I have made a few of this type of calendar in the past year or so. They make great gifts and I just love the one that I keep on my desk at work. Plus they are pretty simple and inexpensive to make.
Here is a picture of the one we will be making today.
The first step is to cut your brown cardstock into 4x6 inch rectangles. I usually cut down the middle at the six inch mark, then cut each half into 4 inch sections. Since you have two sheets of brown cardstock, you will end up with 12 rectangles. (If you want to save paper and make a smaller finished calendar you can use just one sheet of brown cardstock and put calendars on both sides of each page, but that requires quite a bit more planning to make sure you get the right months when you flip the page)
Next you need to cut 4 - 5 3/4 x 3 3/4 inch rectangles from each of your three patterned papers. This is how I cut mine to make sure I had the least amount of waste. First I cut off a 5 3/4 inch strip, which I then cut into 3 3/4 inch sections. Then I cut a 3 3/4 inch section off of the remaining piece before cutting it down to 5 3/4 inch long/ This left me with a large rectangle to reserve to later use.
Next I distressed and inked all the cardstock AND patterned paper rectangles. (well actually I didnt ink the cardstock because it has a brown core anyway) The distressing here is optional. I was going for a vintage shabby chic look and thought the texture of the distressing added a little something. However, it did take a long time and made my finished product more bulky. You can skip the distressing altogether or just distress the patterned paper, but either way I would still ink the patterened paper. I used the dew drop ink pad shown, but really I prefer the cat's eye ink pads that I linked to in the supply list. They are easy to hold and give a nice soft edge.
Next simply glue the patterned papers so that they are centered on the brown cardstock. I used my atg adhesive, but you can really use whatever kind you prefer. Oh and I chose to use the blue sides of two of the patterned papers and the brown side of the other. You can sort of see all three patterns in this picture.
Now, set those aside and move onto the printed calendars. You should have printed them from the provided file, onto white cardstock. You could use regular white printer paprer, but I think that cardstock just looks so much nicer. I usually use a regular 12x12 sheet and cut it down to 8.5 inches wide so I can feed it into my printer, but if you have 8.5 x11 cardstock that's fine too. I am a texture fanatic and my printer prints just fine on the textured side, so that's how I do it. But you can print on the non textured side if you prefer. My printer tends to print a little crooked and I am a freak about having everything straight, so I don't actually measure when I cut the calendars. I use the printed headers and numbers to line them up on my cutter and get them as straight as I can. And it is ok if they dont all come out the same size because they are going to be on different pages of the calendar so you will never be able to tell.
So, Im just going to walk you through how I made the cuts. First I lined up the top three headers so that I cut just about an eighth of an inch above them. Then I again lined up using the black headers, so that I cut about an eighth of an inch to either side, to make three strips of two calendars each. As you can see in the photo, the right side margin of August came out a little bigger than the left, so I trimmed that again to make it even. Then I cut them apart, again using the headers as a guide. Then since I had too much space below August after I cut November off, I trimmed that again.
Next you will want to ink the edges of all your calendars.
After you get all your calendars trimmed and inked you need to get out the blue cardstock. I stacked up my calendars and picked the widest one. They will all probably be pretty much the same width, so it's no big deal. But I picked the widest to be sure that my mat would end up big enough. Then I measured that calendar and added 1/4 of an inch. Since it came out to a sort of odd size, I marked it on the ruler on my cutter, in pencil. Then I cut the blue paper into strips using that mark as my width. In this case I guess it is 3 5/8 but it really just depends on how you trimmed your calendars.
Since the calendars are all different heights depending on the number of weeks in the month, I cut each one individually by gluing it down on the top of the blue cardstock strip so that it is centered with approximately an eighth inch border on three sides. Then I cut the blue cardstock approximately an eight of an inch below the calendar. Repeat with the remaining cardstock. You should get 4 calendars per blue strip, which means you need 3 blue strips. and you should be able to get all three of those out of one sheet of the blue cardstock. (the other sheet is for something later)
Once you get all the calendars matted, you are ready to lay the whole thing out. First I arranged the pages so that the pattern papers are in a pattern. Blue diamonds, brown medallions, blue medallions, repeat. Then I laid the calendars out on top of them in order, but I staggered them to provide some variation. Notice that all the brown ones are centered while the blue pages have the calendars off to either side. This isnt a big deal and I ended up moving a few of them around to fit the embellishments better, but I don't like every page to look the same.
