I browsed around for a few inspirational ideas and came across some really great painted or stained designs that I loved. In the end, I decided to keep it simple so I would be able to easily chart my son's growth. Here are a few I came across.
The ones above are from Design, Dining & Diapers, Bower Power Blog and Cozy, Cottage, Cute. I love these ladies. They have offered so much creativity to work off of.
So first thing on Saturday while Daddy was at work, I packed up the monkey and we headed to The Home Depot. I dream of the day we're no longer carrying a diaper bag, back up clothes, snacks and a drink everywhere we go. Quick trips would once again be quick trips... One day Ashley, then you'll be wishing for these days back.
We had to do our ritual Home Depot photo op...
We picked up a 1x6x6 board which was less than $8.00 and a container of Minwax Dark Walnut stain. If you already have all the materials needed, then this project will cost you less than $10 easy.
Once we got home, little man went down for a nap and mom got to work. I sanded the entire board with 100 grit sandpaper. 100 is a perfect level to smooth out the wood. You could sand it again with a 150 grit to roughen the surface area a little more for the stain to adhere to, but the one run through with the 100 worked perfect for this project.
Don't forget to brush off all the dust.
When staining, I would suggest using a cloth instead of a sponge brush. The brush is easier and makes less of a mess, but using the cloth helps the wood soak in more of the stain. Make sure you have latex gloves, this stuff is super sticky and your fingers will turn out looking like tootsie rolls if you don't. Trust me; you'll do that, end up having to run to Walmart for something ridiculous and end up on the People of Walmart site. :)
I used Minwax Dark Walnut for the finish. The deep brown wood grain color turned out beautifully. Also, I DID NOT use polyurethane to cover the stain. I wanted to keep the rough worn look.
Now to let it dry. I always, ALWAYS jump the gun on this step. However, being outside in the cold helped the process along nicely. After 30 minutes this was ready to get taped off for painting.
From the floor, I measured a foot up the wall and decided where I wanted my board to start. The measurements on my board start at half a foot, 6 inches. Don't forget this step when drilling it into the wall!
The taped off sections are for each feet using Frog Tape. This stuff is amazing and has 'Paint Block' on the edges preventing ANY paint bleeding. It worked perfect for me.
The foot marks are thicker than the smaller markings in between and go across about 3/4 of the width of the board. The smaller inch lines (done every 2) I just marked with a pencil. To be honest, instead of taping off each line, I just decided to wing it with the paint. If you do, take your time. Never will a task make you question your age like this one will. My hand was shaking like I was 90 from concentrating so hard!
After the paint dried, I pulled the tape off... revealing my beautifully straight paint lines. :)
For the numbers, the easiest method would be to just print out some numbers and X-Acto knife them. If you have a Cricut machine with this little cartridge, then that would work even better. I on the other hand had to trace these babies because my printer was out of ink.
Just tape the numbers to the board where desired and sponge/blot the paint on. Blot lightly because you don't want the paint to bleed under the paper. There's really nothing holding it down to the board other than your hand.
Finally after letting the numbers dry a little, they were ready to be removed and my finished work was revealed. I feel in love with it instantly. Kind of like that feeling you get browsing through the Pottery Barn catalog, drooling all over the decor and furniture.
When drilling the board into the wall, I would suggest using a screw anchor for this. I don't usually like using them because they're a bit time consuming, like 5 minutes because I'm impatient. Here is what we used. Remember, you're taking up an inch of your screw through the board, so its going to pull out of the drywall more easily without the anchors.
And once it was finally hung... GORGEOUS!
And of course a photo bomb...