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Growth Chart

When Martha was a little girl, she loved being measured by her father to see how much she'd grown each year. A pencil mark on the kitchen wall marked her progress -- alongside the progress of her five brothers and sisters.

Source: Martha Stewart Living Television


You can carry on this tradition in your home, without marking up your walls, by creating a growth chart from molding or wainscoting. Because it can be taken down from the wall, a chart like this is ideal if you move to a new house or need to paint.


  • Awl

  • 5-foot length of unpainted wainscoting

  • Pencil

  • Ruler

  • Drill

  • 5/32-inch drill bit

  • Sandpaper

  • Primer

  • Latex semigloss paint

  • Paintbrush

  • Letter stamps or markers, for child's name tag

  • Paper tag, for child's name

  • Hole punch (optional)

  • Scissors

  • Self-adhesive bumpers

  • 20-inch length of cord or leather lacing

  • 72-inch-long metal tape measure with adhesive backing

  • Photographs of child, cut to 1 3/4 by 1 1/4 inches

  • 1 3/4-by-1 1/4-inch magnetic-backed Lucite photo frames

  • Screw or hook

  • Permanent marker


  1. Using the awl, mark two holes on the unpainted wainscoting, about 1/2 inch down from the top and about 1 inch in from each side. Drill holes using a 5/32-inch drill bit.

  2. Sand, prime, and paint the wainscoting, using a color that matches or complements the color of the wall you are going to hang it on.

  3. Create a name tag by stamping letter stamps on a paper tag or by writing the child's name on the tag with a marker (Emma stamps her own name, and your child may like to do the same.) If the tag doesn't already have one, punch a hole in the name tag.

  4. To determine the placement for the tape measure, create a pencil mark 1/4 inch in from the right edge of the wainscoting.

  5. Cut off the first 12 inches of the tape measure so that the first measurement begins at 1 foot. (When you hang the chart on the wall, the bottom edge will be 1 foot up from the floor, which will prevent it from interfering with the baseboard.)

  6. Peel off the protective backing, and attach the tape measure 1/4 inch in from the right edge of the wainscoting, using your pencil marks as a guide. Apply self-adhesive bumpers to the back of the chart to protect your wall.

  7. Attach the name tag by threading a 20-inch length of cord or leather lacing through the name tag, then through the holes in the board. Knot the ends of the cord together.

  8. Insert a screw or hook into the wall, and hang the chart so that its bottom edge is positioned 1 foot from the floor.

  9. Using a permanent marker, mark the child's height, and write the date. Insert your child's photographs into magnetic Lucite frames, and affix them to the chart so that they correspond with the markings.

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