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As far as we're concerned, photo calendars are the unsung hero of moment-marking. Bridging the worlds of sentiment, function, and decor, they bring a uniquely modern twist to something invitingly nostalgic — allowing us to celebrate moments past while embracing all that waits around the corner. In fact, we love them so much, we created a list of our 10 favorite and most creative DIY calendar ideas. May they help you think outside the box (and plan inside the year).
Who says photo calendars are strictly for photos? Leave the rules at the door by bringing your favorite quotes from your favorite people into the mix, creating desktop inspiration that can give you the spark you need for the task at hand. Whether you opt for a series of Mary Oliver classics or quips from your favorite comedian (or maybe a little bit of both!), it's one of our most-loved ways to truly personalize that DIY desk calendar.
Pro tip: Since your quotes will have to be uploaded as images (.jpg or .png) when you build your calendar, you may need the help of a design tool. Luckily, there are plenty of free options out there that make things easy! Our recommendation is Canva for its sleek and simplified interface.
Let the wild places that fill you up become reminders of the many adventures still to come. Photos from your hikes, camping trips, ocean escapes, and beyond are perfect for a calendar that captures the great outdoors while taking you back to moments in mother nature. Bonus points for sequencing your photos to align with the changing of the seasons.
Pro tip: Weave a silent story of sustainability into your creation by choosing the Walnut Desktop Photo Calendar. This elevated design is crafted from reclaimed walnut wood, rescued from the waste piles of the conventional furniture industry.
With so many birthdays to keep in the back of our minds, even those of us with the best memories need a little refresher now and again. Using a calendar to mark the orbits of those closest to us harkens back to a time before Facebook, while offering the chance to create something beautiful and uniquely modern. Simply use a photo of a friend or loved one for the month they were born. It's a visual reminder and a celebration of connection in one.
Pro tip: The Modern Wall Calendar allows you to mark a handful of custom occasions each month, making it easy to create your birthday cheat sheet.
In the midst of swiftly changing seasons, we too seldom slow down to reflect on the meaningful moments of yesteryear — and a DIY wall calendar is a simple way to preserve the best of them. Just choose images from the same month of the previous year for a standing reminder of the progress, growth, and challenges that have presented themselves over the past twelve months.
Pro tip: Go to your camera roll in your phone and sort by month for an easy shortcut to last year's photos.
Take the colorful creations of your little Picassos-in-the-making off the fridge… and into the future. Scanning some of the many pictures our littles gift to us is a simple way to display their command (well, sometimes) of the crayon. For those who like this idea but want to keep the art on the fridge, a Calendar Refill Pack is all it takes to skip the stand for something more magnet-friendly.
Pro tip: Simple tips for scanning photos can go a long way when digitizing your images.
Put the personalities of friends and loved ones on the page by printing the little sayings — or "isms" — that embody their character. Pairing these words with photos is an exercise in reflection and intention, bringing the best of our favorite people to life in those times when we need them most. Don't forget that you'll need to save your words as an image file, like we showed how to do in Idea 01.
Pro tip: Include a page for everyone in the family and give one to each household for a quick gift they'll come back to often.
Flex your creative muscles as you take a page from Pantone. A gradient-based calendar requires a keen eye for color, but can lend itself to an eye-catching final result. The secret is finding photos that showcase the same color family. From there, arrange them in a spectrum and slot them into your calendar following the same order.
Pro tip: If the gradient idea seems a little complex, try to focus on a different color for each month of the year. Try themes such as green for May flowers, a snowy white landscape for December, etc.
It might seem a little obvious, but no list of DIY calendar ideas would be complete without a nod to our furry friends. And whether you're the parent of a single fur child or on the verge of starting a small zoo, you're sure to have no shortage of pet photos sitting in your camera roll.
Pro tip: Our guide to photographing pets can help you capture a couple of cute shots if you're shy of the 12 you'll need.
Keeping in touch as a group of friends starts with keeping each other in your thoughts, year round. That's where collaborative photo projects come in handy. Creating a DIY desk calendar with close-knit friends can help remember the good times spent together — even when miles apart. Build it together and order one for everyone in the group. (Don't forget to mark everybody's birthdays!)
Pro tip: Create a shared Dropbox or Google Photos folder to easily collect images from everyone in the group. Our editor allows you to upload directly from either source!
Turn that DIY wall calendar into a return ticket to the days and destinations that left their marks. Relive a different trip each month or create a whole calendar of a single vacation that you'd gladly go back to.
Pro tip: Vary your images with group photos, landscapes, cityscapes, and other shots to recreate each aspect of the experience.
In that first year, a newborn babe changes so much with each passing month. Creating a milestone calendar marks this adorable and all-too-meaningful transformation, making it easy to look back at just how little they were not so long ago. To bring this DIY calendar to life, use a photo from each month of their first year and start the calendar on the month they were born.
Pro tip: This idea isn't just for babies — our littles grow so much every year! Create a calendar annually, keeping the pages of each iteration to create a timelapse of their growth.
Time Will Tell
We'd love to see your idea come to life.
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