Introduction: Reusable Fiberboard Calendar

About: Aspiring design engineer from Imperial College London from Hong Kong. Museum lover. Interested in STEM communication, experience design, and making things. Chair of Imperial College Artisans Workshop. Secretar…

Have you ever gotten annoyed at how calendars are either expensive and pretty, or cheap and ugly? Have you ever had to go on a lengthy hunt for the perfect size of calendar squares for all your note-taking purposes? Have you ever thought that getting a new calendar every year is actually quite wasteful?

This is why I decided to make my very own personalized, reusable, recycled fiberboard calendar.

Here's how I did it, and how you could do it too!

Step 1: Things You Need


  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Some cutting tools - a bandsaw would do nicely *
  • Some sanding tools - bench sander, or simple sandpaper would do *
  • PVA / wood glue
  • Masking tape
  • Stationary - markers, pencils, etc. of assorted colours


  • Thin, stiff, board material - fiberboard taken from a dismantled bookshelf is perfectly serviceable
  • Paper - A5 scrap paper with one blank side is perfect
  • Any other decorations you would like to add

* Personal protective equipment is necessary for all power tools! Don't forget your safety goggles and other protective gear!

Step 2: Measure

Before you do anything, measure the thickness of your board material using a ruler, or calipers if you want to be more accurate. Jot this measurement down somewhere.

Next, these are the pieces you'll want to measure and cut. The dimensions below are what I used, but you can choose whatever you want to best suit your needs. (t below denotes thickness. You know, the measurement you wrote down just now.)

  • The bottom piece
    • 135 + 2t mm x 148 + 2t mm
  • The back piece
    • 186 mm x 148 + 2t mm
  • The front piece
    • 20 mm x 148 + 2t mm
  • The support piece
    • 210 mm x 148 + 2t mm
  • The support's support piece
    • 5 mm x 148 + 2t mm
  • The box's side pieces (x2)
    • 50 mm x 150 mm
  • The box front piece
    • 148 mm x 150 mm

Simply mark these pieces out on the board with a pencil and ruler.

Step 3: Cut

Using whatever method you prefer, cut the pieces out to size.

Once cut, measure the pieces to make sure they are the right dimensions, and label them so you don't lose track.

Step 4: Refine

Before you go any further, try putting the whole thing together to see if everything fits.

If everything's perfect, go ahead and sand the edges smooth using sandpaper.

If it's slightly wobbly, i.e. the edges aren't coming together at right angles, sand the piece down until everything's perpendicular using sandpaper or a more heavy duty bench sander.

If nothing's fitting or if you're not happy with the dimensions, go hunt down some more scrap material and cut whatever you need to whatever size you want.

Step 5: Assemble

Now that everything fits, apply your choice of glue to all the edges that touch. Refer to the pictures to see what goes where.

Smear the glue onto the entire surface using your fingers or a stick of wood to help adhesion.

The pieces should hold themselves together if you squeeze them together gently for a few moments. If it doesn't, use masking tape to keep everything in place.

Allow around a day for the glue to dry fully, depending on the type of glue used. Consult your product for specifics.

Step 6: Calendar Page

While you're waiting for the glue to dry you may as well make your calendar pages.

Use pencil to mark out the grid and format you want.

Once you're happy with your draft, go over everything in bold markers and colours.

Step 7: Use

Once the glue's dry, you can stock up the box with your calendar pages, blank paper, and stationary, and fit this month's page to the support simply by putting it over the board, so you can use it as a clipboard and support the page while writing on it.

Decorate everything to your heart's content.

Populate your calendar with plans, and you're good to go!

Reclaimed Contest 2017

Participated in the
Reclaimed Contest 2017