Wednesday, January 18, 2012

upcycling a wall calendar into a monthly planner

**I originally posted this entry over on the Crafty Christmas Club back in October 2010.  I've made a few changes here.**

At the end of each year, I get a slew of wall calendars from charities.  And every year, I ask them to take me off their mailing list to save paper and funds.  There's already a chalkboard wall in my kitchen that I use for my calendar so these unsolicited ones usually end up in the recycling bin.  What I really needed at the end of 2011 was a book version to keep track of appointments for my new business.  So, when I received the wall type from the Nature Conservancy, I decided to convert it into a hardcover monthly planner.  Here's how I did it:  

Wall calendar
Glue stick
Corrugated cardboard
Water activated paper packaging tape
Clear packaging tape

1) Start by cutting up a wall calendar into individual pages.

2) Fold each page in half so that the calendar part is on the inside and the picture is on the outside.  Stack them in chronological order.  

3) Glue the back right side of each page to the back left side of the next one.  When you're done you should have something that looks like this:

4) Now it's time to start the cover.  Cut three pieces of cardboard: one for the spine that is 0.5" x 8.75" and two for the covers (each 5.5" x 8.75").  Fold paper packaging tape over the edges to finish them as shown below.... OR... hop over to this awesome Instructables tutorial for an even better version of book binding that will make a more finished looking product.  

5) Put the three pieces of the cover together to form a triangle (see photo below).  While they're in this position, use a strip of clear packaging tape to connect them.  I centered the strip on the spine and pressed it down on either side.  It's important to do this step in this position to make sure the book opens and closes properly.   

6) Open the covers so that the side with the clear packaging tape is facing down.  Put a strip of paper packaging tape down the center of the spine to connect it again to the covers.  Before activating it with water, I made two creases in the tape where the covers would bend.  You can see the creases on either side of the spine in the photo below.

7) Time to add the pages that were put together earlier.  Glue the back left side of the January page to the front cover.  Open and close the book a few times to see where the back page should sit.  Once you've found a good spot, glue the back right side of the December page to the back cover.

8) I used an extra page that was left over from the wall calendar to pretty up the cover a bit.  Just make sure you glue it on while the book is closed.  

And done!  Mine is now filling up with dog walking appointments and dinner plans instead of languishing in the recycling bin.

P.S. I submitted this entry to the Patchwork Living Blogging Bee.  Bee sure to hop over there for other great ideas! (Oh now, that was just an uncalled for pun...)

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