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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.

Last Minute Do-It-Yourself Dollar Store Gift Ideas

Last Minute Do-It-Yourself Dollar Store Gift Ideas

Bonjour Broads! Today, I have seven amazing DIY dollar store gift ideas you can make in just a couple of hours!

Why do you need these ideas, you ask? Well, if you’re like most of us, when it comes to getting gifts, sometimes you put it off until the very last minute.

 



The worst feeling is when you finally decide on that one perfect item, and low and behold! It’s out of stock. You’re shitting me, right?

So I’m gonna help you out, because I’m nice like that. Now, most gift idea posts like this are round ups of D.I.Y. tutorials from different blogs. However, I really wanted to SHOW you how easy and quick these gifts are to make and how well they turn out. I want you to have the confidence to do these yourself.

What better way than to show you by doing them myself? If I can do it, you surely can! So, on my way home from work last night I stopped by the dollar store and grabbed a few items. Then I spent about 2 hours and 15 minutes working with these items, and I ended up with seven brilliant gifts.

Not only were they cheap, but they were quick and easy, and they are beautiful! I would love to receive any of these as a gift. The best part is, they don’t look like they came from the dollar store.

Here are seven do-it-yourself dollar store gifts you can make this evening!

 

 

**As you know, I’m a pretty savvy craft supply shopper, so I’ve included links next to most of the items I am using here to show you which particular supplies I myself would purchase to get the best deals. Please don’t feel pressured to purchase anything! The point is to show you what I get.**

 

 

Okay, so here are the items I purchased:

 

 

1 plain wine glass (here)

1 striped wine glass (similar item here)

36 pack clothespins (here)

2 bags glass beads/marbles (here)

Glass vase (here)

White mug (here)

White bowl (here)

Picture frame (similar item here)

 

I spent less than $10. Whoop whoop!

 

Here are the items I had at home that I used for these projects:

E6000 glue (here)

Mini glue gun (here)

Mini glue gun sticks (here)

150 pennies

Paint markers (shown below) or Sharpees (here)

Soy wax flakes, or any kind of candle wax, even the ends and pieces of old burnt candles (here)

Dye chips or crayons (here)

Fragrance oil, essential oils or perfume/cologne (here)

Candle wick (here)

Rubbing alcohol and cotton pads/balls

 

 

 

 

As you can see from the list above, you can substitute lots of different items and still achieve similar results.

I’m going to walk you through each project. Like I mentioned, it took me only 2 hours and 15 minutes total to make all seven gifts. So each gift is pretty quick, and also simple.

Before starting, you’ll want to grab a drink and a snack. I like a glass of wine usually, but tonight I’m going for this:

 

 

You pick whatever floats your boat, and let’s get started!

 

Wine glass candle:

My purpose for the striped wine glass is to make a pretty candle. There a couple of different ways to do this. I always have candle making supplies at my house. I get kits off ebay because those are the best deals, and they include your wax, wicks, dye chips, and fragrance oils (this is the exact kit I got, and I will be getting it always). However, if you don’t have those supplies, there are other ways to do this.

I always save my old store bought candle jars with the little bits of wax left in the bottom. I dig the wax out and dump it into and old ice cream container, to save for when I have enough to make a full candle. Then I scrub out the jars and save them for future candles.

Put a glass bowl over a saucepan of water, to use as a double boiler. Turn the heat to medium-low.

 

 

Throw your wax ends and pieces, or a few scoops of the wax you have on hand into the glass bowl. I like a bowl with a spout because it makes for easy pouring. I’m using extra wax because I’m making a few candles.

 

 

Let the wax slowly melt. Don’t hurry the process. While you are waiting, put your wick into your wine glass.

 

 

If you don’t have wicks, and don’t want to buy any, here is a great tutorial on making wicks from regular household supplies.

 

 

Once the wax is almost completely melted, you can add your dye chip. I used one green dye chip, but you can use a green crayon and it’ll work just as well.

Keep in mind, if you used the ends and pieces of old candles, that you’ll want to sift out the black bits and metal pieces that may floating around in the wax. Use a spoon or something mesh for this.

The last ingredient is the fragrance oil. If you don’t have fragrance oil, you can use essential oils, or perfume. I don’t really measure, I just smell. More is better! I’m mixing two flavors, cinnamon sticks and apple cinnamon.

