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Homemade Gift Ideas: Personalized Calendar

Posted on December 14, 2011 at 4:55 PM

OK, time for the 3rd installment of homemade gift ideas. This is one of my favorites, because it really is practically free and can be such a treasured item. Make a Personalized Calendar. This can be a traditional monthly calendar or (my recommendation) a daily tear off calendar with personal or inspirational messages.

I’ve done this a few times. Twice for friends when they got engaged, I did a countdown to the wedding calendar where I included wedding planning advice, love quotes, and I contacted friends and family to send me advice to include. Each day was a special treat to see what was going to be on their calendar. Both of the couples adored the gift and used it everyday for over a year. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!

As I’m writing this I’m thinking of at least 2 people that I could do this for for Christmas!

Contact friends and family to send you messages for the recipient. Once you have gathered the messages fill in remaining days with inspirational quotes from the Internet and important dates such as family birthdays, holidays, and upcoming events.

What you’ll need:

- A computer with basic word processing program

- A printer (or kinkos)

- Printer paper

- Some time and effort

- Scissors or a paper cutter

- Rubber cement

- Hot glue gun & gluesticks

- Cardboard to make a stand up display for the calendar

- Stickers, decorative paper, ribbon, or anything else you may want to use to decorate the stand. (I used wrapping paper)

What to do:

1. Send e-mails to friends and family asking for messages or quotes to submit. In the mean time, make your template. In Microsoft word, or another word processing program, make a tect box (length 3.25 width 3.5) and make sure the border is visible. Now duplicate this text box 5 times. You should now have 6 boxes that fit neatly on one page. Now, design the calendar in any way you wish. Find an image on google to put in the background if you want. Once you have on page designed, just duplicate this page over and over so all of the pages are identical. This will make for easier cutting. Fill in the dates for the upcoming year, one in each text box. These will become the tear off pages. See the photo below for an example of what it will look like in the word document:

2. Now, fill in the messages from family and friends randomly throughout the calendar. You want to really spread them out, as to surprise the recipient on occasion when they come across one. A good idea is to place a message from the person on their birthday.

3. Once all the messages are in the calendar fill in the remaining dates with inspirational messages, funny sayings and/or jokes that the recipient might like.

4. Once all the dates are filled in, print the calendar and cut the pages apart. The calendar should be 61 pages in all (365 divided by 6), so the cutting is going to be the most time consuming part.

5. Once all the pages are cut and correlated, you can begin assembling the calendar. Start with December 31, lay it down, run a stripe of rubber cement over the top, and lay December 30th down, so on and so forth until you get to January 1st…

6. Once the calendar is rubber cemented together, hold the pages together tightly at the top, and cover the entire top seam with a thick layer of hot glue and allow it to dry completely. Extend the glue down over the sides slightly at the top to seal everything in. (honestly, on the second one I made, I skipped the rubber cement and just did the hot glue. It seemed to hold up for her just fine)

7. While that is drying, make a stand out of cardboard. I used a shoe box, because the size was perfect:

- Take the lid of the shoe box and lay the calendar in it, glue side to the lip of the box lid, cut box about 1 inch away from the bottom of the calendar.

- Now, use remaining cardboard from box to make a stand for the back (1.5 inch width x 2.5 in length rectangle) - Cover the box lid and stand with wrapping paper or other decorations.

- Fold a .5 inch piece of the stand back (the top) and hot glue to the back of the box lid to create a stand, that looks like the back of a picture frame.

- Glue the calendar into the stand. Cover the entire back page of the calendar with hot glue and place it on the inside of the wrapped box lid. If the weight of the calendar is causing in to droop and you don’t think the glue will hold, you can make a little lip out of the remaining cardboard, wrap it, and glue it in to support the calendar.

- Add ribbon stickers or other decorations if desired.

That’s it, you’re done. This one is a little more time consuming and has many steps, but it will be treasured, I promise.

Here is a picture of one of my finished calendars in the basket I have them for their engagement. Also in the basket are some etched glasses I made them and 2 mini champagne bottles covered in bride and groom bottle covers.

Thanks for reading and stop back tomorrow for another great gift idea!


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1 Comment

Reply Becca
9:03 AM on June 30, 2012 
Alright, so I just discovered your blog & I absolutely love it! Late congrats on your engagement! I was thinking about making a calendar like this, but I got a bit tripped on number 7) making the stand. Could you possibly email me clearer directions (like where exactly to glue/cut the shoebox)? Thanks!

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