Another DIY project!

I’m calling it the Paint Swatch Calendar. Make this calendar & you’ll never have to buy another again! And it was so easy!

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Supplies:

Picture frame (size is  up to you! Mine is 11″ x 18″.)

Decorative paper for the background (I used scrapbook paper but had to double up because it wasn’t long enough. You can’t see the seam between the two when it is hung and being used. You could also used wrapping paper!)

Scissors

Ruler

Paint swatches (I used Olympic paint swatches from Lowe’s. They need to have at least 5 different shades on the swatch and you’ll need 7 of them. Mine had 6 shades. Whether you want them to be the same color or not, that’s up to you!)

Glue, an Elmer’s glue stick works just fine!

Scotch tape

Dry-erase markers

 

Steps: *estimated crafting time is an hour to hour and a half*

1. Gather all your supplies.

2. Take a part the picture frame so that you have at least 2 pieces. Set aside.

3. Measure the background paper with your ruler so it is the size of the picture frame back. This can get tricky if your paper isn’t long enough like mine was. But even in that case, all you just have to do some simple adding and subtracting and maybe aligning the paper in the best way so that the seam isn’t so obvious. If you do have to fit two pieces of paper together, tape them together so they don’t move!

4. You can glue the background paper to the picture frame back if you choose. Not necessary though.

5. Depending on the paint swatch type, you may want to cut some of it off so the name or number of the color doesn’t show. I did this. I cut a half inch off from the right side, leaving the swatch to be 1 1/2″ wide. I also cut about a half inch off from the very top color, which is where I write the days of the week.

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6. Okay, so you have 7 days of the week. You can choose to keep spaces in between the days or have them touch. If you want them to touch, you need to measure the width of all 7 paint swatches (they should be the same width so you could just multiple the width by 7) together then subtract that from the width of the background paper, then divide that number by 2 so that your days are centered. So, swatch width times 7 = X, background width minus X = Z, Z divided by 2 = Y. Y is the amount of inches you need to have on both ends of the week (or outside ends of the paint swatches).

7. Make a light pencil mark Y inches in from the left and right edges, towards the center.Skip steps 8 & 9 if you choose to have no spaces.

8. If you do like the look of the space, you need to figure out how much space you want and that depends on how big your frame is. I did a quarter inch in between. Then add up the width of all 7 swatches and 6 spaces. Next, subtract that from the width of the background and then divide that number by 2. So, space times 6 = A and swatch width times 7 = B. A+B= C (width of your calendar). Background width minus C = D, D divided by 2 = E. E is the amount of inches you need on both sides to have your calendar centered in width.

9. Make a light pencil mark E inches in from the left and right edges, towards the center.

10. Now time for the length. This is much easier. First, measure the length of the background, this is Q. Next, measure the length of a swatch (again, they should all be the same), this is R. Now subtract. Q minus R = S. S divided by 2 = T. T is the inches you need on both sides, length-wise, to have the calendar centered.

11. Make a light pencil mark  T inches in from the top and bottom edges, towards the center.

12. Draw very faint lines connecting your dots. You should see a border of the background paper with a smaller rectangle in the middle, where your calendar will be.

13. Now that the math is over (phew!), you can begin to measure and find placement of each swatch. Since you have the dots and lines drawn, begin to glue down the first swatch. It doesn’t really matter which side you start on but after the glue is on the back of the swatch, just lay it down evenly against your faint vertical line.

14. If you chose to skip the spaces, keep gluing your swatches next to each other and skip steps 15-17.

15. For those of us with the spaces, measure that amount you chose (so for me, a quarter inch) from the first swatch you glued down, aligned with the bottom and top. Make a faint pencil dot at both the bottom and top.

16. Line your next swatch up with those faint dots in step 15 and glue the swatch onto the paper.

17. Repeat steps 15-16 until all swatches are glued down.

18. Lay your background paper with your glued swatches onto the frame back so it is straight.

19. Put the frame back together as you would with a photo.

20. With your dry-erase marker, write the current month on the top and days underneath in the smaller color. Next, write the numbers of each day in each square.

Ta-da! You’re finished! Hang somewhere that people can see your beautiful master piece!

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This may have seemed tricky, but I promise you it’s not! There’s just a wee bit of math involved! Other than that, it is simple and well worth it! If you do chose to try to make one for your own, comment with any questions you may have, good luck & happy crafting!