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

Hello my broads! 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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I’m the founder of The Bonafide Broad, and a thirty-something broad originally from the Pacific Northwest. I now live in Flagstaff, Arizona, with my guy, Mr. OG. When I’m not busy rescuing kittens from tall trees, carrying babies from burning buildings, and trying to establish world peace, I work for the school district in Flagstaff, and I run this blog.

How to KEEP Your New Year’s Resolutions

How to KEEP Your New Year’s Resolutions

Holy macaroni, it’s time to set our New Year’s resolutions again. What. The. Hell. Every year time seems to flow a little faster. It’s craziness!

 



Alas, it is what it is, and here we are. We have physically transitioned to a new year. The mental transition, of course, is a little slower (I promise you I’ll be writing the wrong year on everything until at LEAST June!).

Many of us have set ourselves some New Year’s resolutions. I know I have! I’m very excited about these changes! But I’m also a bit nervous. Let’s be real here (isn’t that what we do on this blog?). Less than 10% of the people who set New Year’s resolutions actually keep them.

 

 

What can we do to increase our chances of ACCOMPLISHING our resolutions? Here are some simple ideas you can incorporate pretty easily into your daily life. These will help you to keep your resolutions important and up front in your mind throughout the whole year, and not just on day one. These suggestions are great for any kind of goal you set, not just your New Year’s Resolution!

 

Make a resolution/goal in the first place:

 

 

This may seem like a “duh!” suggestion, but there’s a reason I not only included it, but made it number one.

Less than half of people even set resolutions. You know what you can’t accomplish if you don’t set them? Goals. Yep, the first step to accomplishing something is actually deciding you want to accomplish something. It’s SO simple…

 

 

Write it down and put it somewhere you will see it often:

 

 

The value of writing goals down has long been known by researchers. Here is a great article on The Huffington Post that discusses the benefits of putting your goals in writing.

Basically, if you write your goals down, you are almost 50% more likely to accomplish them. This has to do with you introducing these goals to your brain through thought AND vision. If your brain SEES the goal you’ve been thinking about, it gets the message that you are more serious about what you want.

The more your brain sees this goal, the more the importance of the goal is reaffirmed. So write it down often, and keep visuals in high traffic places in your home, such as by your front door, on your refrigerator, or on your bathroom mirror.

 

 

Set several small goals:

 

 

Remember when Bill Murray taught us about taking baby steps in What About Bob? While Bob took this a little more literally than his psychiatrist intended, there is value in the analogy.

It is much easier to accomplish several smaller, more defined goals than a single big one. So once you decide on your resolution, try to break it down into two or three micro goals that all work toward the bigger purpose. Make sure these are S.M.A.R.T. goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (Learn more about S.M.A.R.T. goals here).

For example, if your resolution for 2018 is to be healthier, try a couple of small goals, like drinking more water, only eating sweets on the weekend, or taking a 20 minute walk every day. Those are much more defined and actionable than a general goal of being more healthy. This also makes it possible for you to measure your success.

Let me give you another example. Here is my resolution for this year:

 

 

I’ve broken my resolution down into three S.M.A.R.T. goals. I’m going to go a step further and break each goal down into a couple of smaller steps to make them even more achievable. Notice I also posted them right there on my refrigerator so I see them several times a day.

 

 

Establish a reward for accomplishing your goals:

 

 

Set up a reward for when you accomplish each of your small goals. Let’s go back to our example earlier of being healthier.

Say you set a sub-goal of drinking more water. How about if you drink 8 glasses of water a day, every day for a month, you buy yourself a new water bottle (Enter our January giveaway to win an Infusion Pro water bottle here)? Or if your sub-goal is to walk more, after a month of walking 20 minutes a day, get yourself a nice pedometer.

Reinforcing your goals with a reward system significantly increases your chances of success. One big reason for this is that when you are rewarded, you release more dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the reward and pleasure centers of your brain. Dopamine helps you to see rewards and work toward them.

Interestingly, anticipating a reward can be just as effective in releasing dopamine as actually getting the reward. This is significant because studies have shown that go-getters release much more dopamine than slackers do.

So reward your accomplishments, because science and shit!

 

 

Don’t go telling everyone:

 

 

Sounds weird, right? I mean, doesn’t telling other people about your goals create accountability? Not so much, according to research.

When we tell a person our goal, they often commend and encourage us for setting the goal. This stimulates something called Social Reality, according to Derek Sivers (Ted X speaker).

Sivers says: “When you tell someone your goal and they acknowledge it, psychologists have found that it’s called a “social reality.” The mind is kind of tricked into feeling that it’s already done. And then because you’ve felt that satisfaction, you’re less motivated to do the actual hard work necessary.” Learn more about this here.

This doesn’t mean you can’t share your goals with anyone. Just make sure if you do, that it’s a person who you have established mutual respect with, and who will help keep you in check.

 

 

The Takeaway

 

As you can see, setting and KEEPING your New Year’s resolution isn’t as easy as just saying you want to improve. If it were that easy, none of us would struggle with keeping our resolutions! No, this is something that will take time and effort. But it will be worth it!

Don’t let yourself feel intimidated! Remember, you wouldn’t be setting the goal in the first place if it wasn’t important. Aren’t all important things in life worth working for? Follow the tips above, and I guarantee you will increase your chances of your New Year’s resolution becoming a box on your life checklist you can finally check off.

 

Now go get ’em guys and gals!

 

 

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I’m the founder of The Bonafide Broad, and a thirty-something broad originally from the Pacific Northwest. I now live in Flagstaff, Arizona, with my guy, Mr. OG. When I’m not busy rescuing kittens from tall trees, carrying babies from burning buildings, and trying to establish world peace, I work for the school district in Flagstaff, and I run this blog.