Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Making Photo Calendars as Gifts


Last year, I made photo calendars for many family members.  I've had some people ask me how I made them, so I was sharing it with them.  Then I decided to blog about it, as well.

I printed the blank full-page per month calendar from http://www.donnayoung.org  Then I made 12 copies of it.  I filled one in for each month of the upcoming year.  I put the month, dates, special holidays and events, and our immediate family's birthdays.  Next, I had the 12 months photocopied onto cream colored acid-free cardstock.

I triple hole-punched all the pages, at the top of the calendar.  Then, I reinforced all the holes with the donut stickers.  At the bottom of the calendar pages, I put a single hole punch for hanging, and reinforced those, too. 

I created a title page on a blank piece of cardstock and added it to the front.  Then I used ribbon to bind the pages all together.  I just tied little knots (not bows) that were loose enough to turn the pages, but not too loose. 

I cut small pieces of scrapbook paper for the children to draw on.  They split them up evenly, decorated them, and signed them in their own handwriting.

Then I went through and added a photo to each page above each calendar -- as well as a child's drawing, some scrapbook stickers that were seasonal, and the name of the month in larger letters.  I wrote a caption under each photo. 

We got our photos all printed free from some special online offers last year.  "Join our digital print company and we'll give you 25 free prints."  I'm starting to look for this year's deals already.

So the back of the title page was January's picture.  The back of January was February's picture.  Just like a regular calendar. 

This year, I am putting a picture of the child who has a birthday that month on the month's page. Non-birthday months will have pictures that hopefully fit that season or holiday.  So, we have a 2006 Easter pic on the 2007 page for the month of April.  I need to have Steve help me choose pictures.  I have a folder with 20 pictures in it, but we need to narrow it down to 12.

This year, I intend to also have the children give me a quote for each month or holiday.  I'll either have them write them, or I'll type and print them.  I want to add something a child said or wrote to each calendar picture.  I think it will make it even more personal and also require less of my stickers and creativity.  :lol

All of ours were well-received last year and we enjoyed making them.  The children wanted to see every page as I finished it and after I completed a whole calendar they all gathered around to see the finished product, as well.  When Steve came in the door each night, they would drag him over to see the latest calendar.  Each one was different, except for the photos.

Oh, I forgot to add that after they were all photocopied, I wrote the extended family birthdays for the different sides of the family on the appropriate calendars.  I didn't put Steve's family's birthdays on my family's calendars, for instance.  It was a final touch.

When I'm done, my calendar is basically just like a regular calendar, except it's all handwritten and the monthly picture looks like a scrapbook page.  Here are a few pictures I took last year to share with someone who was asking to see what I was describing.

Perhaps your family would enjoy making photo calendars as gifts this year?  Our method was very inexpensive, but more time-intensive to create. 

Some other methods are to print the calendar pages that have the month on half the page and a picture space on the other half.  Less space to decorate, but also smaller calendar blocks.

I have a friend who makes a collage on a piece of poster board (not a full sheet) and then attaches the calendar pages to it.  Every month, they pull off the old calendar page.  The picture never changes.  This involves less work, as well.

You can also buy  blank calendars that are printed, and you decorate the picture section yourself.  Less work, slightly higher cost.

Or you can select pictures and go to a copy shop and have them print a calendar using your pictures.  The cost for this varies, but it seems to start at $10 per calendar.

Here are some links on how to get those free prints online.  I just googled "free digital prints" and found these links. 

How to get 315 free prints.

How to get 185 free prints.

Happy crafting and gifting!!


  1. I will have to show my Daughters of Eve this and see what they think. This would be great for our family since we are here in FL and they are in MD.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing that great idea!! I may have to use it for grandparents!

  3. Funny that I read this just 5 minutes after sending you an e-mail requesting a calendar for Christmas this year. We loved the calendar and with our busy life we are always looking for a date. I have mine posted right in my kitchen where we can see it on a daily basis. I love it.


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