A calendar must be one of the most popular presents to give and to receive. And a personalized picture-book version, already marked with anniversaries, celebrations and noteworthy dates is a gift that's packed with fun, memories and plans for the future. Whether you're a kid or all grown up, making a one-of-a-kind calendar for that special person is easy and inexpensive — and a good reminder that every day counts.
Here are three ways to tackle this timely project and tips on how to make it the perfect present for your brother, your mother or anyone else who's on your list.
Calendar from scratch and scraps
• 13 pieces of white or coloured card stock, 8-1/2 x 11 in
• Patterned or plain, white and coloured bond paper, 8-1/2 x 11 in
• Family photographs (including pets), pictures of your class or hockey team or shots from a birthday party or trip (colour photocopies work just as well)
• Your own artwork, wrapping paper, posters, magazines or comic books
• Coloured markers and/or metallic paint pens
• Spray-on photomounting adhesive (for use by adult) or glue stick
• Hole punch, scissors, ruler and set square
• Decorative-edged scissors (to automatically cut wavy, zigzag, scalloped or rippled edge), 3 looseleaf rings (available at stationery stores) and scraps of narrow ribbon, twine or yarn (all optional)
1. Choose two pieces of card stock, one for the top page (title page) and the other for the bottom page (calendar page) of January.
2. Use the plain pieces of card as backgrounds for pages, or for each piece of card, cut 8-1/2- x 11-in piece of desired paper, spray the back with adhesive, then, with edges even, stick it onto card. When planning backgrounds, remember that long edges are top and bottom edges of pages.
3. Decorate the title-page background with glued-on photos, stickers or cutout pieces of desired paper and photo(s). With marker(s), print month name on page and draw desired designs. At midpoint of top edge and 2 cm (3/4 in) down, punch hole.
4. From white bond, cut a 20.5 x 16.5 cm (8- x 6-1/2-in) piece. Approx 2.5 cm (1 in) down from 1 long (top) edge, draw grid of 2.5 cm squares (7 across and 5 down) centred on width.
Above each column, write in the day name, then number each square with correct date (if you need extra squares for the last 1 or 2 days of the month, draw a diagonal line through the first 1 or 2 squares in the bottom row and use each resulting triangle for 1 day (as shown).
Add notes, reminders, short poems, labels and small stickers to mark special days. If desired, draw patterned border or write message or motto around grid. Centre and stick onto calendar page. If desired, draw small sketches or patterned border around edges of calendar page. At midpoint of bottom edge and 2 cm up, punch hole.
5. Continue decorating pages (from February on, assemble each succeeding month's title page on back of previous month's calendar page) until all 12 months are complete.
6. If desired, decorate front and back cover pages (front of January title page and back of December calendar page, respectively) and label with year.
7. Bind calendar together. If plastic-coil binding is desired, check with your local photocopy shop; many offer this binding service.
Or punch 3 evenly spaced holes along inside edges (bottom edges of title pages, top edges of calendar pages) and stack pages in order. Loop looseleaf ring through each set of holes, or thread short length of ribbon through each set of holes and knot to form loose loop on which pages turn easily.
Special smarts for kids
Before beginning, decide who's going to get the calendar you're making. If it's Dad, he might like pictures of the whole family, your hockey team and that picture of you both setting off on a canoe trip. If it's your nine-year-old sister, she may prefer Spice Girls photos all year long.
Try some tricks with your photographs. Cut out people from different pictures, then place them side-by-side (Grandma meets the Queen!), or cut someone's head or body out of a picture, paste it down, then draw in a new body or surrounding scene (my mom the Martian!).
Make a list of all the statutory holidays, such as Victoria Day and Canada Day, religious celebrations, such as Easter, Diwali or Hanukkah and any other special days, such as Remembrance Day, the winter solstice or a lunar eclipse, that you'll want to write on the calendar. Don't forget your birthday!
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