 

 

Once you’ve added the fragrance oil, immediately turn off the heat and pour wax into prepared jars. I made four candles.

 

 

Doesn’t it look purdy??? Lay a dowel or a pencil across the top of the glass to keep the wick centered. Let it cool and solidify and that’s all there is to it!

 

Clothespin Trivet:

This trivet is so pretty and useful. You can spray paint it when finished or cover it with a clear varnish. Or you can leave it natural, like I did.

You’ll need to take apart the clothespins. Once done, get your glue ready. This trivet is all about the glue. I use E6000 because I think it works better than anything else.

 

 

First, you basically want to glue the pieces in twos, flat sides together (below).

 

 

Glue them all back to back. Make sure to wipe off any excess glue that squeezes out the sides. Once they are all glued, let them dry for a few minutes.

 

 

While waiting, work on one of the other projects.

After they’ve been drying for a few, glue two pieces together, as shown below.

 

 

Do the same with the rest of the clothespins, and then let them sit again to dry for a few.

 

 

Next, you are going to glue each of these pieces together. You are basically repeating the process over and over, glue pieces together and letting them dry, and each time the pieces are getting bigger, like so:

 

 

Finally, you will have glued them all into a nice trivet.

 

 

Set it on a completely flat surface and leave it to dry overnight. Don’t mess with it, because it can easily come apart and weaken if it’s not completely dry. That’s it!

 

Glass Bead Picture Frame:

This is so simple, but the results are fantastic. Dollar store frames always look so cheap to me, but with this little tweak, you turn it into an expensive looking frame. Add a sentimental photo, and it’s the perfect gift!

You’ll need your glue gun warmed up for this project and the next one, and make sure you have plenty of extra glue sticks nearby.

 

 

I’m using the flatter marbles for this project. All you need to do is put a healthy dot of glue onto each glass bead, and line them around the frame.

 

 

They don’t have to be perfectly straight, because your glass beads aren’t all exact. It’ll still look great when finished.

 

 

Once you have the beads around the entire frame, you’re done! Easy peasy!

 

Penny Vase:

I love pennies as decorations! The shiny copper adds a great texture to any project, and they give off sort of a high-end eclectic look. I used a medium sized vase, 150 pennies, and the glue gun for this project.

 

 

First, I let the pennies soak in hot water and dish soap. Then I rinsed them well and dumped them onto a towel to dry.

 

 

After the pennies are dry, it’s pretty simple, just like the picture frame. Just put a healthy blob of glue on each penny, and stick them to the vase. I put all my pennies heads up because I like how that looks. It’s also okay if your pennies are different colors. It adds to the look to have shiny, medium and dull pennies in the mix, like so:

 

 

Once the whole vase is covered, you are dunzo!

 

Hand-Decorated Dishes

The last three gifts are done essentially the same way, so I’m combining them into one section. You’ll need your paint markers or Sharpees,  rubbing alcohol, and cotton pads or balls.

 

 

First,  preheat your oven to 225 degrees. Then you’ll want to wash your bowl, mug, and wine glass in warm soapy water. Make sure you dry them very well.

Next, put a generous amount of rubbing alcohol onto your cotton, and clean off each dish to get any residual oils from your fingers off, so the paint/Sharpee will stick properly.

 

 

At this point, you need to decide what kind of pattern or drawing you want to do. You can do ANYTHING. I’m not the best at drawing with markers, so I’m going to stick to patterns. Once you have your idea, start drawing!

 

 

Don’t let yourself get too nervous. These don’t need to be perfect. In fact, they have more character if they aren’t perfect!

 

 

Once you have your artwork done, make sure it dries for a few, and then put the dishes on a baking sheet and pop them into the preheated oven. Bake for 2 hours. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Right about now, you can put a fork in it, because you are DONE!

So, for less than $10 of money, and only a couple hours of my life, I went from this…

 

 

 

to THIS!!!

 

 

Aren’t they gorgeous??? (Ignore my crooked dots inside the bowl, I think the Guinness was starting to kick in). Anyone in your life would be lucky to receive one of these gifts. Not only are they super snazzy, but they were made from the heart. Is there anything better?

So instead of feeling overwhelmed and settling for a gift card, AGAIN, try making one (or all) of these do-it-yourself gifts!

Now grab ten bucks and get on over to your dollar store!

 

You got this!

 

 

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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.