About the Blog

Some people create to enjoy the finished product. I get my greatest satisfaction from the process of creating. This blog is my attempt to share that process with others.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Perpetual Calendar

The Project:

One of my recent minor obsessions is the "perpetual calendar," a calendar that you can change the date on every day and keep around for years. I think this will be useful for me, mainly because I never know what the date is. Plus, they're retro and fun.

The Inspiration:
While playing around on Etsy one day, I stumbled across several mechanical versions (where you change the date by turning a dial) and thought they were pretty neat. My favorite, however, was one created by the Etsy user SingleChair. I WANTED that calendar. But, true to form, I saved it to my "wish list" and let it sit there until someone else bought it. Now the item is no longer listed on Etsy because it is sold out. However, since it was saved to my "favorites" section on the site, I can still access the page. I used my magical MacBook to take some "screen shots" of the page so that I can share it with you (just so you can see the inspiration before seeing how I've changed and personalized my own perpetual calendar).

My Version

What I kept from the original design:
  • The idea of using vintage paper cards as date indicators
  • Holding the cards in some kind of box
  • Leaving space on each card for writing little notes to myself

What I changed:
  • I used a Rolodex business card holder to keep the cards in instead of a vintage container - this is mainly because 1) I know I will knock this calendar over at some point and putting all the cards back in order will be a real pain, and 2) I couldn't find a vintage container that met my size and aesthetic requirements
  • Instead of using only vintage paper, I made my "date cards" with a combination of vintage paper materials bought at a fun and funky vintage store (Honeymoon Bungalow has a great selection of vintage paper ephemera) and paper ephemera gathered from around my house (to make it more personalized and "mine").
  • I made the month dividers more visible and added the month titles to them.
  • Since the Rolodex holder BARELY fits all of the paper cards in it, there's no room in my design for inserting extra paper ephemera. That's actually pretty disappointing to me, because I loved the idea of adding little things into the box over time. BUT - life is a series of tradeoffs, and I REALLY won't want to pick up 366 pieces of paper off my floor when my clumsiness results in a calendar mishap.
  • Rolodex business card tray
  • Solvent ink pad with black ink (will work on any type of paper surface, including glossy or coated papers)
  • Rubber stamps for each month of the year (bought in a single set)
  • A changeable date stamper that (the kind used in offices - I bought it from an office supply store)
  • Scrapbooking paper cutters - to cut the various papers with straight lines
  • Scissors - to clean up some of the edges
  • 3x5 plain white index cards and scrapbooking adhesive - some of the ephemera I used was made from flimsy paper, so I reinforced them by gluing them to index cards.
  • 4x6 plain white index cards - to make the month dividers
  • Rolodex business card punch
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Plastic baggies and rubber bands to organize cards into months
  • Enough paper materials to make 366 cards
  • Trash can (for the leftovers)
Paper materials I used:
  • Junk mail
  • Business reply mail cards from magazines and product registrations that I'll never do
  • Flyers passed out at school
  • The covers of greeting cards sent to me over the past few years
  • Receipts I don't need
  • Souvenir bags from places I've traveled to and bought souvenirs from (just the flimsy paper bags that I've hung on to over the years for some reason)
  • Vanilla Ice concert ticket
  • LSU v. Vandy football ticket (from 2009)
  • Plane ticket stub from London to Atlanta (from 2005)
  • Pages from manuals belonging to electronics/appliances that I don't have anymore
  • Personalized note cards (the last 4) of mine to which I had no more matching envelopes
  • Personalized recipe cards (only about 6 of them - don't panic, Mom!)
  • Vintage teachers' grading scale charts
  • Vintage "Secretary" notebook (accounting ledger pages)
  • Vintage "school record" book for writing down memories about your child from each grade (Kindergarten through Senior year of high school)
  • Vintage bills, receipts, business reply envelopes, etc.
  • Used pages from a vintage telephone number index
  • Vintage (unused) recipe cards
  • Vintage pack of playing cards
  • A vintage computer "punch card" (My favorite thing I found! See the picture below.)

The Process:
  • I gathered enough paper materials to make 366 (don't forget the leap years!) cards. This was actually pretty fun and gave me a chance to be creative.
  • I then cut the paper materials down to 3x4 inch pieces (so that they would fit in the Rolodex), using the scrapbooking paper cutter to make straight, even cuts.
  • If any of the papers were too flimsy, I used scrapbook adhesive to glue the papers to both sides of a 3x5 index card. Then I cut the index card down to the 3x4 size.

  • I repeated that process until I had 366 cards.
  • To make the month dividers, I took the 4x6 index cards and cut them down to 4x4. I then used the months of the year stamps at the top of each card.
  • I laid each month's card out and divided up the paper "day" cards in the right numbers on each month. (Looks a little like I was trying to play "Memory")

  • Next, I used the Rolodex punch to punch holes at the bottom of each card.
  • I then began using the date stamper to stamp the dates on the various pieces of paper

How the stamping process looked:

Pictures of the finished product:

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