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Tutorial: 3 Easy Ways to Upcycle Last Year’s Calendar

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Hello my broads! It’s the end of January , and I’m still not used to writing 2018 on anything yet. I swear, it takes me until November every year to get it down!

Speaking of dates, have you put up your new calendars yet? I received a fantastic calendar as a Christmas gift from a coworker this year called “Nuns Having Fun.” It’s all pictures of nuns bowling, bicycling, sailing, etc. I love it! You can buy it here.

 



I SO loved last year’s calendar, though. It was a beautifully illustrated work of art, called “The Lang 2017 Love to Cook Calendar,” with paintings of fat chefs creating amazing concoctions on nice thick paper. It broke my heart to take it down, and I just couldn’t throw it away.

So I started to think, how can I use this expired beauty? Broads, you’re in for treat!

Today I’m going to show you three fabulous ways you can upcycle last year’s calendar. I promise, you will be so excited, you’ll start collecting everyone else’s old calendars, too. You’ll also realize these three projects are just the beginning, and I bet while you are making these, your brain will be coming up with a ton of other ways you can use your old calendars!

Let’s get started on project numero uno!

 

 

Project 1: Pen/Pencil/Paintbrush Holders:

For this first simple project, you’ll need your calendar, four empty tin cans, a ruler, glue, a Sharpee, and scissors (not pictured).

 

 

The first thing you want to do is measure your can to see how wide you need to cut your paper. Make sure you measure only the flat part that the paper will be glued to, and not the lip of the can. Mine were about 4 inches.

 

 

Next, you need to find four pictures or areas of a picture that you like. Measure the four inch width and mark it across your paper with the Sharpee.

 

 

Then use the ruler to connect the marks and make a straight line. Take your scissors and cut along the line. That should give you a nice four inch wide strip of paper. Repeat the process with your other three papers.

 

 

You’ll end up with four strips of four inch wide paper, like so:

 

 

Now grab a can. squeeze a line of glue vertically down the can.

 

 

Take a strip of your paper. Starting at the glue line, wrap the paper around your can. You’ll want to make a new glue line about every 1 1/2 to 2 inches to make sure your paper is nice and sealed to the can. When you get to the end, cut off the excess paper.

 

 

Then you can draw a line of glue at the very end to seal the edge of the paper flat, like this:

 

 

Make sure you press it firmly and hold it for a few seconds so it stays flat and doesn’t raise on the edges. Repeat the gluing process with your other three cans and papers. Before you know it, viola! You have gorgeous holders for your art utensils!

 

 

I took my project a step further and you may be able to as well, depending on what you have laying around your home. I had a drink caddy with four glasses and a jug that I never use. I took the glasses and jug out, and put my cans in, which created an awesome little art utensil caddy. So cute!

 

 

That’s project one, and it was easy as pie!

 

 

Project 2: Bookmarks

For this project you’ll need your calendar, a paper cutter, glue, a Sharpee (not pictured), a hole punch, some ribbon, a ruler, and a piece of sturdy cardboard.

 

 

The first thing you want to do is measure and mark the width of your bookmark on the cardboard. I’m doing 1 1/2 inches.

 

 

Connect your dots and use the ruler to draw a straight line for cutting.

 

 

Use the paper cutter to ensure very straight lines, like so:

 

 

Next, you’ll want to cut your calendar paper about two and a half times as wide as your cardboard piece, and about and inch longer. So for instance, my book mark is 1 1/2 inches wide by 5 inches long. So I’m going to cut my calendar paper 3 3/4 (1 1/2 X 2.5) inches wide and 6 (5 + 1) inches long.

 

 

Put your cardboard piece on top of your freshly cut calendar paper. Now get your glue and line both short ends of your cardboard with glue.

 

 

Next, fold the ends of the calendar paper over the cardboard, and press them hard to get the glue to seal them.

 

 

You’ll now line one of the long sides of the cardboard with glue, and fold the paper over, pressing hard again to get a nice firm seal.

 

 

Put a line of glue across the middle of your bookmark, like so:

 

 

Then simply fold the last end over so your cardboard is completely wrapped in the calendar paper. You’ll also want to put an extra line of glue on the short ends, and press nice and hard so they seal better, like this:

 

 

At this point, put your bookmark(s) under a book or something else flat and heavy. This will allow for flat drying. It’ll take about 30 to 60 minutes to get dry enough. I did two bookmarks. You can do however many you want.

