One of my favorite couples asked me to paint a growth chart for their son who had recently turned one. Sarah and I discussed the project with a look to the future. Did she want to be able to save the growth chart for use with a second child or to even hand down to a very future grandchild? Or did she want it painted directly on the wall and just have it memorialized in photos? She decided that saving it was the best option and so the next question was what material to paint on. We choose pre-primed canvas that I bought at Blick Art Supply so that she would be able to roll the chart up for easy storage.
After cutting the canvas to the size that would work in her son’s bedroom (2.5ft x just over 7ft), I painted the background a mottled golden yellow using a sea sponge and a few different yellows of craft acrylic paint.
Once the background was dry, I drew on the tree shape with white chalk and painted it in with a variety of browns and beiges. I have a very loose way of painting large shapes like the tree. After putting out all the colors I want to use on a foam plate, I literally dip my brush in all the colors and blend them on the surface to start filling in the tree. If you go easy with the blending, you will have some fun streaks in the painting to help give it dimension. I then added an owl and leaves to fill out the design. Just a quick tip: White chalk is my favorite tool for drawing on walls and canvas when I am painting murals because it is very easy to erase. I use baby wipes to take off any changes before I paint and to erase any chalk marks left when I am done.The final step to the project was adding the ruler on the left side. After marking off at each inch with a pencil, I went back with a Sharpie and a T-square to add all the measurement lines.I then used black paint to add the numbers at each of the foot marks. I choose not to add any other numbers so that Sarah could use the lines to write in her son’s age and height and make any fun notes about what is happening in their lives at each step.Dad decided to jump into the shot as I was taking pictures of the growth chart in its new home. I do find Rob freaking adorable!! However, I think I managed to just capture his freaky side!! Love an enthusiastic daddy!And of course, their son had to take a look as well! I think he was trying to figure out where the owl came from!The canvas is going to need to be pretty secure on the wall so as to prevent the little one from dragging it down on his head. Here are a few of the options that I suggested:
- Staple the canvas to the wall. You could just do the top and bottom and add some decorative molding pieces, or go all the way around with both the staples and the molding.
- Wallpaper paste can also be used to attach the canvas to the wall.
- Add grommets to the top and bottom and secure to the wall with cups hooks so that the canvas is taut.
This a great way to add a growth chart to a child’s room and I love that Sarah will be able to keep it for the future.
What theme would you use on a growth chart?
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