If you read the title and thought ‘I don’t like cats,’ you are not alone. But don’t stop reading! Even if you are not a cat lover like I am, you can use the information to create a custom calendar about something you DO love…like your family, dogs, flowers, nature, etc. It’s totally customizable.
As this year was handcrafted Christmas, I decided to finally give in to what one of my sister’s had been basically begging me to make for years – a calendar full of awkward cat pictures. She does not have cats, so she finds it absolutely hilarious when they sit in awkward ways to lick their butts or generally lay very strangely. So, what better gift than 12 months of weird pics of cats? Here’s what I did.
- Paper – I used a thicker cardstock
- Laminating pouches & laminator – optional, but this will not only create a better looking final product but, if you laminate like I did, you can create a calendar that can actually be used for years to come
- Markers – also optional, but I drew some designs on each page. You could totally print these off when you print the basic calendar layout if you don’t like to draw
- Hole punch – I used a cat paw shaped one for some added fun; feel free to get creative
- Binder rings – you will use these to put all the pages together but still allow it to fully open and hang; you could also use ribbon or similar, but I wanted something a little more hearty. I used these ones.
- Picture corners – totally optional, but I wanted to give my sister the option to replace the cat pics with others in the future, so I put all the pictures in using these picture corners.
- If you don’t end up using these, you’ll need glue or double-sided tape or some other way to attach the pictures to your calendar
- Choose your pictures – you will want anywhere from 3-6 pictures per page, depending on the size of the photo. I had a number of 4×6 pictures that I cut down to a much smaller size because, well, cats are smaller than humans, so they take up less frame. Since my calendar was all cats, I selected all my pictures and then organized them into themes and matched the themes up with the months:
- January – snuggly kitties (since it’s cold outside)
- February – all pics of Dex, since he was born in February
- March – all pics of G; we lost him in March of 2018 😦
- April – window perch pics since it’s starting to get a little nice out
- May – all pics of Jameson, since he was born in May
- June – Gemini sign, so pics of my “twins” – they are actually from different litters, but the same mama, but they act like twins with how they’re always together
- July – cats and humans
- August – sun porch pics
- September – all pics of Molly since she was born in September
- October – I call this the ‘murder series’ – my cats are indoor/outdoor and they are pretty serious hunters and, as such, bring us lots of ‘presents’
- November – twosomes and threesomes
- December – cats in boxes (like Christmas…with presents…ya know…)
- Print your calendar – this part is easy. You can use my calendar template here. I did not include the numbers for the month because I laminated my calendar. When you laminate paper, you can easily use dry-erase markers on it like on a whiteboard. So, my sister can add the dates on the appropriate days of the week depending on the year and use this calendar for years to come.
- Draw pictures and laminate – after I printed each of the calendar pages out, I felt like they looked a little bland. I’m not a huge fan of clipart, so I decided to hand draw two small images on either side of the month name. I chose images that I could (mostly) successfully draw and that would make sense for that month / their family. After everything was drawn, I laminated each page.
- January – New Year’s party hat and confetti / noise maker and a snoman
- February – snowflake and hearts
- March – shamrock and an Easter egg (although, unfortunately, Easter is SUPER late in 2019 at April 21)
- April – flowers and balloons (they have a birthday in April and April flowers bring…May showers…)
- May – balloons and an umbrella with rain (they have two birthdays in May and April flowers bring…May showers…)
- June – sunglasses and a flip flop
- July – American flag and balloons (they have a birthday in July)
- August – a sun and a schoolhouse (my sister is a teacher, so it’s back to school for her!)
- September – an apple and a football
- October – leaves and a pumpkin
- November – turkey and shopping bags (we LOVE Black Friday shopping)
- December – Christmas tree and a present
- Organize your pictures on the page – for this part, I HIGHLY encourage you to punch your holes on each month FIRST and then layout your photos. I made the mistake of not hole punching first and laid out all my photos, stuck them on and then had to try to work around them to create the holes on each page in roughly the same spot without ruining any pics. It was annoying; do better than I did. As a tip, you need holes at both the top AND bottom of each page. The holes at the top of the picture page will be used for hanging and at the bottom will be used to attach it all together. Be sure to remember that when you flip the month page up, it will be upside down and backward, so you need to put your pictures on correctly so they don’t end up upside down.
- Stick your pics and add the rings – once I had all my pictures cut to size and arranged, I started placing them on the page. After all my pics were in, I put my rings through to put the calendar together and that was it!
To complement the calendar, I provided my sister with two command hooks to hang it up (I thought hanging from two spots would be better than a center hole since the calendar had some weight to it) and some ultra fine point dry erase markers to write on each month (these ones).
Here are some pics:
(Apparently I didn’t take a photo of December…oopsies!)