 

 

After drying, punch a hole in one end, centered.

 

 

Take your ribbon and cut it to the length you want. I did about 8 inches, giving myself a little extra to work with.

 

 

Thread your ribbon through the hole punch and tie it securely. Trim if necessary.

 

 

There you have it! Lovely bookmarks!

 

 

These were super simple, and since I’m always in need of bookmarks for my cookbooks, they were put to use right away!

 

 

 

Project 3: Mini Pocket Notebook

Our last project is a simply adorable mini pocket notebook. You will need your old calendar, a paper cutter, a Sharpee (not pictured), glue, a hole punch, a ruler, computer paper, and twine.

 

 

First things first, you want to measure how wide your paper will be. Think of how wide you want your notebook and then double it, because you will be folding your paper in half.

I actually cut out a few pieces and folded them to give myself a good idea of exact widths and lengths. I settled on 5 inches, so I will have 2 1/2 inch wide paper in my mini notebook.

 

 

Use the paper cutter to cut your paper to the length you measured. See how I put my paper at the 5 inch mark?

 

 

Your calendar paper will be the outside cover of the notebook. I wanted mine 1/4 inch bigger on all sides than my white paper. So that would be 8 3/4 inches long (because my paper was the standard 8 1/2 by 11), and 5 1/4 inches wide. Follow the same process of measuring, drawing your lines, and using the paper cutter to get everything nice and straight.

 

Now, fold your white papers in half, and use your hole punch to make two holes. They will be on the folded side, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch from the edges. Since I didn’t get a good photo, I drew up a quick diagram to show you what I mean. The two circles are approximately where you want your holes punched.

Make sure you punch the holes while the papers are folded in half, so when you unfold them you will have four holes all together.  You will need to punch two holes into your cover paper (old calendar) as well, in the exact same spot as the white paper, so they will line up perfectly.

 

 

Next, measure out two pieces of twine.  I did mine at 12 inches, because I wasn’t sure how much I would need. If you plan on just tying a secure double knot, you probably only need each string to be about 4 inches long. But if you want to try a cute bow, 12 inches is a good amount to work with. You can always trim them down later.

 

 

Now put your white paper and your cover paper together, lining up the holes. Thread the twine through the holes and tie, making sure it’s very secure. I settled on a double knot because I’m terrible at tying secure bows.

 

 

It should look something like this:

 

 

You can stop at this point if you want, and have a wonderful mini notebook. However, I like to do one last step because I think it makes my mini notebook a bit more professional and polished. What I do is glue the very first white page and the very last white page to the cover page, like this:

 

 

Now you have a gorgeous mini notebook!

 

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

It only took me about an hour to complete all three of these projects, and I just LOVE how they turned out!

 

 

Now I have little pieces of 2017’s fabulous calendar around my house!

I really enjoy upcycling in this manner, because I not only save myself some money, but I also feel like I’m contributing to saving the earth. What’s not to love about that?

What have YOU done with your old calendars? Please comment and give me some more ideas for what to do with the rest of my calendar!

 

Toodles Broads!

 

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How to Plan the Perfect Night Before Christmas

 

Well, the night before Christmas is finally here! Tomorrow is the big day! Sure, we are all busy with our families right now, but I wanted to pop in to say hello and offer a little Christmas spirit. Do you want to plan the perfect night before Christmas?

While you likely have all of your Christmas Day festivities planned out, what about this wonderful day before? It’s screaming to be filled with fun and meaningful activities and traditions, to build anticipation for tomorrow.

Some families have little things they do every Christmas Eve. Why not add a new activity or three to your Christmas Eve this year?

Here are some fun ideas to try out, that just may become your new family tradition for years to come!

 

 

NOTE: This post may contain referral and/or affiliate links, so I make a commission from some of them. However, I promise I will NEVER recommend anything unless I have personally tried it or have done research and would purchase it myself. I will also remove anything from my blog that is unsatisfactory for any reason, so please contact me if you encounter a problem or issue with anything I recommend.

