Friday, January 8, 2021

DIY Family Calendars Like No Others

For years and years, my father-in-law has put together a family calendar showcasing family photos from the previous year.  He has it printed up at Kinko's, and it has been fun for well over a decade now to hang that on our wall.

On my side of the family, my sister-in-law brought the same tradition from her family when she married my brother.  Her tradition is to highlight (via photos) each person in the family on the month of his/her birthday, which is so fun.  She, too, had it printed at Kinko's.  And then we had two family calendars hanging on our wall side-by-side.

About the time my sister went to working nights full-time as a nurse, Heritage Makers added calendars to their product line.  I knew she was swamped and exhausted, and I had a little more time, so I asked her if she wanted me to do the calendar.  She was so relieved!  And I gave Heritage Makers calendars a try.  The result was GORGEOUS.  I've been the calendar-maker of the family ever since.  She loves being on the receiving end now.

Plus, I have a go-to Christmas gift now for my whole side of the family every year!  Win-win.

Then I had an amazing idea inspired by Family Search for my 2020 calendar.  I can't wait to show you!  But first let me tell you my favorite thing about making calendars with Heritage Makers.

2021 UPDATE:  If you're having some technical trouble with Heritage Makers at the moment (a new platform is coming in 2022), click here to see another high-quality option for creating amazing family calendars!  There is a simple platform with lots of 12x18 calendars to choose from, and a fully-creative option with 4 sizes to choose from. Contact me if you have any questions!

The thing I love the most about Heritage Makers calendars--aside from the quality--is that there are so many possibilities!  There are 5 sizes to choose from, including one that doubles as a scrap page for the next year.  

The largest calendar is 11x16.

This Now & Later Calendar comes in 12x18 or 8x12,
and the top tears off to save as a scrapbook page!

No matter which size I choose, I can make it exactly what I want it to be--no template-caused restrictions (even when I choose to use one) and so much gorgeous digital art ("clip art") available right in the program for me to use at no cost!

This little Desktop Calendar is 10x4.

The 11x8.5 calendar has a coil wire in the middle.

The 11x8.5 calendar, closed.

Here's what I did for 2020:  I added ancestor birthdays and anniversaries (back 4 generations) on the calendar dates.  

My family LOVED this!  I think it is especially neat for us older ones to see parents and grandparents who have passed away.  It's also inspiring to see who else we came from--especially when we know their stories.

And so, when I made my 2021 calendar, I had to keep our sweet ancestors there.  Here are some shots of the calendar.  TA-DA!!

The large pictures at the top show pictures of those who have birthdays in that given month.  (We don't have any February birthdays, so I chose the new babies we added to our family in 2020.)

And then the small pictures on the actual dates show ancestor photos with birthdays and anniversaries.

This Dia De Los Muertos digital art was new this year and I just HAD to try it!

Did you know some people make Perpetual Calendars?  They don't assign Mondays & Thursdays (etc.) to the dates, but just list out birthdays and anniversaries (January 12:  Pam).  That way, they can keep the calendar every year.  I like updating the pictures every year, but I think a Perpetual Calendar would be super cool for ancestors.

This is really one of the very best gifts I could give my family each year!  The addition of ancestor birthdays just makes these calendars that much more special.

Wanna make your own?  I've got you covered!  I made this video to walk you through the steps for making a calendar using the Heritage Makers platform.  

Keep in mind that there are 5 different styles of calendars.  I'll just show one, but it's basically the same idea for the other types.

These DIY Family Calendars  are truly like no others!  Follow the directions in the video and make your own, and you'll see what I mean.  Not to mention, you'll be the coolest gift-giver in the family!

Save and share!  Pin images to Pinterest or share on social media using the buttons at the left. 
You can subscribe to this blog by email and also to the YouTube channel so you never miss
more awesome, free tips & tutorials.