This is a very economical (and much appreciated!) holiday gift for grandparents. I made 5 calendars this year for less than $7 each.
12 great photos of your child, children, nieces, nephews, dogs, cats, or other relatives
12 different pieces of 8 1/2 x 11" single-sided decorative scrapbook paper
12 coordinating pieces of 7 x 5" colored cardstock
1 - 8 1/2 x 11" piece of plain or colored cardstock
Small single-hole punch
Optional: glue stick, rotary cutter, ruler and mat, ribbon or twine
Step 1: Convert Your Pictures From Digital to Print Format.
Most people have digital cameras and photos, but you need actual printed 4 x 6" photos for this project. You can print them yourself, go to a one hour place, or order online (be sure to allow enough time for your prints to arrive). I waited until an online printing service offered prints for a penny each, since I had about 60 photos to print.
If you have fall/pumpkin pictures for November, Santa pictures for December, any cute red outfit for February, etc., you can make the calendar look very seasonal.
Step 2: Download and Reformat the Calendar Pages.
Use an online calendar to adjust the template below for any month/year. If you want to change fonts, add holidays, or add family birthdays, do it now. I used calendar files sent to me by a friend, but I changed fonts and added the holidays we celebrate. Since I was giving it to several sets of grandparents on both sides of the family, I skipped family birthdays and anniversaries, but that's a really nice touch.
Step 3: Print the Calendar Pages.
My scrapbook paper was 12 x 12" so I had to cut it down to size. I organized the pages in 12 groups of 5 (since I was making 5 calendars), and printed each month individually. Be sure to print on the white side of the scrapbook paper (January file will be printed on the white side (back) of the February design, February file will be printed on the back of the March design, etc.).
Print the cover on a piece of 8 1/2 x 11" cardstock; this is important, because the calendar will be too heavy to hang from just the pages themselves, especially early in the year. You don't need a back cover, as that would just make the calendar heavier.
Step 4: Get the Calendar Spiral-bound at a Copy Shop.
This takes less than an hour and costs less than $4. Be sure you take it in to the office supply shop with the months in order, although, if it's out of order, it won't be a disaster. Just don't give it to anyone with memory or cognitive problems.
You can also punch holes and tie the calendar together loosely with ribbons or twine for a more festive look.
Step 5: Tape the Pictures Inside.
I bought a pad of precut 5 x 7" cardstock that had colors I like, so this step was easy. Center the photo on the cardstock, securing each corner with double-sided tape. Center the (now matted) photo on the calendar page, securing with double-sided tape. Easy! You don't have to cut anything. If you want to get fancy, you can add stickers, captions, etc., but I like a minimalist look.
Step 6: Decorate the Cover.
I cut out some designs from additional scrapbook paper, and glued them to the outside.
Step 7: Punch Holes.
Ideally, you want to use a really small hand-held hole-punch for this step, but a standard one would do. Make sure the first hole is centered, then use it as a guide for the rest.
Step 8: Wrap, Present, and Make Grandparents Happy!
This is the best part.
When the year is over, cut off the spiral binding, and slide the pages inside a bound 8 1/2 x 11" scrapbook. Voila! Instant (recycled) scrapbook.
Visit my blog to see what other fun craftiness I'm up to: http://www.karenelisam.blogspot.com/