Wooden Arrow Growth Chart

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Carrie Spalding

This growth chart is the perfect way to keep track of your growing family, and it’s stylish enough to use in a bedroom or the living room. Best of all, you can easily pack it up and take it with you anytime you move, unlike measurements you mark on a doorway.

The finished project is 6 – 1/2 feet high and 11 -1/4 inches wide at the widest part of the arrowhead and the arrow’s tail. The arrowhead is 14 inches tall, the tail section is 15 inches long, and the body of the arrow is 5 inches wide.

Tools & Materials

  • Jigsaw
  • Tape measure
  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protection
  • Pencil
  • Straight edge
  • 1×12 pine board, 8 feet long
  • 100-grit and 220-grit sandpaper
  • Paintbrush
  • Clean rags
  • White paint
  • Dark stain
  • Mineral spirits
  • Printout of numbers
  • Black oil-based paint marker
  • Command picture hanging strips

Instructions for Growth Chart

  1. Draw an arrow shape (according to the dimensions above) onto the pine board using a pencil and a straight edge. Cut it out with a jigsaw, and sand any rough edges smooth.
  2. Lean your arrow against a wall to make sure it’s straight. If it’s a bit crooked, trim a small amount off one of the tails until it stands straight.

  3. Paint the entire arrow with a coat of white paint, and let it dry completely. Lightly sand the arrow with 100-grit sandpaper to expose some of the raw wood and wood grain. Use a clean rag to apply a coat of dark stain. Then, pour a little mineral spirits onto another clean rag, and wipe off as much stain as possible. Make sure to use a clean section of the rag each time you wipe it. NOTE: If you don’t want the rustic weathered look, you can simply paint or stain the arrow with whatever color you like.
  4. Starting at the bottom of the arrow, mark every 12 inches using a tape measure and a pencil.

  5. Using the printouts of the numbers, do a simple pencil transfer. To do this, rub pencil all over the back of each number, and then carefully tape the printout, front-side up, onto the arrow where you want them placed. Then, trace over each number with the pencil, pressing firmly. When you remove the paper printout, you’ll see a faint pencil outline of the number. NOTE: Alternatively, you can either draw the numbers freehand, or you can use stencils to transfer them onto the wood.
  6. Use a black oil-based paint marker to fill in each number, and then draw tick marks next to each number at the exact measurement mark. Let the paint dry, and then sand the numbers lightly with 220-grit sandpaper to soften the look of the black paint.

  7. Decide where you want to put the arrow, and then secure it to the wall with Command picture hanging strips to prevent it from tipping.

Carrie Spalding discovered the power of do-it-yourself projects years ago, when she moved into a 1970s brick ranch in need of updating. She shares her DIY adventures on her blog, Lovely Etc. This article is excerpted with permission from her book, Wood Plank Projects (Skyhorse Publishing).