fabric scrap dry-erase calendar

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fall in Southern California doesn't contain all the rich colors and cooler sweater weather that you people on the east coast and in the MidWest (home!) get to enjoy, so we have to make do with living fall through flavors and smells - pumpkin spice flavored *everything* and candles to match. So, I guess I have been longing for something that felt a little fall-ish when I stumbled into this project and selected these colors.

I was originally planning to do a paint chip dry erase calendar after being inspired by a friend's Instagram post. I already had plenty of leftover paint chips from choosing paint colors when we moved into our house and from painting projects I was hoping to get to but, hello, children. However, halfway through the project, I realized I didn't have enough of them! Let's just say I'm not much of a planner. Nor would I consider myself much of a crafter, so I was surprised with the solution I came up with: using squares of fabric scraps instead! I'm sure it took longer than a paint-chip calendar would have, but overall I think I am happier with this version than I would have been with a paint chip version - it's a little frayed around the edges, which is just so me.

Materials needed:
 - picture frame with glass and backing (mine was 14"x18", and fabric scraps were 2"x1.75" - I got my frame on clearance at Target for $2.65! Check your local thrift stores too!)
 - glue gun
 - burlap material
 - enough light-colored fabric scraps to create 35 fabric "squares" (mine were technically rectangles) to fill the frame, plus enough for a long strip for the month (make sure you map it out before you begin!)
 - pen/pencil to trace squares for cutting
 - iron
 - dry-erase markers (medium point and fine-point are recommended)


1. Use glue gun to attach burlap fabric to backing of frame on the top and bottom *only*. Pull burlap as tightly as you can across the backing, otherwise it will be difficult to fit the backing back into the frame. Cut off all excess material from the sides to ensure that back will still fit into frame (it still might be snug).
2. Select fabric scraps. Choose light and non-busy colors and patterns so dry-erase markers will show up well against the fabric. (Note: I didn't choose most of the fabrics shown in this photo - patterns were too busy!)

3. Plan out your calendar, including sizing of squares (I can't emphasize the planning enough! Make sure you include at least an inch or two horizontally and 3 or 4 vertically to provide for space between squares and space at the top for the month strip). 

4. Trace & cut your squares (I used one of the paint chip squares to trace around) and then plan them out within the frame to make sure everything lines up well. Iron if needed (highly recommend!). I also recommend making small strips for the top of each column to write the day of the week. If you look closely, I actually ended up combining fabric squares with paint chip squares. I think this works well if you use much fewer paint chip squares - otherwise I think the rough edges on the fabric squares stand out against the straight edges of the paint chip squares. I also planned to include some fabric flowers in the upper left-hand corner, but in the end they were a little too thick to get in there with the rest of the backing. I may still go back and change that!
5. Cute pre-bedtime baby picture!
6. Get that glue gun! Don't use too much glue - I stuck to one dot in each of the "upper" corners of the square, and tried to use little so it wouldn't bleed through. It still did (but not noticeably so). If I did this again, I would try something like glue dots. I wanted to try and skip this part in general, and just press the backing/fabric right up to the glass and flip it over quickly...but each time, this is what happened: 
(Ok...technically I "re-created" the frustrating experience of having squares shift out of place in this photo...but I promise, the fabric shifted too! Just trying to save you the time & unfruitful effort of trying not to use the glue gun. The glue gun, your friend, is inevitable.) 
6. Once all fabric squares are attached, it's time to put everything back in the frame with the glass. I recommend doing this on a carpeted surface so the glass doesn't break! Then, write out all the date/month and activities and you are set! Pretty and practical. Just a head's up: you *will* encounter some trouble in October 2016 when we have a month that includes portions of 6 weeks instead of 5 - BUT, I figure when I get there that I will just start that month with Sunday, Oct. 2nd instead of Saturday Oct. 1st - keeping the 1st on the September write-up.

1 comment:

  1. This is amazingly beautiful and practical!! I would have never thought of it.
    Nice Work!


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