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, I discovered an easy, digital way to make beautiful calendars!  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!  

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, always-loved 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!  

There are two different ways to make beautiful, personalized calendars!  Whether you're looking for quick & simple or fully flexible & creative, Forever has you covered.  And I've got videos to prove it.  šŸ˜Š


The quick & simple option uses the free Design & Print software at the Forever website.  The calendars are 12x18, and they come with a really neat feature!

Your calendar can double as a scrapbook page!  

It's true!  There's a perforation right above the calendar grid, and you can tear off the top bottom part, making the top part into a 12x12 print.  Frame it, or put it in a book as a scrap page.  How amazing is that?!?!

Your calendar comes together in no time with this option.  Get all the details at this video tutorial I made for you, where you can see exactly how to create your own Design & Print calendar:


I love the Design & Print option because it's fast and still personalized and beautiful.  However, my favorite way to make a calendar is Option 2.  It's still the same high-quality calendar, but there are two additional perks because I'm using Forever's Artisan digital scrapbooking software to create my calendar.  (Learn about Artisan here, but be sure you also click the "Deals" tab because it's almost always on sale.)
  1. Using Artisan means I have FULL FLEXBILITY with my calendar.  I can add more (or fewer) pictures, add in birthdays and special events in the calendar grid, create backgrounds (and frames and everything) of my choosing, etc.
  2. I have more size calendar options to choose from.  The 12x18 "Scrapbook Calendar" (above) is one option, but so is the 8x12 "Scrapbook Calendar," along with a 4x10 desktop calendar and an 11x8.5 calendar (my fave).
This little Desktop Calendar is 10x4.

The 11x8.5 calendar, closed.

Before I get to the video tutorial for Option #2, here's what I did for 2020 that I'm so excited about:  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.

Here's the video I made for you showing how to create a calendar using Artisan:

The video is a good overall snapshot of making Artisan calendars, but (as I mention in the video) I could not do as well as the professionals from Forever's pixels2pages in showing you how to master the Events List and Calendar Grid, so get 8 helpful, short videos right here at this link--so do not miss 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, too, especially 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.

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!

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This blog post was updated in 2022.

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