Do It Yo'self

Customize A Fool-Proof DIY Calendar With Your New Year’s Resolutions

DIY calendar made with stamps, washi tape, and a 1" circle punch

It’s truth time. I, Sarah West Ervin, have never, in my 28 years of life, had a new year’s resolution. Not really. There was one year in elementary school when we learned the concept of the new year’s resolution. My pint-sized classmates and I were instructed to create three resolutions for ourselves and write them on a piece of paper that was pre-cut into a heart, or star, or some such generic shape by the teacher. I remember mulling over the exercise with a mixture of enthusiasm and confusion. I liked it, but I didn’t quite get it. Forced self-improvement and a yearly “refresh” were probably lost on eight-year-old Sarah. After that lesson, I promptly forgot those three resolutions and continued on into adulthood without ever giving the practice much serious thought.

Sure, there were years where I’d think, “Resolutions! I should do that, too.” But then I’d start thinking about something else and go about my life as usual. This year, however, on a whim, I decided to read Buzzfeed’s “9 Useful Tips To Help You Stick To Your New Year’s Resolutions.” After reading the article, the little lightbulb in my brain turned on below a thought bubble with the word “micro-resolution.” One needs only to set small, realistic goals for personal improvement. Perhaps even one micro-resolution each month of the year is the best bet for success. Just pick one simple habit you want to form, focus on it for a month, then once you’ve mastered it, graduate to your next tiny goal. It’s a simple matter of planning ahead and staying organized! And as anyone who’s completed a group project with me knows, I LOVE planning ahead and staying organized.

Challenge accepted, Buzzfeed.

I resolved to make one micro-resolution for each month of 2015 and enlist Brian’s help for solidarity. I was also quite proud of myself for coming up with the term “micro-resolutions” until a quick Google search revealed that LOTS of other people have come up with it too.

C’est la vie.

the easiest DIY calendar

This new foray into new year’s resolutions also provided an opportunity to get crafty! I figured the best way to remember each month’s micro-resolution was to create a custom calendar for the year. And in keeping with the keep-it-simple tip for resolution-making, I decided to make it the world’s easiest DIY calendar. There’s a lot to love about this project, actually.

Why This Project Is The Best:

  • It involves washi tape, and lots of it!
  • The little discs for each day of the month are cut from posters, cards, postcards, business cards, and other pretty paper pieces that Brian and I have collected over the last decade or so. This makes the calendar extra-super-special, incorporating little notes and gifts from our friends and family. But you can also buy ALL THE PRETTY PAPERS from the scrapbooking section of your local craft store.
  • The paper we used for the base was leftover from our wedding DIY projects. The specialness-meter is reading off the charts!
  • Alphabet stamps. They are so cute.
  • We ramped up the cuteness even further by turning each micro-resolution into an inspirational phrase. Who doesn’t love inspirational quotes?
  • We also got to buy a jumbo wooden clothespin, and it was less than $3! A pretty clipboard also works.
  • This project works well with multiple people for some good old fashioned togetherness.
  • You cannot mess this up. And actually, the messier you are, the better, if you ask me.
  • No measuring, no cutting, no glue, and no artistic skill required!

materials for making an easy-as-pie calendar

 What You’ll Need:

  • At least 2 rolls of washi tape
  • 12 sheets of cardstock (we used 8×10)
  • Large stack of paper ephemera for the discs (magazines, photos, and old cards work well)
  • 1″ circle punch
  • Sharpie(s)
  • 2 sizes of alphabet stamps (Michael’s had some very inexpensive sets)
  • Ink pad(s)
  • Wooden clothespin or clipboard (to hang)

arrange 1" discs on cardstock for a DIY calendar

 To Make The Calendar:

  1. Grab a friend.
  2. Make your friend and yourself a cocktail.
  3. Turn on some groovy tunes.
  4. Use your 1″ circle punch to cut 365 discs from your collection of pretty paper ephemera. This may take a while, hence the friend, cocktails, and music.
  5. Arrange 28-31 discs on each sheet of cardstock — depending on the number of days in each month, obv. Use the calendar on your phone as a guide, especially if you’re several cocktails in at this point. And don’t worry about measuring for disc placement — just eyeball it.
  6. Use little pieces of washi tape (we alternated two different colors) to affix the discs to the cardstock. Easy peasy.
  7. Use the sharpie to write the date on each disc. Again, rely on your phone calendar.

