Are you trying to keep track of a million different events and deadlines every month? If you’re like me (a really visual person), a typical-sized calendar just doesn’t cut it. That’s why I began a project that would change how I organized my life – I built a giant wall calendar for my home office. At first, it was a combination of printer paper, electrical tape, and color-coded sticky notes. However, I wanted something more permanent that not only organized my life but also added a touch of creativity to my space. So today, I’m sharing my journey of building a gigantic magnetic DIY wall calendar with the help of my trusty Cricut Maker 3.
- Thin plywood or Hardboard
- Magnetic paint
- 220 grit sandpaper
- Regular paint (I used white)
- 2″ wood circles
- Parkside Pink and Blue Skies paint
- Loctite glue
- Scrap molding
- Black paint
- Cricut Vinyl
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Why DIY Wall Calendar?
I did look into buying a wall calendar, but you know me. I wanted something really large and I didn’t like the price I would have to pay to get it retail. Plus, I wanted my new calendar to fit the decor style of my space, and I always like giving things my own personal touch. So, I decided to craft my own! My mission was to create a visually appealing, highly functional and reusable wall calendar. I knew I could make it look fabulous without spending a fortune. This was such a fun project and I can’t wait to show it to you.
Creating a Magnetic Wall Calendar: A Unique Approach
I already knew the format of the calendar I wanted to create. The system I use and love is color-coded sticky notes to mark deadlines and events for the entire month instead of dry erase markers, but I wanted something better for the calendar background. I knew that if I wanted to DIY something permanent I wasn’t looking at calendar pages that would rip off when I was done with them (like you would get with free printable calendars), and I didn’t want a dry erase calendar style either. So, I decided magnetic numbers were the way to go. I figured this would be the easiest way to mark a new year and a new month without having to change the entire calendar every single time. I only need to see the current month in this format, so I knew I would be creating a one-month calendar.
Stronger than Paper
The first thing I needed was something more sturdy than the printer paper I was using before! I went to Home Depot and got a thin piece of plywood. Using a tape measure, I cut it to the exact size I needed, gave the wood a light sanding to make sure it was smooth, and then got started with my wall calendar design experiment. I made my piece of wood GIANT, but of course you don’t have to do that. That’s the beautiful thing about a DIY custom wall calendar, you can do whatever you want!
Using Magnetic Paint
My journey began with magnetic paint. I thought this would be a great way to get my numbers to stick anywhere on the board as the months changed. This paint contains nano magnetic particles that enable magnets to stick to it. I recommend you wear gloves when handling it! It has a much different smell and consistency than chalkboard paint, which is what I was expecting it to be like. It is very thick (almost like chocolate) and takes a long time to apply.
I used a paint brush for the first few layers and then a roller to do the last ones. The more layers you put on, the stronger the magnetic properties, so I ended up doing eight coats! The instructions suggested doing six. But since I didn’t want to leave my calendar black, I did a couple extra coats so that a layer of paint wouldn’t prevent my magnets from sticking later. I did a quick sand with 220 grit sandpaper between each coat, since the paint dries a bit bumpy and I wanted a smooth finish.
When I was done, I tested the magnets on the painted wooden board and I was really happy with how well they stuck! Then, I did two coats of white paint that I had in my garage. When the last coat was dry, I sealed it.
Adding a Personal Touch with Numbered Tiles
For the next step, I created the magnetic numbers that I would use to mark the days of the month on my DIY wall calendar. First, I purchased some 2″ wooden circles from Amazon. Then, I painted half of them in my signature Parkside Pink and half of them in Blue Skies. I knew I wanted to incorporate these colors as one of the design elements in my calendar, and I’m so glad this is how I did it! These colors gave me vibrant, customized number tiles. Using these colors meant that no one could possibly mistake this for anything but my very own wall calendar.
After the tiles were painted, it was time to add the numbers. My Cricut Maker 3 was my best friend for this task! Making the numbers was a breeze, thanks to its user-friendly interface. I followed these simple steps:
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
First things first, ensure you have: your Cricut Maker 3 machine, smart vinyl in your preferred color (I used white), 2″ wooden circles, transfer tape, weeding tools, and a computer or smartphone with Cricut Design Space installed.
Step 2: Design Your Numbers
Next, launch Cricut Design Space and create a new project. Choose your favorite font and size for the numbers. Once you’re satisfied with the design, click “Make It” and select the appropriate material size.
