It’s almost time to bust out the new, 2012 calendars. But don’t toss out your
old 2011 calendars at the New Year. Instead, re-purpose them!
Studio 5 Contributor Sue Neal shares ways to transform old calendars into
gorgeous gifts and home décor.
A couple of years ago a friend of mine was at my house and noticed my wall
calendar. She exclaimed how perfect that month’s image matched her new
craft room, with dress forms and pink & black colors. I tucked that piece of
information away in my brain and when her birthday rolled around, I cut it
from my calendar, added a few embellishments, framed it and gave it to her
as a birthday gift.
Since then I’ve been seeing calendars in a whole new light.
Generally, we purchase calendars to match our home decor, or to celebrate a
hobby or past-time or just because we like it. We enjoy those monthly
images all year long, so Why not extend the life of those images by re-
purposing them into more home decor, personal items and gift, wrapping,
cards, scrapbooks and even teaching tools.
Most calendars feature well-known artists and photographers whose prints
would cost a lot more if purchased singularly. Probably the easiest and most
straight forward approach to re-purposing our wall calendars is to frame
Some will be timeless and you may keep them for a very long time. Others
are great for switching out every year.
Some calendars make great teaching tools. This little desk calendar of baby
animals was just too cute to throw away. I printed off some very basic text
on cardstock, mounted the baby animal pictures onto them then had them
laminated and bound. Cost was about $3.
If you have a particularly busy calendar, this can be a fun “where’s Waldo”
type find-it book. Just make a list of things to find on the opposing page
and bind similar to the baby animals book.
You could also make a numbers book if you have pages with multiples on it.
Religious calendars can be great if you teach at your church or home. Simply
trim the pictures from the calendars. You can file them back into the sturdy
envelope the calendar came with or bind them at a local printing shop.
Gifts & Personal Items
Many wall calendars are seasonal and has at least one Christmasy image.
Transform a inexpensive gift bag (or recycle the ones you get when you
shop) by adhering the image on the top with a little matching cardstock.
You can also create other personal and gift items, like notebooks,
scrapbooks, bookmarks and my favorite, cards.
Maybe you’re not quite sure where to cut to create your card.
Go to www.sueneal.blogspot.com
to download some simple card making
templates. Just cut out the square or rectangle and move around the image
to find the best place to cut your card from. Trace and trim. You can keep it
very simple by adhering to a cardstock base, or embellish a little or a lot
depending on the images. The savings here can be dramatic since most
greeting cards can run anywhere from $2 to $5 each.
This project started with a desk calendar with inspirational thoughts for
women. Too beautiful to throw away, I trimmed out the pages to fit an extra
chipboard album I had on hand. A few little embellishments and the album is
ready to add some pictures and to be gifted to a good friend.
This was probably my favorite way to re-purpose, simply because it was the
last thing I thought of.
I went to Alpha Graphics in Lehi, UT to get a few of the calendar pages
laminated. They offered both hard and soft lamination so I tried both.
The hard lamination was most costly, but was perfect for the placemat (and
SO easy to clean).
I kept playing the soft lamination, lamenting that it wouldn’t lay flat and then
joyfully realizing that it would roll around a glass vase perfectly. I love this
look! It was stunning. Best part is that I can switch out the looks depending
on my decor or table decor needs. I used Scotch ATG tape and it stuck very
well, but also came off easily.
I love the idea of making placemats with different pages. Mix & match table
decor is very trendy right now. If nothing else, it’s pretty and so easy to
From there I realized I could also switch up the look of some of my table
settings. As long as the item had a flat bottom I could change the look of a
platter quite dramatically. Again, I used Scotch ATG tape to hold it down
Your calendars will never be out of date again! In fact, you might want to
take advantage of clearance calendars come the new year.
This can be a fun crafting activity with friends or family members. The goal?
How many ways can you re-purpose your calendar from 2011? Good luck!
Check out Susan Neal’s blog at www.sueneal.blogspot.com.