Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Birthday Chart


I realize these are really terrible pictures of this birthday chart, but it kind of goes along with the really crappy time I had making it. It was supposed to be a quick craft that was fun and, well, it wasn't so fun to assemble it, that's for sure. This chart is a gift to my mom, so she has a fun way to keep track of everyone's birthdates. It includes my parents, their 10 children, all the spouses, and all the grandchildren....so for us, it's quite a big chart.

So if I've inspired you to make a birthday chart, let me give you some do's and don't in making it.

DO get yourself a long board that is wide enough to spell out BIRTHDAY, as well as have the months of the year written across it. It was sanded and stained, but you can paint it to match your decor if you want.

DO get your really talented sister to write out the words in a fun font using a sharpie marker, or you can use a die-cut machine, like the Cricut, to make your letters in vinyl.

DO get a number of smaller boards to write everyone's names and birthdates on it. Make sure that you have enough for everyone in your family, and enough extra for additions to the family.

DO try to get thick boards for the nameplates. Mine were very thin and I ended up needing to come up with a different solution for how to attach them to each other. If you look at the next picture, I used some 5/8" hook eye screws on the underneath side of the big birthday chart, centered under each month. Originally, I was planning on using the same hook eye screws in the top and bottom of each name plate, to make my chain going down under each month. However, because my boards were too thin to use those screws, I needed to come up with a different solution.

The husband and I drilled a hole in the top and bottom of each nameplate. I wanted to find some "S" hooks to link together, but the closest thing I could find in the store was a chain. So I took apart almost every link and made my own "S" shape out of it using pliers (took a long time), and hooked one in the top and bottom of each name plate.
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Then when I was placing each name plate under the correct birthday month, I realized that my nameplates were too wide to fit nicely under their appropriate months. At this point, I was VERY frustrated. I made it work by staggering the columns so that you could still read everyone's name. Make sense?
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In other words, don't do what I did. Let my mistakes help you. In short, here is what you need to remember: Make sure your BIRTHDAY board is long enough so that each of your name plates (which are thick enough to screw a hook eye screw into) fit side by side along the length of the big board. Prepare extra name plates if you expect additions to your family.
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Finally, if you want a good example of this chart, LOOK HERE. She did it correctly. I'm the loser. However, in the few days that I've had this chart up on my wall, it's really growing on me. It's very artistic. It's also fun to see the legacy my parents have made.

9 comments:

Dan and Katie said...

I like yours better than the "right" way! That is such a cute idea...I want to make one for my parents, but we don't have that many birthdays to remember...yet :)

teensy_dc said...

I really like your version of the birthday board. I like how yours has that every other weaved look to it w/the small boards. You put in SOOO much work, it really shows!! Great job, your parents are going to love it. I noticed April was empty - NO April b.days for your parents? I also noticed ALL the Dec. ones - crazy, our family has tons of Dec. ones too.

Have a great vaca & I really hope there aren't any chirping crickets keeping you awake @ the reunion. And hopefully you don't happen upon any crazy attacks moths on your venture either!! Darn bugs! lol!!

Jones said...

honestly I like your staggering effect. VERY artistic! and I think I'm inspired to do this. maybe. sure. we'll see. yeah, ok.

Stacey said...

Wow! that looks like a big project and that's a lot of bdays!!! I think you did a great job on it!

dippyrooroo said...

Awesome! I think it's amazing!

Rayna said...

What a great idea! It looks great!

FORD RULES said...

That is so cool. My parents brought a calendar one time to Jen and I, that didn't work. I might have to do this. What a neat idea.

I'm Always Rite said...

What a groovy project! :) You're so crafty! :)

Burns Family said...

I love this. I copy other peoples ideas. Thanks!!