Monday, November 09, 2009

Make-It Monday: Family Calendars

Welcome back to Make-It Monday where I share with you some ideas for homemade (or semi-homemade gifts)! Last week, I talked about an easy Playdough Kit for kids. Today, I'm going to talk about a gift that I have enjoyed receiving AND giving to others -- Family Calendars!

Years ago when she was a new stay-at-home mom with a limited budget, my sister Jessica made calendars for everyone in our family. Using the scrapbooking supplies she had at home, various family photos (some old, some new) and computer software, she created personalized calendars. She even added all of our birthdays on it as well. I absolutely loved mine and still have it to this day, 10 years later. This page in particular got me -- me as a baby with my Grandpa John and sister Jamie. Old family photos are soooo wonderful to intersperse with more recent ones. They can just inspire an "ahhhh" and bring back special old memories.

When my husband and I were dating and he was a starving graduate student, he enlisted my help in creating calendars for his family. Together, side by side, we crafted similar calendars for his parents and siblings. On a funny sidenote, Brett strategically placed a photo of a particular family member and his then-girlfriend strategically early in the calendar betting that they wouldn't last through to the end of the year. (They didn't.) When he put OUR picture on the December page, I said "How do you know we'll still be together in December?" he just smiled and said "We will." Little did I know that he'd propose just a couple of days later!

Anyway, as expected, the calendars were a hit with Brett's family and they requested them again the next year. Since they weren't reuseable in the way that we originally designed them, we decided to change the format somewhat the following year. We designed the month name/photo page with photo corners so that the photo could be swapped out in future years. The actual monthly calendar was printed on a separate page, trimmed down and affixed to the bound calendar with photo corners as well. Then, in subsequent years, we could just gift them with additional calendar pages and indivdual photos rather than scrapbooking an entire calendar. It allowed us to continue the tradition without having to labor over the details.

For a basic calendar, you need:

  • 13 pieces of thick cardstock
  • computer software to design your calendar
  • scrapbook paper for embellishments
  • family photos
  • glue or photo corners
  1. Design the calendar on the computer and include important dates (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.).
  2. Print the calendar on 12 sheets of cardstock (landscape orientation). Collate the pages and place another blank piece of cardstock on top. The blank piece will be your cover page.
  3. Decorate the cover page and the individual month pages with photos, quotes or verses and the name of the month. (These will be the blank sides of the calendar pages.) It's always nice to coordinate your photos with events in the month.
  4. Have the calendar bound at a store like The UPS Store, Staples, Copy Max or FedEx Kinkos.

If you don't have computer software to design your calendar easily OR if you're not all that great with preparing documents on the computer, check out my 2010 Printable Photo Calendar Kit in my Etsy shop. It's a printable PDF that includes the 12 monthly calendars plus different options for the cover and month title pages for just $4. Want to add your own personalized dates? A personalized version is also available for just $7. Plus, you can print as many copies as you like!

For other money saving ideas, check out Frugal Friday at Life As Mom every Friday for one of Jessica's tips as well as links to other bloggers' ideas!


Niki Jolene said...

Great idea! Dollar tree even has the parts of a calendar to make on their scrapbooking aisle.


I wanted to make one for myself but never considering giving them as gifts.

FishMama said...

You do hide your light under a bushel! I didn't know you had an Etsy shop. Girl, prepare for a scolding!

Love the stories of this about you and Brett making calendars. Sweet.