there was the decision issue and trying to decide what look I was going for and what graphics I wanted. Then, it was the shopping for material and deciding again on scrapbook pages, etc. Then my printer broke. And the second printer wouldn't work. So, whew. Its DONE.

Why, do you ask would I do a do-it-yourself growth chart and not just buy one? Because I just never found one that I loved. Their nursery, as you know kind of has this french theme to it. And all the growth charts I found were too cartoony, too cutesy, too polkadotty, and just too baby/kid looking. Also, I wanted something that they could roll up and take with then wherever they went and coudl keep it forever. So, I decided I wanted to do my own. I have searched the internet high and low for tutorials. I honestly just kind of winged it. I figured I could Mod Podge about everything. So, this is my no sewing, no wood growth chart. I am anxious to hear your thoughts, because quite honestly, I thinks it FABULOUS!!!

Supplies needed:
Scrapbook pages
Some computer know-how
Material (I used some clearance Waverly outdoor fabric, I figured it was a little thicker, and hey - on sale!)
Scrapbook numbers
Scissors (or an exacto knife, which I don't have)
A wire hanger
Mod Podge (one container per growth chart)

Step 1.
I designed these myself. I found some free graphics on the computer (again, this took forever. I couldn't make up my mind). For Josh's I used vintage sports graphics. For Jules, I made hers more "French" and did graphics of birds, a chandelier, and the Eiffel tower of course! My favorite is the crowns. I adore crowns!  I changed the color of some in photoshop. I also wanted to do a silhouette of them, which kind of goes with their frame above their crib. I did this in Photoshop, which was pretty easy if you know your way around. You can also just do a picture of them here if you want. Again, this took time, I know, but I love it. This is all just matter of taste, really. I set everything up in Microsoft Word on 8.5 x 12 pages. It took 5 pages. I went above 5 feet, but you can make it shorter if you would like.

2. Bought 12 x 12 scrapbook paper at Michaels and cut it to 8.5 x 12. They I printed out my designs on them. (I would recommend practicing on some scrap pages before printing out the final product, just to make sure your layout is correct) Again, I used 5 pages.

3. Cut your material. I recommend going ahead and buying 5 feet of material for the back of your growth chart. I did not, so I had to glue it together about half way down. Again, your call. It certainly would have made it easier, but I was going for the cheap "clearance fabric scraps", so there. lol. So, cut your material to about 9-10" across and as long as it will go (you need to cut over the 8.5" width, because you need some room on each side - it will make sense later).

4. Start Mod Podging. I used a whole bottle of Mod Podge for each growth chart. Put Mod Podge on the back of each scrapbook page and CAREFULLY align them up long-ways. (here is where I wished I had 5 ft of material). About halfway down I had to also align the fabric design up and glue that too. Again, it ended up being fine, but it would have been easier if I didn't have to do this step. Also here is where you would stick up the numbers to it as well.
*important - leave an inch or two of material above your top page to allow room for your hanging rod.
*important - please make sure there is no air bubbles as well - that can create headaches late (from experience)

Mod Podge on the back of the scrapbook page

Make sure the pages are aligned EXACT using your Mod Podge. (they should stick and stay put though)

Lining up the page on the fabric. (note the extra fabric up top and to each side, although I could have used more space on the sides)

5. Mod Podge like crazy. I would Mod Podge the front, let it dry, then turn it over and Mod Podge the back. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Its all lined up and done. Now we Mod Podge on top like crazy.

Here is where I had to line up more fabric. Its not too bad, but again, you could just buy more fabric too.

6. Take the cardboard out of your wire hanger. Using Mod Podge, apply it to the underside of the fabric along the top of your growth chart. Carefully roll your cardboard tube up.

Drying. Note the cardboard tube on the upper side.

7. More Mod Podge until its gone. Then hang and let dry and set.

8. Trim the edges using an exacto knife or scissors. I only had scissors.
Trimming the bottom

Trimming the edges. Again, its best to have to have a bit more give here, as its easier that way.

Cut the edge of the cardboard tube so its even to the fabric.

9. Loop a ribbon through and hang! Tada

I am so proud of My Do-It-Yourself Growth Charts!! And FYI - The bottom is a French Proverb (you know how much I adore French things!) It says, "Les petits ruisseaux font les grandes rivières" which is translated to mean, "Tall oaks from little acorns grow" - perfect for a growth chart, no??
Front of charts

Back of charts

Close-ups of the top, where I have their full name and birth details. Then the middle where I have some graphics.

The bottom where their silhouette is and more graphics

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  1. OmG!! Jason and I have been talking about making our own but have yet to begin. These are freaking amazing!!! I'm inspired!!

  2. love it!! i will be trying this :)

  3. Umm, WOW! Those are amazing! Thanks so much for sharing :)

    {And BTW, I am your newest follower}

  4. And I am your newest follower on Pinterest ;)

  5. Such a GREAT idea!
    New follower from the blog hop ~ would love for you to visit mine =)

  6. i LOVE this project!! I have wanted a growth chart for Eirik but the only one I found i loved was $70! When i get my computer fixed i am doing this =)

  7. Those look awesome! I never thought about making my own - you are very creative!!

    Newest Follower, hope you will return the gesture! I look forward to reading your posts!

  8. Found you through the Hop along Friday blog hop and am your newest GFC follower.
    Would love a return follow on my blog

  9. Those are great! I should do something like that for my three.

    New follower! I look forward to reading your blog.

  10. Will be "borrowing" this idea and doing my own this next week! Thanks for the great idea!

  11. OMG Absolutely adorable! This will make a great keepsake! Thank you so much for linking up to Make Yourself Monday!

    For Love of Cupcakes

  12. I really need to make these for my kids! follower would love for you to stop by and look around!

  13. wow that's really amazing!! i love those DYI'S

  14. Ok, i'm late but I would like to kwnow if mod podge turned 'yellow' after all that time.

    Thanks !

  15. LOVED your idea so much - I made one for my niece!!! I have a few things I added (like being able to see the fabric on the front side as well as the back, but it was SOOO appreciated by my brother and sister-in-law!