Have you seen those family birthday calendars out there in the internet world? They are a cool way to keep track of the birthdays in your family, for sure. Most of the ones that I have seen are a long wooden sign that says, “Birthdays” or “Family” or “Family Birthdays” or something along those lines. Across the bottom of the sign they list each of the twelve months or an initial to represent each month. Then, under each month there are squares, hearts, circles all chained together; each one has a name and a number to represent a family member’s birthday. Have you seen them? Do you have any idea what I am talking about? If not, Google or Bing “Family Birthday Calendar” right now. You will be bombarded with all kinds of versions of what I just described. See? I would show you some pictures, but I don’t want to break any copyright laws. End up in prison, or worse.
Well, a while back I had some requests from some ladies at church to make one of these birthday calendars for an upcoming “Super Saturday” craft making day. I looked and looked and hemmed and hawed as I tried to find the perfect calendar to copy. At the back of my mind were questions like, “What about small families?” and “What if no one has a birthday in Feb., or July, or September…the whole thing will look out-of-whack” and “What if a new child or grandbaby is born? People will constantly be seeking me out to cut out more hearts or squares or circles.”. I also got thinking about the anniversaries and other holidays that we look forward that aren’t birthdays. This is what I came up with instead:
Basically I painted a purchased wood plaque, painted it black and cut out white vinyl on my Roland Dr. Stika cutter. The black with white lettering kind of gives a chalkboard-y look, don’t you think?
The hook is just a cup hook that I spray painted black.
When doing this in bulk, just stick the screw ends into some cardboard to make them stand up and spray away. Then screw it in your painted board. Easy enough!
For my tags, I just hand traced and cut them out with scissors, but you can use any shape that you want…rectangles…hearts…circles…whatever. Make sure that there is a hole to slip over the hook. For a clean look, only use one shape and have enough for each birthday, anniversary, holiday that you want to remember to celebrate. In fact, have extras for newbies that join the family. I handwrote on my tags and added border details, but when I made one of these perpetual calendars for my parents (who have 10 kids plus their spouses and grandchildren…), I typed, printed and then hand cut out each tag. Made it look more professional.
So, the way that these calendars work is that you put all of the tags in chronological order with the next special day’s tag on top and place the stack on the hook. When the special day on the top is over, pull the pile off of the hook, put the top tag on the bottom of the pile and put them all back on the hook. That way you can see at a glance when the next celebration is. Cool, right? (If two or more people share a special day, put both events on one tag.)
As I have mentioned before, I am losing the beige and going gray in my home and I decided to lighten my calendar up. First I mixed up a gray-blue shade of paint and painted a couple of coats over the black. While the paint was still tacky I distressed a bit to reveal the black layer below. I like to use a damp paper towel and/or my thumbnail to gently rub and scrape away bits of paint.
Just for fun, I added a stenciled detail:
I cut out some new vinyl using the LimaBean font, slapped it on and replaced the cup screw. I think that I like it.
So, which look do you like better?
Next celebration? Mother’s Day! Have a happy one!
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