Introduction: DIY Desktop Calendar

About: Hi, I'm Jen! In my free time I'm a crafter, food lover, and cake decorator. I have a genuine love and appreciation for all things creative and handmade.

Every year when the calendar kiosks start to pop up I start
to stress out about making sure I can find a fun wall calendar. If I’m proactive I usually get something I enjoy looking at all year long. Some years, not so much! This year I completely forgot about a desk calendar. I know it’s kind of late in January, however, I wanted to make a simple calendar that I would enjoy looking at each day instead of the Thomas Kinkade one I could find at the store. I don’t have anything against Thomas Kinkade. His artwork just really isn’t my style and I wanted something modern! This calendar will also last for years and years since there is no year. I do realize I can’t look ahead for the date of the second Thursday in April but it does scream what the current day is!!

If you happened to read my last instructable (Paint Chip Valentine) you would know that I LOVE paint chips! This is another fun craft you can make to use up old paint chips!

You will need the following supplies to make a Paint Chip Desk Calendar:

  • Cork Board
  • Chip Board
  • Scissors
  • X-acto Blade or Rotary Cutter
  • Eyelets or Grommets & Setter
  • Hammer
  • Small Hole Paper Punch
  • Self-Healing Mat
  • Paint Chips – You will need 26 paint chips of the same size. 12 for the months and 14 for the days.
  • Adhesive Numbers & Letters
  • Ruler
  • 3 Straight Pins
  • 6 Flat Thumb Tacks
  • Pencil

Step 1: Set Eyelets in Paint Chips

Set Eyelets in Paint Chips

12 of the paint chips will be for the months of the year and 14 of the paint chips will be for the days of the year.

  1. Cut 14 paint chips to desired size – narrower than the ones reserved for the months. This step is optional, however, I wanted my numbers to be narrower than the months.
  2. Place two paint chips (right sides facing out) back-to-back.
  3. Mark the center point at the top of the paint chip with a pencil about ¼ inch down.
  4. Punch a small hole corresponding to the eyelet or grommet size. I used eyelets because it’s what I had, however, grommets would be clean on both sides instead of one side being less attractive as with an eyelet.
  5. Place eyelet in the hole and set with eyelet setter and a hammer. If you don’t have an eyelet setter, I’m not exactly sure how you would go about this step. Any suggestions would be great!
  6. Repeat with remaining cut paint chips.

Step 2: Add Stickers for Calendar Months

Add Stickers

I got Thickers (yes, I spelled that right!) from Michaels. They are adhesive foam letters and numbers and are sort of thick. After using them I would recommend using something flat. The finished paint chips would lay better on the cork board and not stick off so much.

  1. Adhere month abbreviations to the 12 uncut paint chips.
  2. Start with Jan and Feb back-to-back, Mar and Apr back-to-back and so on.
  3. Adhere numbers for days to the cut paint chips.
  4. You will need two sets of 0 (zero) and 1 back-to-back and 2 and 3 back-to-back.
  5. You will need one set of 4 and 5; 6 and 7; and 8 and 9 back-to-back

Step 3: Cut Cork Board & Chipboard for Calendar

Cut Cork Board

Once the numbers and months are complete you can cut the cork board to desired size.

  1. Set out my paint chips on cork board to see how large the calendar should be.
  2. Cut the cork board with an x-acto blade (please be careful) leaving roughly a 1 inch boarder on all sides around the paint chips. I had to make several passes with the x-acto blade to make sure the cork board didn’t break apart. Take your time!

Cut Chipboard

  1. Using a piece of chipboard (or thin cardboard) cut a piece about ¼ inch smaller than the cork board using a rotary blade.
  2. Measure out two triangles (isosceles or right angle will work) on the chipboard with the bottom no more than ¼ inch up from the bottom edge. Make the triangles exactly the same (but in opposite directions) in order for the calendar to sit level.
  3. Cut two of the sides with the x-acto blade.
  4. Score the other side and fold the flap out.

Step 4: Assemble Your Calendar


  1. Using the flat thumb tacks, tack the chipboard on the back of the cork board.
  2. Make sure flaps are folded out and everything sits upright.
  3. Arrange the paint chips in order on the cork board and stick them on with the straight pins inserted through the eyelets.

Display your new calendar on your desk and admire!