Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My first Tutorial!! A Kid Calendar

I feel like I'm a real blogger now. Maybe because I'm about to show you something I made that's different and possibly original. Maybe there's no other tutorial out there on something like this. Maybe not. But let's not rain on my parade okay? It's hard to be originally creative when there are the likes of Pioneer Woman, Design Mom, Heather Bailey and others like them out there. It gets a person all in a dither and makes them want to hide in a closet. I'm just saying.

Phew. I've got issues, obviously. But enough about me. Let's talk bulletin boards. Months and months ago I spied this little beauty in the Potter Barn Kids catalog:

First of all, I covet this room. The obviously happy children in this picture can't help but get their homework done gleefully in a space like this. And I'm sure my children would cease to whine and complain if they have a light-filled $5000 room to add and subtract, spell and write. But, alas, I don't live in the Pottery Barn photo set. Sigh. But I was eyeing that calendar set up in the back of the photo. We keep out family calendar on the computer. But the kids don't know where that little program is, because I don't want them messing it up. I can't tell you how many times in one week I have to tell the kids when such and such is. A calendar for them to check, above their study space, big and beautiful on the wall sounded like a solution to me! So I checked online on how much a similar set up would cost me. $180 a piece. A piece!!! So that's a total $540 for those three boards, not including the letters and rulers. *Gasp*

I started to formulate my own idea. Bulletin boards at Staples of that size are around $60. But the frame isn't nearly as attractive. Like not at all. Think metal. But you could make your own frame, if you're a carpenter and can miter. Which I can'ter. So, I began to look around craft stores. Two months later I found what I was looking for, and I ended up making this today. Which I really happy with. That's a first in my life. Made something and happy out the door. No unpicking. No breaking glass. Okay, enough ... here it is:

First I started with 12"x36" frames, three 12"x12" squares of sheet metal, some paper I had on hand and some chipboard letters I've had for-ever.

I spray painted the letters, and cut out circles to back them on with my handy 3" Giga Punch.

While the paint on the letters was drying, I used my double-stick tape gun to adhere the paper to the sheet metal. Why use metal? So that it would be magnetic in the end. You'll see later.
The paper is fun aged school paper, which I thought was perfect for this project.

Once the letters were dry, I mounted them with glue to the circled I punched and drew a dividing line for each day to make the areas 12"x6" (that's the red line next to Friday).

I put it all together (paper-covered sheet metal, 3 of them tiled) behind the glass and closed up the frame. And then I started making some fun magnets. I just used a Glue Dot or a spot of glue on the back of some chipboard accents to secure one of those super strong magnets, strong enough to be attracted to the metal underneath the glass. You could try regular magnets, but I'm not sure if they would slip.

I made numbers, for times (those are above the glass) ...

And some fun ones too. I'm planning to make some more that say, "Soccer Game" or "Scouts" or "Mom's Day Off—Leave Her Alone." You know, events that happen enough around here they would warrant a sturdy tag.

For every day stuff that changes week to week, I'll just write on the glass with a dry erase marker which can easily be wiped clean at the end of the week. And there you have it. My kid calendar. End cost for this board was about $38.

I also made a matching cork board to hang below it in the office, for all of the cool art work and assignment reminders they bring home. This was a little more expensive than a cork board of this size (another $38) because I bought the darker cork instead of the usual bland "oak" colored cork (do you sense a theme here yet?)

Questions? Do you like? Say yes please, or I will retreat into the Throne Room (aka, my closet), never to return.

Just kidding. Only a little.


  1. I love them Julia. If it makes you feel any better, I've always coveted your creative talent and everything you create.

  2. I second Rachel's comment. I*'m creative, but haven't honed the skills to back up that creativity. You do awesome work!!! Take pride in it and don't hide in the closet!!!

  3. I like. :)
    Great is fun to see your creativity in action...looking forward to future creations as well...

  4. I {heart} cute magnets. I love the idea. Especially the dry erase and magnet two-in-one. Super smart. Where did you get 12x12 sheet metal?

    M and I were just swooning over the new PB catalog this morning. Our sad IKEA dinning table is small and wobbly, these days. It has seen us through some times. But I don't think we will ever manage a $1300 PB masterpiece.

  5. very very VERY cute and creative! I never EVER would have thought to use magnets over glass! where did you buy the strong magnets?

  6. You probably have no clue who I am, but I was meandering through from the Geothe Park RS blog and had to look at this. Love it. Adorable. Creative. I've already got copycat plans for the future. :)

  7. Thanks guys!

    The magnets, I order on the internet ages ago for the Festival fundraiser. But I've seen them in smaller quantities at Walmart or Michaels.

  8. So cute! Such a great idea to use a dry erase on the glass. You've got it all together! :)