Each year, I like making desktop calendars for the following year so I can give them away as Christmas presents. These little calendars fit into a standard 4″ x 6″ frame, and my friends and family love them. I started making them many years ago, when my demonstrator Faith Simpson introduced me to the idea. I loved the concept so much that I’ve been making them ever since.
For the past few years, I used My Digital Studio to design and print my calendars. But this year, I’m going back to good old paper and ink! My plan is to post a calendar page each month. So, if you’d like, you can follow along and make them too.
I’m a little behind, so I’m posting January 2017 here and I’ll post February 2017 next week. I’ll focus mostly on using current products. However, with that said, making these has always been a great way for me to use up my retired DSP. One piece of 12″ x 12″ DSP can be nicely divided into six 4″ x 6″ calendars. So for January, I used my Perfectly Artistic DSP, which was a Sale-A-Bration product that just retired earlier this week. But, I’m thinking that a lot of you probably have it. Alternatively, you could replace that DSP with Soft Sky cardstock.
My plan is to make several calendar pages each month so I have eight full sets by the end of the year.
Another thing you’ll notice is that I’m using my December 2015 Paper Pumpkin photopolymer stamps for the names of the months, and for this calendar page, I also used that set to decorate the bottom of the page. If you don’t have that photopolymer set, you could still copy these calendars by using your computer to print out month names using the font of your choice and using another stamp set to decorate the bottom (or simply leave that part out.)
For your convenience, each month I will provide a link to a JPEG with that month’s calendar days. You can access January HERE. Simply print out this JPEG on Whisper White cardstock and trim the paper to create four 3″ x 5″ centers for the calendars. I used My Memories Suite software to create this JPEG, as it has a nice calendar feature. I set it up so that all you need to do is trim the left side, bottom and top 1/2″, and then it should be a simple matter of trimming each sheet down to measure 3″ x 5″. When I printed mine, I set my printer margins to the smallest setting possible and spread the JPEG from corner to corner. Depending on your printer and margins, you may need to trim your sheet slightly different. The important thing is to cut fairly close to the bottom numbers and leave lots of space on the top to decorate. (If you look closely at the ones I finished above, some are cut closer to the bottom than others. I prefer the ones with more room on the top for decorating.)
I used the White Christmas stamp set for the main scene of my calendar page. This stamp set is in the Annual Catalog, so it’s still available. I wanted a Winter scene for January and thought this set was perfect. I love the little polar bear!
Tip: Before you start stamping the top, it’s a good idea to figure out how you’ll stamp/print the calendar month. You want to leave enough space to be able to add the “January.” As stated earlier, I used the stamps that came with the December 2015 Paper Pumpkin Kit. I stamped January with Cherry Cobbler ink on Smoky Slate cardstock. Then, I cut it out with a Bitty Banner Framelits Die. For the small banner behind, I cut it out of Soft Sky cardstock with a Bitty Banner Framelits Die, and then I used scissors to cut it in half so I could spread it apart and adhere it underneath the larger banner.
Once you have your placement sorted out, you can start stamping the top scene with Basic Gray Archival ink. I stamped the bear first. Then, I stamped the bear again on a Post It note and cut it out (focusing mostly on the legs). Place the cut out Post It over the bear as a mask, and then stamp the trees. That way the horizon line does not cut through the bear’s legs. Next, stamp the little bird with Basic Gray Archival ink as well.
Use Soft Sky ink to stamp the snow (from White Christmas) and snowflake shapes (from the December 2015 Paper Pumpkin stamp set.) Then use a Stampin’ Sponge to sponge ink around the edges of the Whisper White layer and in the sky area.
To paint my scene, I used a Blender Pen. I used Smoky Slate ink to paint the trees and bear, Cherry Cobbler ink to paint the bird, and Soft Sky ink to paint the tree rings, footprints and hills.
Finally, I used SNAIL adhesive to adhere the banners and the top layer to the Perfectly Artistic DSP.
Here’s a picture of the final calendar page in my 4″ x 6″ acrylic frame.
In addition to the December 2015 Paper Pumpkin photopolymer stamps, I used the following supplies on my calendar page: