It’s a new year, meaning it’s time to switch out your old calendar with a new one. It often feels wasteful, though, to just callously throw out the art that adorned your walls or office space for a whole year, especially if the calendar art was particularly pleasing to you aesthetically. Photography of beautiful destinations, Harlem Renaissance art, or even just cast pictures from your favorite show or movie meant enough to you to hang on your wall for a year, so its second life should bring just as much meaning and joy as the first. Here’s some ways to upcycle your old calendars and give the photos a second chance at brightening someone’s day.
Most simply, you can just frame your favorite images from your old calendar. Head to a local craft store or thrift shoppe for some vintage-looking frames or blank ones you can decorate yourself with paint, lace, or other crafting supplies. Using a paper cutter for perfectly straight lines, reduce the size of the calendar picture to fit into your frame and hang it right up. You can cover a wall with all 12 of last year’s images or just chose your favorite couple and sprinkle them throughout the space.
Equally easily, you can use the old images as gift tags or wrapping paper. For a small enough gift like a jewelry box or a gift card, your old calendar would make for very unique wrapping paper. Alternatively, for a larger gift, your old calendar would make a one-of-a-kind gift tag. You can use an online stencil for the size of your tag or free-hand it to ensure it’s the right size for the message you want on your tag.
Speaking of messages, some crafters have used their calendars as envelopes for cards or letters. Since calendars are made of very sturdy paper, they’re perfectly equipped to handle travel in the mail system, and all you need is an exacto knife, some tape, and some glue. Rather than construct a whole envelope, some crafters just use the calendar art to make an insert to line the inside of the envelope so the opener has a pleasant surprise upon opening the letter.
The thickness of calendar paper makes it a great candidate for notebook or textbook covers. If you’ve got textbooks that need a new cover or drab notebooks you want to add some life to, use your favorite calendar art to spice it up. Mod podge or a glue stick should do the trick to adhere the paper to the books.
If you’ve got little ones in your life, you can use your big pictures to make simple jigsaw puzzles for toddlers. Mount the calendar image on some sturdy, corrugated cardboard with mod podge, and once it’s dry, cut out shapes with an exacto knife or a puzzle cutting machine.