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7 creative things you can do with an old calendar

Updated on January 5, 2012

It's the New Year, and by now you've just bought your new calendar, bedecked with adorable photos of sleepy babies or kittens hiding in garden pots. But as you hover over the trash can or recycling bin with last year's calendar, you flip through the old pages and a tinge of nostalgia rushes over you, as the glossy images of cute animal babies stare at you, as if to say "Are you really going to throw me away? After all those days together?"

"How could you do this to us???"
"How could you do this to us???" | Source

That's it. You're guilt-ridden. Or maybe you just don't want to throw away 12 large sheets of good-quality paper. You could recycle it, but maybe you like the photographs. Whatever your reasons, you've decided you want to keep the year-old calendar. But what would you do with it besides place it in your desk drawer and then forget about it? Well, here are at least 7 things you can do with your old calendar.

1. Turn it into a book cover

My mom used to do this when I was in grade school. We each got to pick out our favorite pictures from the old calendars, and she'd turn them into book covers for our textbooks. Book covers are super easy to make, and one calendar can spit out about six. An open calendar is the perfect length for a book cover, so just take out the staples and you won't have to worry about ripping pages. The actual making of the book cover is a lot like wrapping a present. Just make sure to only wrap the cover, not the whole book.

2. Make a collage

This one is really a no-brainer. Whether it's for an art project at school, or you're feeling bored, a collage is a good solution to both. Your typical calendar is going to have at least 12 large pictures in it. Use them.

3. Make a puzzle

What's more fun than solving a puzzle? Making a puzzle! This is a good craft for kids. Tear out the pages in the calendars and have your kids scribble jigsaw designs on the side with the days. When they finish, cut out the pieces and turn them over. To reinforce the pieces so they don't bend, glue the page picture side up to a piece of cardboard before adding the jigsaw designs. Puzzles are as difficult as you want them to be. You can have either 12 individual puzzles or create one huge puzzle. It'll definitely keep the kids entertained on a rainy day.

4. Practice your drawing skills

A lot of calendars contain some really good artwork. Whether it's photography or painted, it's usually of some merit. After all, it has to keep your interest for a minimum of 28 days. So why not capitalize on it? Take out your paper and pencil and use your calendar images as a reference, either by drawing free-hand or tracing.

5. Make a 3D Paper Swan

I actually did this. This project is a super-cure for boredom as it not only passes the time away, but it creates something beautiful in the process. And what does this process entail? Folding 400 strips of paper into triangles, and then stacking those triangles on top of each other. Obviously you need a lot of paper. Which is where the calendar comes in. The type of folding itself comes from China, and is known as Golden Venture (I would go into details, but it's sort of a long story). There are many different things you can fold using Golden Venture, but for now I will only include instructions for the swan, which can be found at the following link:

The finished swan. This took about half a day.
The finished swan. This took about half a day.

6. DIY Photoshop

Have you ever wanted to make those pictures where it looks like you're at the Eiffel tower, but lack knowledge of photoshop? Now you don't need photoshop, or even a computer. So long as you have a calendar that depicts scenery or monuments, as well as photographs of yourself. Just cut yourself out of the photo and paste it strategically onto the calendar photo. Once you scan it into the computer, no one will know the difference. Or you can just frame them, with the same results.

7. Wall Art

This, like many of the previous activities, capitalizes on the fact that a lot of good artwork shows up in calendars. You can pull this off a number of ways as well. Tear out all the pages and make a border around your room. If you have a calendar with people, cut them out and make a scene for them above your headboard. Or combine your people calendar with your landscape calendar, using the DIY Photoshop method. If you want large silhouettes or a city-scape, combine several pages together, cut them as needed, and paint them black (I'd recommend on the days side, to make it reversible).

And that's the lot!

Of course, there are many other things you can do with a calendar (make bookmarks, use it for paper mache, practice your skills as a human paper shredder) but this is just a starter list. All the things on this list will not only eradicate boredom, but will also stimulate and increase the creativity within your household. So next year, when you're getting ready to throw away your calendars, think about it a little, and decide if you'd rather see those adorable kittens in your recycling bin or on a book cover.


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    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 

      9 years ago from Winter Haven, FL

      This is a really original hub - write more! I enjoy reading articles that have been written by writers who "think outside the box" as they say...

      Voted up


    • BusinessTime profile image

      Sarah Kolb-Williams 

      9 years ago from Twin Cities

      I've already dismantled my 2011 Packers calendar and taped all the pictures up around my apartment -- I can hardly wait for 2012 to be over so I can do it all over again! GO PACK! :)

    • Cirrussly Random profile imageAUTHOR

      Cirrussly Random 

      9 years ago from Varies

      @Austinstar: Dreamcatchers? That's cool!

      @StephanieBCrosby: Thank you :) I'm glad you liked the ideas.

      @fpherj48: lol. No problem. I was inspired by my mother who, when I asked for paper to make into the swan, handed me a calendar. After I finished, she liked the swan so much she gave me two more calendars to convert into swans. So then I started thinking 'what other things can you do with a calendar?' and voila.

      As always, thanks to everybody for reading and commenting!

    • fpherj48 profile image


      9 years ago from Carson City

      Currussly Random....Good Grief!! Were you peeking in my office window? While cleaning, organizing & sorting (long over-due) I happened upon at least 10 old calendars, which of course, "Miss, don't throw anything anyway"...that would be me) has saved because, well....just because. You've just told me WHY!! thank you!

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 

      9 years ago from New Jersey

      Cirrussly Random, these are such great ideas and very timely ones as well. I hope you other hubs are going to be as interesting and creative. Welcome. Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting.

    • Austinstar profile image


      9 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

      The swan is beautiful! I just sit in front of the tv and make dreamcatchers. I might just go learn to do the swan. I have an old calendar from Hawaii that I can't throw out for sentimental reasons. I should try the DIY photoshop thing with it. Sweet! And welcome to hubpages!

    • Cirrussly Random profile imageAUTHOR

      Cirrussly Random 

      9 years ago from Varies

      @ CarltheCritic1291: Thank you so much! :)

      @ marcoujor: Thank you! The swan is a great way to pass time, and if you watch TV while folding, it will make that part go by so much faster. The folds are also very easy. Thanks again for reading!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA


      This is a fabulous start on your journey with HubPages. Welcome!

      I currently do scrapbooking with my calendars but have been challenged with the bigger pictures. I am really interested in trying that cool swan, thinking it would be a good way to pass time when watching bad TV. I love the practicality and the stress- busting effects of all of your ideas.

      Voted UP & UABI-- great job, mar.

    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image


      9 years ago

      Very good, I really liked the swan as well, it's very beautiful. Voted Up and Everything Else :)

    • Cirrussly Random profile imageAUTHOR

      Cirrussly Random 

      9 years ago from Varies

      Thank you! :) The swan is really quite easy to make, just very time consuming. Thank you for reading :)

    • kschimmel profile image

      Kimberly Schimmel 

      9 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      Wow! That swan is amazing. I think I'll try the simpler ideas first, though.:)


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