DIY washi tape calendar

DIY washi tape calendar pages on cardstock

Once you’ve completed one sheet for each month, step back and admire your handiwork. You crafty devil, you!

alphabet stamps and ink in a vintage cigar box

To Make the Headings:

  1. Maybe wait until you have sobered up from your night of whole punching and washi taping.
  2. Use the larger alphabet stamps to write out the name of each month. Again, don’t worry about it being perfect, but make sure to leave at least one inch from the top for your clothespin or clipboard.
  3. Use the smaller alphabet stamps to write your inspirational phrase. Remember, this phrase corresponds to your micro-resolution. You can write the full resolution on the back of the sheet so you don’t forget. For example, Brian and I resolve to eat less sugar this year. So in October, we’ll try one dessert recipe each week that uses no added sugar, incorporating them into our regular meal planning. We wrote the full resolution on the back, then on the front of the October sheet we wrote “Later, Sugar!”

stamp your new year's resolutions on a simple DIY calendar

the world's easiest DIY calendar

When you’re all done stamping, stack all the sheets, clip them together, and hang it up somewhere you’ll see it everyday.

hang a DIY calendar with an inexpensive jumbo clothespin

To Track Your Resolutions:

  1. For each day that you follow your micro-resolution, mark the disc for that date. You can use a sharpie to write a big X or use another stamp and some brightly colored ink. Brian and I are using stamps that say, “Oh, Snap!” and “Hey, Girl!” Because we’re saucy.
  2. Congratulate yourself for following through, and remember not to beat yourself up on days you don’t. Nobody’s perfect! Except Dolly Parton.
Do It Yo'self

Make It: Hand Dyed Silk Scarf

 

It’s here! Above is the first DIY video in the Make It series that I helped produce with the Lillstreet Art Center! If you’re interested in learning how to professionally hand-dye a silk scarf with an even and intense dye color, watch this short video. And, below is the companion video, which shows you how to mix the dye concentrate for your hand-dying projects.

 

Leave a comment
Tagged , , , , , |
Do It Yo'self

Behind the Scenes: DIY Screenprinting Video

fiber artist Nora Renick Rinehart demonstrating how to screenprint a onesie

As you may know (from this post), I’m producing a series of DIY videos with Lillstreet Art Center. We’ve now shot 4 of the 5 planned, and it’s been a blast! For someone with no prior filmmaking experience, the project has been incredibly challenging as I try to effectively navigate the roles of efficient task-master and supportive, creative professional. Needless to say, it’s been an invaluable learning experience and an incredibly rewarding project.

silk screens for screenprinting

I love feeling connected to a creative community, like that of Lillstreet, and it’s been great to be instrumental in shaping a creative video product, to connect art & craft teachers with a wider online audience, and to learn a little about various crafts in the process.

the darkroom at Lillstreet

We really can’t wait to release these video tutorials, but for now, we’ll all have to make do with these photos I snapped during the filming of our third video, “How to Screenprint a Onesie”, which was taught by fiber artist and sewing instructor Nora Renick Rinehart.

how to screenprint a onesie (video coming soon)

Do It Yo'self

Behind the scenes of Lillstreet’s DIY video series

Lillstreet jewelry making studio

I mentioned that I’m producing a series of DYI videos for Lillstreet, which is, quite possibly, the coolest project I’ve gotten my crafty little hands on to date. And it’s been so much fun! We hope to release the videos next month, but I wanted to give you a sneak peek of our first shoot.

We just shot our second video last night with fiber artist Camille Canales. She showed us the professional technique of immersion dyeing for creating a hand dyed silk scarf. I didn’t get any shots of that fun project (you’ll just have to trust me that it was awesome), but I did manage to take a few from our first video (seen here).