Next I pulled out my vintage findings kits and prima flowers and arranged them. I started with the flowers and put one on every other page. Then I pulled all the 'other' items out of the vintage findings kits (the buttons, the foil items, the metal items) and put them on the pages that didnt have flowers. Then I had just enough paper items left for each page to get one. Then I took the ribbon and the paper ribbon and cut them into approximately 6 inch sections and put those on each page. Only, I didnt have enough, so you see there are 3 pages that are missing ribbons. But more on that later.
I wanted something interesting to put in the middle of the gold foil frame, and the deer was hidden on the page with the gold bird anyway, so I decided to cut out the deer and use it with the frame.
now back to the ribbons. Most of the ribbon is hidden underneath the calendar and tag on each of the pages, so I cut the middle hidden part out of a couple of the ribbons to use on the pages that I didnt have enough ribbon for. See here I needed a bigger piece at the top and only a tiny piece at the bottom, so I have a rather large piece leftover.
and here is the page all put together, see you can't even tell that some ribbon is missing in the middle. Repeat that process until you have enough ribbon to use on the pages that are lacking ribbon. Do the same with the paper ribbon. Then go ahead and glue everything down. I started with the pages that I cut the ribbon out of, then the pages that I used the cut ribbon on, then just went ahead and finished all the other pages. Oh and I inked the edges of all the tags and papers.
Now it's time to punch the holes in the pages. I used my crop a dile big bite. I wanted three holes, each just a tad below the top of the patterned paper. I started by putting the middle hole at the 2 inch point on all the papers, then I put the side holes at the 1 and 3 inch points. Some of the holes ran into where I had glued the ribbon, so I just peeled the ribbon back a little. the rings will push it to the side when they go through.
Next, because I like to see my progress, I put the rings in. I threaded all the pages onto one side ring, then the middle then the other side.
Now, we move on to the backbone of the calendar. Take the cardboard that came with your ACOT order, the one that is packaged with your papers to keep them from getting bent. (you can use another kind of cardboard if you don't have this one, but I prefer the nice dense kind that comes with the order because it isnt corrugated.)
I wanted the cover to be just a little bit wider than the pages, so I cut a 4 1/4 inch wide strip from the cardboard. Then I cut that in half to create two 4x6 pieces. Only for some reason one of them wasnt quite 6 inches. I dont know if that is because the cardboard wasnt quite 12x12. I made it work with one just a little smaller, but you could cut another 4 1/4 inch wide strip if you want.
Now take that other sheet of blue cardstock and cut two 4 1/4 strips from it, and cut them both in half so you have 4 - 6 x 4 1/4 inch pieces of blue cardstoch and two pieces of cardboard.
Then I used mod podge to glue the cardstock onto both sides of the cardboard so you have a nice cardboard-cardstock sandwich. You can use whatever kind of ahesive you like. Then I trimmed a little off where the paper didnt quite line up, before inking the edges on both front and back.
Then I dont know what happend to the photo of this, but I cut a 4x6 piece off of the brown patterened paper scrap that was left, distressed the edges and glued it onto one of the cardboard-cardstock sandwiches. This will be your cover.
Then I cute a 2x3 inch rectangle from one of the blue patterned paper scraps, distressed and inked the edges.
Here I am missing another photo. I took the brass bookplate and put a little glue on the ends and put it down on a scrap of the yellow patterned paper (the back of the brown I think). Then I took my craft knife and cut around the edge before inking the edge to camoflage the cut white edges.
I centered this on the blue square and used my paper piercer to make holes.
