Tag Archives: DIY

{DIY} Giant Ruler Growth Chart

My little man is growing up. Literally, I feel like he grows an inch every other day. He is constantly talking about “being big” and “growing tall,” so I wanted to make a little something for his room to help track the progress of these incredible growth spurts.

I’d seen a few different growth charts floating around the internet, the nicest being made from materials gotten at cutmyplastic.co.uk. When putting together his train room (final pictures coming soon!), I looked up many options to buy a chart for his room, but they were all just a bit cost prohibitive for me. Enter the DIY revolution, get a head start by following the tips from Toolerant. I wanted to make something we could bring with us when we move to different houses and that would stand the test of time in both durability and in decor.

This giant ruler growth chart would be a great addition to any room. It is easy to make and takes a few hours of an afternoon (mostly time to let stain and paint dry).

{DIY} Giant Ruler Growth Chart

Giant Ruler Growth Chart

What you need:
Wood board, at least 6 1/2 ft in height
Sand paper
Saw horses
Old towel
Yard stick or tape measure
Large number stencils (plastic ones work best)
White paint
Gloss Spray Coating (if desired)
Nails or screws
Saw hooks

To make:

Measure your board and cut to size. You will likely not be starting your measurements on the ruler at 0, to leave room for the baseboards . We made our board 6 ft, but the measurements on the board actually go up to 6 and a half feet.

Sand board until smooth, if needed. Remove all saw dust from board with a slightly damp cloth. Allow to completely dry before staining.

Dip the tip of an old rag or towel in the stain. Lightly brush the stain, going with the grain. You may want to do two or three coats. Allow to dry in between coats.

Once dry, using a yard stick or tape measure, mark out each inch using a pencil at the right side of each board. I made my 6 inch and 1 foot marks a bit longer.

Using painters tape, tape your stencils to the left of each foot mark. Using your yard stick, make sure they measure up.

Take white paint and lightly brush over measurement marks. I did not care for mine to be perfect lines, so I gently placed the brush and used one stroke from the inside, to the outside. Fill the stencils with white paint. You may want to do two or three coats, depending on preference. Allow to dry between coats.

DIY growth chart

Remove stencils once dry. Touch up any necessary spots with tip of small paint brush. If you’d like a light sheen over the board, coat with clear acrylic spray paint. You will need to do this about three times. Allow to dry in between each spray.

DIY Growth ChartTo hang, nail a saw hook to the top and bottom of the back of the growth chart. Measure the spacing and place nail or screw in wall. Hang on wall.

Then go ahead and measure your little (or not so little) ones! Lincoln and Bobo are up to 4ft!

ruler growth chart




Filed under Decorate, DIY

Turning our House into a Home

I thought I’d give you all a quick update on what’s going on in my world right now.  A couple weeks ago my husband and I bought a new house.  It is a “fixer-upper” as they say and we are quite overwhelmed with the projects we have gotten ourselves into.  Below are some pictures of our new house in progress along with some of the projects we are working to complete.  Stay tuned to see some before and after pictures and lots of DIY tips!

Let’s hope, for our sake, that the after pictures are in the not-s0-distant future!

For starters, our oak floors will be refinished and the entire house will get a new coat of paint.

Our kitchen will get a face lift: new flooring, counter tops and freshly painted cabinets.

Carpet was removed from almost every room revealing some pretty awesome wood floors in some rooms!

Other rooms revealed some pretty ugly stains that will need to be taken care of.

The exterior will also need a lot of work!  New roof, new landscaping and lots and lots of paint.

It is an understatement to say that we are looking forward to the day when we will be able to sit back and enjoy our new home.  Unfortunately, I am not sure that day is in the near future.  We’ll just take it one step at a time!

What’s the next project on your list?


Filed under DIY

DIY Vintage Utensil Key Hook

I would like to blame misplacing my keys on “pregnancy brain” but the truth is: I’ve been looking for my keys my whole life. So when I came across this idea for a key hook on Design Sponge, I jumped at the chance to create a fun, quick and cheap fix for my forgetfulness.

What you need:

  • blocks of unfinished wood (I picked mine up from Michael’s for $1.50/piece)
  • Spray paint
  • old, bendable utensils (I got mine from Goodwill for 10 cents a piece!)
  • Gorilla Glue
  • sawtooth picture hangers and nails

Start by spray painting your wood in a well-ventilated area. I coated mine about three times to get the desired color. Allow to dry at least an hour.

Bend your utensils. I was able to just bend mine by hand. If they are too tough, try soaking them into boiling water to soften them.

On the back side of the wood, measure out the middle. Nail the sawtooth picture hanger to the back.

With gloves on, place a small line of Gorilla Glue (careful, this stuff means business!) to the wood. Place the utensil over the glue and hold it in place for a few minutes. Make sure it doesn’t slide and let sit for at least 2 hours.

Repeat for as many key holders as you would like. Hang them up on the wall in your kitchen, porch or mudroom and never lose your keys again!


Filed under Decorate, DIY

Laundry on the Cheap

In “these tough times” I’ve been looking into any household option that saves money.  So a few weeks ago when my aunt-in-law mentioned that she makes her own laundry detergent I begged her for details.  As it turns out, making your own detergent is not only cheap but it’s easy too.  It took me about 5 minutes to grate the soap, swirl together the ingredients and voila, instant detergent!

DIY Laundry Detergent
laundry2 C finely grated soap (just use a cheese grater)
1 C washing soda
1 C Borax

Mix well and use 1-2 Tbsp per load of wash, depending on the load size.

The ingredients: Washing soda is naturally-derived, environmentally-safe sodium carbonate. Borax is also a naturally-derived mineral compound. They can both be found in the cleaning or laundry supplies aisles at most grocery stores for around $2.50-$3.50 for large boxes.

You can use any basic soap bar, like Ivory or Fels Naptha, or spend a few extra bucks for a particular scent you like. I used Whole Foods’ brand French-milled soap in a lovely “Milk” scent for around $3.99. Do be careful not to get too perfume-y as it can be irritating to sensitive skin. And like most detergents or cleaners, keep your new detergent on a high shelf away from kids and pets to avoid ingestion.

The verdict: My laundry is totally clean, fresh-smelling and cheap.  It even lifted a stubborn patch of dirt from one of Bill’s scummy fishing shirts!

DIY Drycleaning
laundressUgh, drycleaning.  An annoyance to the schedule and the wallet. Well luckily, as long as your home or apartment has a sink or tub you can “DIY” drycleaning too!

The Laundress’ Wool & Cashmere shampoo seems a bit pricey at around $18 per bottle but since you only need a squirt or two per “load” the bottle seems to last forever, making it significantly cheaper in the long run.  Plus it’s made from biodegradable and non-toxic ingredients and has a yummy woodsy scent.

Check out The Laundress ladies’ video on how to properly wash your wool items before you get started. You’ll want to invest in a cheap wash bucket and drying rack as well.



Filed under DIY