For the first video, Katie Mills of Lady Faye Jewelry (I’m buying this ring, BTDubs) taught us how to make simple brass bracelets, which could be customized with one’s initials using a letter stamp.

See those pretty brass bands above!

Joe Tighe and Katie Mills of Lillstreet's DIY Video Series

Photographer & videographer, Joe Tighe of A Couple of Dudes, was our skilled director & cameraman. He’s also finishing up the editing now, and I can’t wait to see the finished product. I’ll be sure to share it with you, of course, next month!

Do It Yo'self

Do It Yo’self: The Great Necklace Exchange of 2011

handmade tassel necklace

This past December I had the fun opportunity to sign up for the Great Necklace Exchange of 2011, hosted by Janette of Fashion Loves People. In short, this exchange consisted of making a necklace for a stranger and receiving a handmade necklace from a different stranger. I was a little intimidated at first–not knowing if I could make a necklace that I would be proud to share with someone I didn’t know–but I needed some motivation to get crafty. Without too much thought, I signed up and let the journey begin!

Continue reading

Do It Yo'self

Millinery 101: Sugary Sweet Cocktail Hat

Well, here it is folks. My sixth and final hat. That’s all and there ain’t no more.

I used the same taupe colored felt that I used for my wedding veil. Using a scrap of it, I created a little faux feather, and added some vintage trimmings. The blue velvet leaves and blue-grey veil are from our instructor’s extensive collection of vintage frills & frippery. The tiny sparkle beads were from an old necklace I had.

You like?

Do It Yo'self

Millinery 101: Little Brown Boater

Sadly, ladies and gentleman, my millinery class has come to an end. We met for the final time on Tuesday for our critique. However, I don’t think this will be the last time I make a hat. Oh no, I enjoy it way to much. I will find a way to make hats, even if I have to wait a few years… And luckily, I have a few more hats to share with you, including my second straw one–the little brown boater. You like?

2 Comments
Tagged , , |
Do It Yo'self, Uncategorized

Millinery 101: Not Your Mama’s Straw Hat

Time for another hat making update! Next Tuesday is our final class period–the critique. I will have 6 finished hats to show (2 felt, 2 straw, 2 cocktail hats), and I couldn’t be happier with all of them. You’ve already seen my two felt hats–the cloche and the fedora. Now, say hello to my straw hat numero uno! I chose a black, finely woven straw and an eye-catching, geometric jacquard for the trim. I actually formed this hat rather quickly–I just grabbed the closest hat blocks (a flat top for the crown and a short, gently sloped brim) and steamed the straw material on the blocks in the few minutes I had before class was over. Turned out to be one of my favorites. It’s sleek and somewhat androgynous, perfect for everyday!

Do It Yo'self

Do It Yo’self: You Zig, I Zag

Taking some time for myself, soothing the slightly stressed soul with some crocheting and loved ones. Posting from me should be light again this week. I must get caught up on emails and laundry and hat sketches and other sundries that were ignored the last week or two.

See that little zig-zag business up top? That’s gonna be a throw! It seems like it will take about one million hours to complete, but I’m trying to be more of a “process crocheter”, rather than a “product crocheter”. I’m hoping the repetitive, simple pattern will help to calm some anxieties that are rising. You might remember the accounting test I was studying like a mad-woman for? Didn’t go so well. It was a long-shot, but at least I tried! Looks like I’ll be taking an accounting course this summer, in between wedding plans and exercising (yuck).

Good thing Fitzy’s always got my back! He’s so helpful with my craft projects. If “helpful” means eating my yarn and sitting on my handiwork. He’s lucky he’s so cute…

Leave a comment
Tagged , , , , |
Do It Yo'self

Do It Yo’self: Embroidered Book Covers

Hello, bookish readers!  I’ve been absolutely smitten with textiles in the last year or so.  When it comes to DIY projects, I can’t get enough.  Inspired by this Embroidered Dolphin Pouch by Trulie Gifted, I got the idea to make book covers: the perfect way to protect your favorite new paperback on-the-go!  And so, here’s how to go about it:

Continue reading

4 Comments