Then I put some glue on the back of the yellow paper, and poked the brads through the holes before gently setting it on the blue paper and poking the brads through those holes too. I wanted to make sure that the yellow paper wasnt going anywhere. Technically, you could probably just use the brads to hold the bookplate onto the two papers.
Then I glued the blue square (with the bookplate on it) onto the center bottom of the cover.
Next I added the numbers. To get them centered, I just sort of eyeballed it and started with the middle two, placing the 0 just a tad off center, so that the right edge of it is centered.
Then fill in the other numbers:
Next I used one of the pages, centered over the cover and back, to place the holes. I drew pencil marks where the holes would be.
And finally, to add the ribbon for the calendar to stand up when opened. I marked the center of both the front and the back, then made a larger hole.
I tied the scrap of ribbon around the back cover and then made a bow with it on the front cover so that the ribbon is about 3 inches long in between.
Now you can see, that when you give the calendar as a gift, it can be closed with the cover showing, then you flip the cover back and tie the ribbon between the front and back cover so that it stands up. If you look closely, you can see the distressed edges of the paper on the cover.
Naughty or Nice
I knew the minute I saw this collection that it would be the perfect paper to scrap this heritage photo of my dad as a little boy. You can see the excitement on his face as he told Santa what was on his list that year! I chose the vintage look printed brown paper as a background but layered half of the die-cut circle on top... the stars were just so "little boy" to me. A strip of folded red paper, some pearl clusters, and a gorgeous Prima flower made a border to balance the left side. This photo did not require much embellishment to give it the spirit of the season.
Home for the Holidays
I went a little more modern for this page. My photos were a bit busy so I divided the page into four off-center sections to ground it. Again, it took so little to embellish this because the papers and coordinating elements have such great detail on their own. One of my favorite ways to get more use out of rub-ons is to apply them to cardstock, cut them out, and use foam pieces to give them dimension. I did this with the trees in the bottom, right corner.
Joyeux Noel Card and Envelope
Seriously, I LOVE the canvas tags in this collection! I am a freak for texture and fabric elements are hot right now, lucky for me. Some people might trim the loose threads off these tags but I embrace them... I think they give the tags character! This card came together quickly by using the tag as a base and layering everything else under or over it. Of course, I went crazy with the brown inking (you'll see this happened on almost all these projects) and I needed to add just that bit of sparkle by using the blue glittered flourish. A great way to make a holiday card even more special is to decorate the envelope. It takes only a few minutes but when your recipient gets it in the mail it is sure to bring a smile to their face! Just remember to leave room for the post office to clearly read the stamp and address.
Altered Wooden Block Calendar
This project was completely my favorite of the bunch! How adorable is this little calendar desk set?! I bought this at the local craft store and thought it would make a great Christmas present once I dressed it up in Mistletoe & Co. It was completely naked when I started but the blocks of dates and months were printed. I decided to cover the number blocks with paper and number stickers but leave the month blocks as they were, except for a bit of inking. All I did to cover the rest was measure or trace all the sides and trim the paper to match. I added some matching ball trim to the bottom. To fancy up the note pad that came with it I simply used a piece of chipboard from my ACOT order, covered both sides with paper, rounded the corners, and embellished with some velvet ribbon and a bling center. I used a holiday collection but I love this color combination and this could defiintely be used all year round.
Here is a more detailed shot:
Matching Gift Bag and Tag
Naturally my wooden calendar gift needs to be wrapped! This year I am planning on going easy with my wrapping and using a lot of gift bags. However, that doesn't mean my gifts have to look cheap! I purchased a whole bunch of kraft paper bags to embellish and when I add a matching tag they will be SO easy and fast to grab for all my holiday gift giving occasions. I used another of the canvas tags on this bag, backed by the striped paper and a border of curled, punched circles. Border punches added a couple of lacy strips that I embellieshed with assorted buttons from my stash. For the tag, I simply cut a rectangle from extra paper and layered another punched circle and some buttons to echo the design on the bag. A pretty ribbon bow always makes everything a little more special!
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