Photo Calendar with a Twist

This year for David’s birthday, he gave practically no ideas for what he wanted for his birthday, aside from a $600 tablet that wasn’t even available for sale.  So I had to get creative.  David takes a lot of really great photos, but hardly ever prints them out.  We also don’t have a lot of wall space, so I thought it would be fun to make him a page a day calendar.  Last year we had a great page a day calendar, but struggled to find one equally exciting for this year.  When I initially had this idea, I thought it would be really simple — find the pictures, load them on shutterfly (or a similar program), and print.  To my surprise, I couldn’t find a photo company who makes 365 day-calendars.  For a while I abandoned the project. Then I started thinking about how easy it would be to make it myself.  Here’s the result:

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While I hope that shutterfly or some similar photo program eventually starts to do this.  In case you wanted to do it at home yourself, here’s what I did.

1. Found pictures.  I began at David’s birthday (June 15) and then went to the end of the year, so I only needed around 200 pictures.  It was nice to have a few more pictures than I actually needed so that I didn’t get to the end of the year and have all my least favorite photos left.

2. Create a template.  I used Microsoft Word.  I created a box to the dimensions I wanted, then right-clicked on the box, chose ‘format shape’ then ‘fill’ then ‘picture or texture’ and then chose the picture I wanted.  These directions are for a Mac, but its probably similar on another operating system.  Here’s a sample photo to explain:

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I then created a second box that was the same height, but only 1.25 inches wide that was a semi-transparent so the date would be clearly visibile.

3. Insert photos.  This was a long process. To help it along, as I used a picture I would then change the background color of it to help me remember what pictures I used. On a Mac that is done by right clicking on the file name and then going down to label and choosing a color. Here’s another image to explain:

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I also created a different document for each month because the files get really large, which makes the program work more slowly.  I also tried to match season with photo.  This didn’t entirely work, but a snowy photo in August might have felt odd.

4. Print.  Make sure to find a high quality color printer.  Here’s one place I wish I had done something differently.  I didn’t have time to try printing on different types of paper and wish I had used a slightly thicker paper.  Cardstock would be too thick, but normal paper is a little thin.

5. Cut the calendar pages.  I used the paper cutter from my department’s office.  This was boring, but made better by watching Downton Abbey.

I used a leftover calendar stand from an old crafting calendar I had to display the calendar.  Someone who is more resourceful or creative could probably find a way to make it stand on its own or perhaps bind it together.  I think this can be done at Staples, but I’m not certain.  Here’s the final product.

Anyway, I hope this is helpful.

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