Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Look what I did!!

I don't know if this is a trend all over the US or just in the South, but down here we measure the height of kids on the door or door frame of our houses.  Since we are in the militarty we won't stay at the same house for long so I needed something to track Grayson's growth.  I looked in to ordering a portable growth chart but once I calculated tax and shipping it came out cheaper to make my own, so I did!!  I'm going to brag on myself for a minute.  It turned out really well.  I forgot how crafty I could be.  It took a long time and I DID have help sewing it because my sewing skills just aren't all that spectacular.  It was a family affair.  My Mom, sister, cousin and Mawmaw helped me.  I will try to explain how we did it.  So here goes!

I found a blog that showed how to make a portable growth chart here.   I used it as a template but definitely didn't follow it to a tee.

  1. I bought 3&1/2 yards of canvas material, stencils and fabric paint markers.  The fabric was 60 inches wide so I could make another one if the first one didn't work out.
  2.  I cut the chart 23 inches wide.  The chart is 20 inches across and each side hem is 1&1/2 inches.  I folded the side hem in once and pinned and pressed and sewed it.  Then I folded it over again and again and pinned, pressed and then sewed it.  The width of the chart and hem is totally up to you. 
  3. We measured and measured and measured again for the hems on the top and bottom.  The first hem at the top and bottom didn't work out so we had to rip out the stitches and measure and do it again.  I'm going to buy dowel rods and twine to hang the growth chart when I get back.  I used a dowel rod my Dad had just so I could get measurements.  The exact measurements depends on what size dowel rod you use.  I used a half inch dowel rod.
  4. First I measured a 1/4 inch hem and pinned and pressed and sewed.  Then I rolled the material over the dowel rod and made a mark.  I then folded the material and measured about every 5 inches to make sure it was the same.  It took almost two hours to do this.  I don't remember the exact measurements because they were an odd measurement.
  5. Wash or don't wash the material is up to you.  I washed mine after I did all the hemming.  It did shrink a little so be prepared.  I ripped the top and bottom seams outs after I had washed it.  Maybe if you wash after making the first fold it might not mess up the hem.  It DOES need a hem before you wash it because canvas ravels very quickly!  
  6. The most tedious part of the entire growth chart was marking off the marks on the side.  I started at 1'7" and went to 6'4" .  I am going to hang the growth chart 18 inches off the floor.  I lined up the bottom hem at 18 inches and started marking one inch above that.  I made the feet marks 3 inches long and the inch marks 1.2 inches long.  It took forever to make sure the lines were straight and the exact.  (I blame my husband for making me so OCD when it comes to measuring things!)  The first thing I did was use a pencil to make a tiny dot where I needed to mark where all the lines would be and then I went back with two rulers and the marker.   I used a black fabric paint marker.  I know that was probably an extra step but I wanted it straight.
  7. Next I placed my stencils where I wanted them and moved them around until they where exactly where I wanted them and exactly straight and even.  Again I blame Gabe.  This took a long time.  I taped my stencils down so they wouldn't move.
  8. I the drew it out on a piece of paper and decided on colors.  Before I forget, I used the scrape fabric I had to test the stencils and the colors of my paint markers.  I found this very helpful.
  9. All that was left to do was color them in.  I used fabric paint markers.  This was just easier for me instead of using paint and brushes.  
  10. The only thing left to do is heat set the paint.  Each painted section needs two minutes of heat set.  I found this video on YouTube.
I haven't totally decided how I am going to mark his growth.  I really need to decide seeing as how his birthday is coming up soon!!

Hope you can understand my directions if you decide to make one of your own.  I would suggest making it early, unlike me and making it the week before.

I can't upload pics right now.  I will try another computer.

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