My husband is really really awesome. He’s wicked funny, sweet, intelligent and business-savvy, loves to laugh, is (I think, and my aunts have all agreed with me!) quite handsome, and very good with his hands… I mean good at working with his hands!!
SUPER EXCITING UPDATE!!! Matt has started his own business!! I am BEYOND proud of him and thrilled to report that he’s booking up quickly…but if you’re local to the Massachusetts area, you can book him here.
Matt’s decade of experience managing commercial building projects placed him around various types of wood and power tools. Before that job, his middle and high school woodshop class fueled his love of, and talent for, woodworking. And he is GOOD. When we needed a new bed frame years ago, he asked me what kind I had in mind, and obviously I went straight to Pinterest. I found a beautiful farmhouse-style bed like you might buy from Crate & Barrel (another love of mine) and HE BUILT IT. To see this idea come to life was seriously magical – we went to Home Depot and chose the right boards, bought white paint and lots of sandpaper, and he got to work. And then, seemingly overnight, POOF – a gorgeous bed appeared. Sleeping in the gorgeous creation of our collective inspiration and my husband’s hard work was inexpressibly special. I curled up that first night with a smile on my face and the phrase “labor of love” on my mind.
But this Hubby Highlight is about a very different project 🙂 As I’m writing this, my best friend T is 34 weeks pregnant (aka unmistakably, adorably pregnant and due in about a month) and we threw her a baby shower last Saturday! UPDATE: T gave birth to a perfect little man in the beginning of March!! Baby, Mom & Dad are doing WONDERFULLY!!
I’ve been crafting away and am excited to share those baby shower projects with you in this post 🙂 While I was playing with all of the fun ideas on Pinterest, I found lots of SUPER CUTE “Little Man” DIYs and great shower tips – check ’em out here! And then I stumbled across the Growth Chart idea. I showed it to M and those craftsman planning wheels started turning…and the next thing you know, POOF! 🙂 Kind of.
After another trip to Home Depot, some resourceful material excavation from the garage (we had paint and his tools already) and a few nights of elbow grease, POOF – a handmade, custom growth chart for A & T (BFF)’s little baby! My husband M is a perfectionist, so when he pulled off the number stencils and saw a little cardboard had stuck to the 2, he was frustrated. I reminded him of a tip I received when I was hard on myself about a craft – if something is homemade, it’ll look like it! That’s a good thing 🙂 When A & T’s little man grows up and hears that his Uncle M made this chart for him, he might say “really?” and T can point out any “flaws” and say “yes, see here? that’s how you can tell!”
The beauty in M’s woodworking is not only in the finished product (although seriously, this stuff is so amazing – I know I’m biased, but we seem to get the same reaction from anyone else who sees his projects.) Just as I dive into any of my crafts, cooking, gardening or entertaining projects with my hands and mind (soul too, I think!) the time M spends guiding power tools to shape a raw piece of wood, or sanding until it’s smooth, or carefully layering on the last coat of paint leaves him satisfied and feeling accomplished. This may be a case of “grass is greener” since neither of us do any type of manual labor for our full-time jobs. But with M and his woodworking, it’s really special. I think he’s got an amazing gift and I’m so grateful every time he chooses to share it with the world 🙂
So, straight from Matt (via his Happy Wife/scribe), here are the materials needed and directions to make this DIY Growth Chart | HC Hubby Highlight (our first!).
1 pint of paint (we had white leftover)
Acrylic paint (we used varied colors of paint for the tick marks and numbers)
Special tools needed
2″ tall number stencils (cut out support pieces)
Small paint brushes from craft or hobby store
2 to 2 1/2 inch paint brush
1×6 piece of pine wood. Cut it to length (we used 5 feet length, which resulted in ability to measure up to 5’6″ height. Cut a longer piece as desired for a taller chart)
1. Shape the growth chart: use a roll of tape, coffee can, etc. to use as a stencil to draw a semi-circle on the top of the board.
2. Cut the shape of the top using a jig saw.
3. Sand the wood using a palm sander with 80 grit sand paper. Option – router all the edges, or with the palm sander you can simply soften the edges to minimize corners and sharp edges.
3. Clamp the wood to the workbench and set the circular saw to a 1/4″ depth. Use the guide plate to align the cuts. Be sure to use guidelines that will set your cuts an inch apart, on center. It is recommended that you cut a few test cuts on a separate board to measure out the guidelines you will use, ensuring the notches are spaced properly (1″ increments).
4. Cut your measuring notches. The 6″ and 1′ notches will be the same length (2″), twice the length of the inch notches (1″). Position the cuts so that your first 2″ notch is 6″ from the bottom of the board.
5. Drill a 3/8″ hole centered at the top of the board to use for mounting. Countersink the front side of the hole. Clean up by hand, using 80 grit sandpaper.
6. Sand piece of wood using palm sander with 150 grit sandpaper.
7. Clean dust off with an air compressor. If you don’t have an air compressor, use a can of compressed air from Home Depot or an office supply store. Wipe down lightly with a tack cloth to prepare the wood for painting.
8. Starting on the back side of the chart, paint your first base coat. This should be a lighter coat, aiming for coverage vs. full color, and be careful to avoid letting paint pool in any of the cuts. Let it dry for a couple of hours. When it’s dry, flip over, paint the front (or finish side) and let dry overnight.
9. Use 150 grit sandpaper with the palm sander to remove any surface imperfections.
10. Clean dust off using air compressor, then tack cloth.
11. Starting with the back of the chart, paint your finish coat. This should be a thicker layer of paint. Let it dry, flip and paint the front. Again, take care to ensure no paint globs are left in the notches. We stopped at 2 coats, but you can repeat steps 9-11 until you achieve your desired finish.
12. Using acrylic paints and small brushes, paint the notch marks you cut for measuring. We decided to use the colors of the rainbow for our friends’ baby gift, but you can choose any colors you like!
13. Set stencils up so they’re aligned on every 1′ notch mark, tape in place.
14. Using acrylic paints, paint each number. Important note: carefully remove the stencils before the paint dries! We learned the hard way 😊 Let dry.
15. Carefully repeat steps 13 and 14 for better color coverage.
When you mount it, line it up from the floor appropriately so the 2′ notch is 2′ from the ground.
And there you have it, my Happy Creative family! Let us (him via comments below!) know if you have any questions, thoughts or tips to share. And as always, a sincere thank you for reading 🙂
A Happy Wife
For more DIY projects and other HC ideas, come join the fun on Pinterest!! 🙂