Five Favorites: Calendars

Calendars might be the most-often-made photocrafting project. The new year is not far away, and calendars are a great gift. Everyone can use calendars: there’s a need for a new one each year and they’re ready-made for photos! Of course, many pretty, clever, and interesting calendars are available to buy, so why make one? Because it’s all about making it a personal gift.

An example of a calendar in the process of creation on the Costco Photo Center site.
Creating a calendar for 2020; this one from the Costco Photo Center site.

Making a personal calendar can be as easy as putting one image at the top of each calendar grid or as complex as selecting several images for each month as well as adding some customization to the calendar grid itself.

Where to start? What do you want your calendar to be about or perhaps more importantly, what photos do you have? Here are five of our favorite calendar themes: Family, Vacation, Event, Place, and Memories. There’s lots of overlap but the primary goal is to expand our thinking about what might make a good personal calendar. Here are some of my examples.

#1. A FAMILY calendar

It’s a must if there’s a young child in the family! Make a calendar of their activities and growth — maybe as simple as taking a picture a month in preparation. But imagine a calendar from a family reunion or even your own activities during the year. If you have a close group of friends or neighbors, consider them your family and make a calendar of your shared activities during the past year. We used to have nearby neighbors that got together for holidays, weekend game nights, and birthday dinners. A yearly calendar was a wonderful gift for the new year.

A photocrafting calendar focused on a toddler and another of neighbors getting together are two examples of the Family theme.
Pictures of a two-year old are always a winner! Our neighbors were like family and the Halloween party was a tradition. There may have been too many pictures but we wanted to include everyone.

A typical organization for family calendars is month by month, e.g. photos of activities in June adorn the June calendar page! It’s easy if photos are all concentrated on activities within the past year.

#2. A VACATION calendar

A calendar of pictures from a trip to France is an example of a Vacation theme.

What a great gift or keepsake to make a calendar of a special trip you took. Think about 12 highlights and then choose one or more photos to place on each month.

Here’s a calendar I made of a trip with friends to Dordogne, France. Note that Heritage Makers allows me to customize the calendar grid page as well as the top page of image(s). (The photos are all mine; be very wary of taking images off the web unless you’re sure they are not copyright protected.) It was fun to relive the trip during the year it was on my wall and then to keep it for later reminiscing. The calendar became my scrapbook of the trip!

#3. An EVENT calendar

You’re probably thinking that a vacation is an event? Of course, but imagine all the other events you might record. You could use photos from a 40th birthday party, a wedding, or a graduation. Here’s an editing view of a wedding calendar I made.

A photocrafting calendar of wedding pictures is an example of an Event theme.
In this wedding calendar, Heritage Makers offers many features for easily
changing images, adding artwork, and editing all aspects of the pages.

#4. A PLACE calendar

Think about where you live or perhaps your favorite home-away-from-home. I’m lucky enough to live out-of-town so for several years, I made calendars of the land and plants and animals around us. Of course, I couldn’t resist taking lots of photos at an outdoor Chihuly exhibit. I also like to spend time at the coast and there’s a special place we go. I might make a calendar of the sunsets I’ve seen there!

A calendar of a Chihuly exhibit is an example of a Place theme.
A Chihuly exhibit at the Denver Botanical Garden gave me great photos for a calendar.
A calendar of plants around our house is an example of a Place theme.
It was fun to take pictures of wildflowers around our house for a calendar.

A MEMORIES calendar

A reunion calendar of pictures collected over 20 years of trips with friends illustrates a wonderful Memories calendar.
With 20 years of pictures to use, not only did we put lots of pictures around the calendar, we also inserted pictures on specific dates.

Recently a group of women I’ve known for many years celebrated 50 years of friendship. Over the past 20 years, we’ve made a point of getting together at least once or twice a year. What fun to gather photos from our early years as well as our more ‘recent’ get-togethers into a 50th celebration calendar. Organizing your photos is always a first step and our first thought was to organize the calendar by years, e.g. each month would represent 4-5 years of photos. Ultimately, we decided instead to organize it by our activities, the way we spend time together. One month was breakfasts, another was shopping, etc.

A photocrafting calendar of pictures from different hikes with a friend is a great Memories calendar.
A fairly easy hike near the ocean was
full of beautiful scenery.

I also hike with a friend locally and we love to take photos of the nature around us. Although the hikes are concentrated in the summer months, I just took photos from 12 hikes and applied one to each month.

I’ve used several production sites for my calendars. Most often, I’m at Heritage Makers because it gives me full flexibility to arrange my images and text any way I want to do it. I’ve happily used Costco and Vistaprint and picaboo too. Each one differs a little, so check out the features like the grid sizes (and the readability of the dates themselves), the overall calendar size, the customization allowed. Sometimes it’s just a case of getting used to a particular interface. Most will always allow you to put one or several photos on a page, to add text, and to include regular holidays. Often there are discounts on calendars so check out Groupon deals as well as the various websites.

It’s also possible to make calendar templates in your favorite document software and then print the pages to bind together. Whatever method you choose to create your calendar, it will be a treasure. Now’s the time to start working on your 2020 photocraft calendars!

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