Introduction: Bubble Wrap Calendar
This instructable will show you how to create a bubble wrap calendar, with one bubble to pop for each day of the year. Brilliant fun, but can you resist getting ahead of yourself? Makes an ideal present for any bubble addict.
Step 1: What You Will Need
You will need the following to make this;
1 Sheet of large bubble bubblewrap, about 5 feet long
Nice printer paper
Double sided sticky tape
Single sided sticky tape
Template for printing the calendar (attached to this step)
I got some perfect bubblewrap in a Christmas delivery, so I was just able to make this from things lying around the house.
Step 2: Measure Your Bubble Wrap
The key to making a great calendar is getting the text aligned exactly behind the bubbles. To do that you need to measure the bubble spacing carefully. For the most accuracy measure as many bubbles across and down as you can. In my case, 10 bubbles down was 475mm, and 8 bubble across was 217mm, because of the way the bubbles are packed.
That means there is a 47.5mm spacing vertically, and 27.125mm spacing horizontally.
Step 3: Edit Your Calendar Document
After you have done your measurements, edit the calendar template to make it fit your bubble wrap. Make the horizontal cell spacing equal to the spacing that you calculated in the previous step. Make the vertical spacing half what you measured in the previous step, to allow for half the bubbles being offset by half a row.
You can also edit the content of each cell to add in birthdays, anniversaries and other special dates, to make it really personal to you or the person you want to give it to.
Once you have got the calendar as you want it, print out the first page on plain cheap paper to test it - there's a fair chance you will find you need to adjust it when you try to fit it to the bubble wrap.
Step 4: Cut the Bubblewrap
To make the calendar look really neat, cut the bubble wrap to size. The easiest way to do this is to cut in a straight line down the bubble wrap, 31 down, and 12 across. This will leave a load of half bubbles at the edges. Go along afterwards and cut out the half bubbles for a clean finish.
Step 5: Lay Out the Paper
Once you are happy with your printing size, print out your entire calendar on some nicer paper. Gloss or semi-gloss photo paper will make it look great. You are going to find that the table cells don't go to the bottom edge of the page, but that's perfect because that's the space we are going to use to stick the pages together. The advantage of printing it out over lots of pages is that it also gives you wiggle room to correct any sub-millimeter errors in your printing size that would magnify up over the whole calendar if you printed on a plotter or other large format printer.
I then laid the paper out on a tiled floor so that I could use the edge of the tiles to make a nice straight line. Loosely place the bubble wrap over the paper, and slide the paper up and down to get a perfect alignment all the way down. Then use some post-it notes to join the pages together while you are working on them.
Next, flip the paper over and use sticky tape to stick the pages together.
Step 6: Stick the Bubble Wrap Down
Next we need to put some double sided tape on the paper to stick the bubble wrap to. This is best done as a two person job so that one person can hold each end and get it lined up just right. Just stick one side at the moment, leaving the top paper on.
Trim then ends of the tape with a craft knife to neaten it up
Lay the bubble wrap back in position on top of the numbers, and roll back the top 6 inches of it when it is perfectly aligned. Remove the top of the double sided tape from the the top 6 inches of the tape, and lay it back down again in the correct position over the exposed tape. When that is perfect, lift the unstuck bubble wrap out of the way, and peel off the rest of the top of the tape.
Working from the stuck end, lay the bubble wrap in the right position on top of the exposed tape. Again, this is easiest with two people.
Step 7: Fix Any Burst Bubbles
There's a fair chance that one or two bubbles got burst in the making process, or even before you got it. Don't stress about that though. We can easily repair it. Just cut out a spare bubble from some of the discarded wrap, and put some double sided tape on it. Then flatten the burst bubble (don't attempt to take it out - it will only make things worse), and stick the replacement bubble on top.
Step 8: Hang Up the Calendar
Carefully remove the post-it notes. You haven't written on them, so stick them back on the stack to re-use another time.
Then get some blu-tack and stick up the calendar somewhere nice. You can pop one bubble every day for the next year.
Finally, if you have someone who can't resist popping bubbles, give them the off-cuts to go wild on and get it out of their system rather than starting on your calendar too soon.
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