Monday, November 19, 2012

DIY Family Journal Calendar

Last year, I saw an adorable idea on Pinterest from Design Sponge for a postcard journal calendar. They used a little fruit carton, vintage postcards, and halved index cards. The idea is that you rotate the cards each day, and you can use them as a journal. Write entries about what happened that day, or a funny quote you heard, or let family members write entries if you're willing to share. The postcards serve as monthly dividers. Here's what I came up with using that project as inspiration:

I used a beat-up old cigar box for the carton. Instead of vintage postcards, I used scrapbook paper and sewed the dividers into pockets to store little bits of memories like movie tickets, little notes, or small pictures drawn by my daughter.

I'm sure there are a million variations we could come up with to make these calendars cool. I'll show you how I made mine to get started.
So here's my cigar box. If you have a local wine shop nearby that carries cigars, you can get these wooden boxes for a few dollars, or the thin soft paper-covered boxes for about fifty cents. They come in all different sizes, so you can really get creative with what size index cards to use, or maybe even divide the larger ones and have two half-size rows?

Anyway, I got a package of coordinating scrapbook paper for the pocket dividers. If you use a craft store coupon, you can get a package close to fifty pages for $10. But really you will only need about seven sheets max if you don't mind having doubles of the paper patterns. My package came with a couple sheets of punch-out shapes, so after cutting a background to the size of my lid and attaching it with a gluestick, I added a few shapes and labeled them "Our Family Journal".

I planned on displaying my box in my living room without closing it, so if you want to keep yours closed you wouldn't really have to worry about prettying up the inside of the lid.
Next I made the monthly divider pockets. Basically I cut each sheet of 12" x 12" paper in half, then folded each half (leaving room for the tab) and stitched the edges with a sewing machine. You could use staples, or punch holes and weave with yarn or ribbon, or whatever genius method you come up with.
Here's a really awful illustration of what I mean:

Finally, I used a Dymo label maker to mark each month on the tabs. If you plan on keeping your box closed, obviously you'll want to adjust the measurements of the pocket dividers so that they don't stick out too far for the lid to close. But then you'd also have to trim all of your cards if your box is shorter, like mine, which sounds like a huge pain in the butt. I'm sure you'll figure out something.

Now start writing your entries! Here's the card my daughter wrote for her first day of school:

Sometimes I put little scraps of amusing things into the pockets, like a paper doll, for Carly to discover on the first day of the next month. It's fun to watch her open the pocket every month to see what trinkets I hid for her!

For this entry, I stuck a dried flower and a garden pick to the card because that day's entry was about the day Carly planted her first garden. It will be so sweet to come across these memories on this day next year.

I display mine on a bookshelf at the bottom of the stairs. I'm looking forward to Carly getting interested in writing entries on her own. Like an introduction to creative writing :)

I think this would make a sweet gift for newlyweds or new parents. Has anyone else made this project? I can't wait to see what creative ideas you come up with!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic idea, thanks for sharing. Debbie, Sydney Australia