When I was growing up my parents had an area in the laundry room where they recorded the height of my sisters and me by measuring and then marking our height and the date on the wall. I always looked forward to getting measured, and as the years went on it was fun to refer to the chart and see how much we had grown. The one problem was that it wasn’t mobile and if we had ended up moving the original markings would have been lost. Also let’s face it: It made a mess of the wall.
My wife and I wanted to do something similar for our daughter. I didn’t want to make markings directly on the wall so the solution was to create the height chart on a piece of wood that could be removed if we ever decided to move.
I started with what was really a piece of scrap wood: A 1×3″ 3 foot long pine board. First I used my router with a chamfer bit to make a nice, smooth angled edge.
Next I again used my router with a 11 degree bit to cut notches every 6 inches, shorter notches to designate a 6 inch mark and a longer notch for a 12 inch mark.
After I cut the notches, I painted the notches black with spray ink. Note that I did not worry about the area surrounding the notches, the excess paint is cleaned up in the next step.
To clean up the black painted area around the notches, but keep the notches themselves black, I sanded the whole board with my random orbital sander. This makes a nice smooth surface and removes the excess paint.
The last step was to paint the board. I used minimal paint with a light touch around the notches; this kept unwanted color out of the groove.
Finally I mounted the board on the wall. The easiest and cleanest way to do this was to use Command Strip picture frame hangers, which uses Velcro to fasten the back side of the board to the wall. I mounted the board 2 feet above the floor, so then I can just measure up from the bottom of the board when I’m taking measurements.
Give it a shot, it’s a quick an easy project that will add value for years to come. It can be as simple or fancy as you want. I had thought about adding the height at each notch (i.e. 2.5 feet, 3 feet, 3.5 feet, etc.) either by carving them or with stencils. In the end I decided to keep it simple.
In case you’re wondering, here are the router bits I used:
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|Chamfer Bit||11 Degree Bit|
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