 

 

Read The Night Before Christmas

 

 

 

Are there any better words to begin a story? So classic, so exciting! It’s a short read, and you can have the kids take turns. Even as an adult, you can’t help but get caught up in the magic that is Santa Clause. Especially as you all shout out in unison the last words of the story: “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!”

 

 

 

Get the ebook here for only $5.04, and read it on the free app Amazon offers.

 

 

Open a Gift

 

 

In our family, we like to get a nice cozy pair of pajamas for each member, and open the gift the night before Christmas. That way we all go to bed in fresh pajamas, and wake up in the morning feeling crisp, new, and ready to open gifts!

However, if you haven’t planned ahead for that, why not each open one gift from under the tree? It’s a nice preview of what’s to come, and really builds up the anticipation.

 

 

Take a Walk in the Snow

 

 

Do you live in a place where you have the privilege of enjoying a white Christmas? Why not bundle up on Christmas Eve and take a family walk together?

It’s the little things that make life worth it, right? Let those snowflakes land on your tongue, make snow angels, have a snowball fight, or build a snowman. Just enjoy each other! Isn’t that what the spirit of Christmas is all about?

 

 

Make Treats

 

 

This one is kind of obvious, as you need to leave cookies out for Santa anyway. But this year, make it a big affair. Have everyone participate in mixing, baking, and decorating. Try making something besides cookies, like cupcakes or cake pops. Santa (or mom and dad) will appreciate it, too!

 

 

Have a Drink

 

 

Kid free? How about a drink? Have  mom, Aunt Sally, and Grandma Peaches all get cozy in their pajamas, and then crack open a bottle of wine, or make a nice hot buttered rum.

Here’s a yummy recipe!

 

 

Take a Drive to See the Christmas Lights

 

 

Again, bundle everyone up, squeeze in the car (or two), and take a drive to a local neighborhood or area known for having awesome Christmas lights. Every town has that neighborhood that just goes ALL OUT when it comes to putting up lights.

Just don’t forget your camera!

 

 

Keep Tabs on Santa

 

 

Did you know that Google has an amazing Santa Tracker? Get the kids excited by checking in on where Santa is throughout the evening. If you are awake when he flies over your area, run outside to try to catch a glimpse of Rudolph’s nose! Point out a plane flying over head and show them that Santa is coming!

Follow the Santa Tracker here.

 

 

Make Homemade Hot Cocoa

 

 

I truly believe there is nothing in this word better than a homemade cup of warm chocolaty, creamy cocoa on Christmas Eve. Of course, you need marshmallows too. And you may as well leave the bag within reach, because I’m going to need to reload on marshies at least twice!

Try this delish recipe by Martha Stewart!

 

 

Play a Game

 

 

You’ve made the hot cocoa, and the family is all gathered anyway. Why not play a game? Charades is a great one for the whole family. Or if the kids are already in bed, how about Cards Against Humanity?

Just watch out for Monopoly! It sucks you in and never ends!

 

 

Draw Santa a Picture

 

 

This is a great idea to keep the kids busy, and is actually quite fun for adults too. Just set out some washable markers or crayons and paper, and have everyone draw their favorite Christmas memory, or their best portrait of good ol’ Saint Nick.

Plus, you can tuck those pictures away and save them for when the kids get older. They’ll love taking a walk down memory lane, and so will you.

 

 

Give Back

 

 

You know the kiddos will be getting lots of new toys. How about giving them each a bag or box and having them fill it with some of their old toys to donate? Make sure they aren’t broken or ruined. Not only will you be making room for the new toys, but you are teaching the kids to give back.

Have them leave their box or bag of toys near the tree with a letter to Santa asking him to donate them to kids in need. Just don’t forget to drop the donations off at your local community house or domestic violence shelter later this week.

 

 

Sing!

 

 

Buddy Elf had it right. Singing is contagious, and while at first you may feel a bit awkward, pretty soon you’ll be shouting “Deck the Halls” at the top of your lungs.

This is a great way to wrap up your evening. You can all sit together around the fire (or the tree) and sing your favorite carols.

 

My family will be doing some of these today. It will be the perfect night before Christmas! What about you? What are your favorite Christmas Eve traditions? I’d love to hear! Have fun!

 

 

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

 

 

 

 

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