I saved my whole design to Cricut Design Space if you don’t want to create your own! However, I tried to use as little material as possible, so my design is a bit more difficult to use.
Step 3: Load Smart Vinyl
Load your smart vinyl into the Cricut Maker 3. Follow the on-screen prompts in Design Space to set your material type to Smart Vinyl. Load the fine-point blade into the machine.
Step 4: Cut Your Numbers
Press the flashing Cricut button, and watch the magic happen! The Maker 3 will precisely cut out your numbers. Once done, unload the vinyl from the machine.
Step 5: Weed Your Numbers
Use the weeding tools to carefully remove the excess vinyl around your numbers. Be patient and do a good job! Precision in this step ensures clean, professional-looking results.
Step 6: Transfer Your Numbers
Cut a piece of transfer tape slightly larger than your number. Peel off the transfer tape backing and carefully place it over your weeded number. Use a scraper tool to smooth out any bubbles and ensure good adhesion.
Step 7: Apply Numbers to Wooden Circles
Peel off the transfer tape with the vinyl number attached and apply it to the center of your wooden circle. Press firmly to ensure it sticks well. Gently peel off the transfer tape, and your number will be firmly stuck to the wooden circle.
The result? Professional-looking, customized numbered tiles that add a pop of color to my calendar. If you don’t have a Cricut machine of your own, you can buy numbers in a style you love! There are all kinds of vinyl decals out there that would work great.
Assembling the DIY Wall Calendar
With my magnetic board ready and my numbered tiles prepared, it was time to bring the calendar to life. I used my Cricut to print the rest of what I would need for the calendar: The grid lines for the calendar days, and the letters to mark the day of the week at the top of the calendar.
Once I had everything ready to go, I carefully measured and marked my board, ensuring the spacing was uniform. Armed with a ruler and a pencil, I drew straight lines 8” apart, creating a grid that would perfectly house my calendar squares. I followed these steps:
Step 1: Cut Smart Vinyl
Load your smart vinyl into your Cricut Maker 3 (no cutting mat required! How great is that?). Follow the prompts in Design Space to cut out your calendar squares and numbers.
Step 2: Weed and Transfer
Carefully weed out the excess vinyl around your calendar squares and letters. Cut a piece of transfer tape slightly larger than your vinyl piece, apply it, and use a scraper tool to smooth out any bubbles. Peel off the transfer tape, leaving your vinyl shapes intact.
Step 3: Prepare Your Wall
Measure and mark your wall or board, whatever surface you are using for your calendar. Use a ruler and pencil to draw straight lines 8” apart, ensuring even spacing for each row and column of your calendar.
Step 4: Apply Your Calendar
Place your vinyl calendar squares onto the marked spaces, following the grid you’ve created. Use the lines as your guide to keep everything straight and well-aligned.
The Finishing Touch: Framing My DIY Wall Calendar
I attached the calendar to the studs in the wall behind it with my stud finder and drill, ensuring it was securely in place. Depending on how big you make your calendar, you could also probably use a small velcro-style command strip for this purpose, but my board was way too big to attach with anything except screws in the studs!
My calendar was looking so good! But it didn’t feel quite finished. To add a touch of elegance and polish, I used scrap molding to create a picture frame for it. This finished it off and really made it stand out on my wall. I also realized it was a creative way to cover the screw holes from where I attached my calendar to the wall, so that was a nice bonus.
And there you have it, my journey of creating a DIY wall calendar to display the current month! This project helped me organize my life and added a personalized touch to my space. With the help of my Cricut Maker 3 and this amazing magnetic paint, I was able to craft a calendar that is as unique as I am! This calendar was the perfect addition to my home office. I love that I could use so many things I already had in my house to personalize my calendar at very little extra cost: the scrap molding, paint, and sealant all added so much without costing me a lot.
Conclusion: Embracing Creativity and Functionality
Embracing the DIY spirit allowed me to transform a simple wall into a canvas of creativity and organization. My giant magnetic wall calendar serves its purpose and adds a vibrant, personalized element to my home office. So, if you’re considering revamping your space or simply looking for a more personalized way to stay organized, I encourage you to pick up those tools and let your creativity flow. Here’s to embracing the DIY spirit and making our spaces truly our own! If you take the plunge and create your own large wall calendar, I would love to see it! Tag me @designingparkside with your finished creation.
Happy crafting, everyone!
SAVE FOR LATER!