Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Great Big List of Calendar Ideas

I would love to make dozens of calendars this Fall to give as gifts as Christmas time but I have to be realistic. Not everyone on my shopping list will be receiving a calendar. While I may not have time to make all the calendars I would like to make I am going to make time to share some ideas for embellishing them. (you can find blank calendar panels in two sizes over at SeptemberHouse)
I plan to add to this list as ideas pop up and I hope anyone who has an idea will share in the comments section (yes yes - please share your ideas - don't be shy!!) so it's my hope that this will become a fun resource for anyone working on these this Fall.

What this post will NOT be is very visually interesting. Sorry about that everyone!
Well here goes:

Calendar Embellishing Ideas:

1. Embroidered/printed quotations. I LOVE quotations so I could easily come up with dozens that would fit in those top sections!

2. Vintage Embroidery. You've seen those adorable hand stitched table linens at the thrift store and you know someone put so much work into them, right? But maybe they have a small stain or the stitching in one section is damaged while the rest is in tact. I know a spot where that beautiful handwork can be displayed and appreciated all year long...

3. Speaking of vintage - do you have old pins/buttons or badges in a box somewhere? Or did you spy a girl scout/boy scout sash from the 80's in the thrift store and hate to see all those hard earned badges so unappreciated? These can be cleverly arranged and stitched onto your calendar in no time.

4. Okay here's one for the practical sewers out there (and I count myself in this group). Sew on a variety of small pockets (or one large and 2 small- whatever) in fun fabrics for stashing thises and thats: coupons, tickets, love notes (much more fun!), anything else that needs a cute little spot to stay.

5. Sew on clear vinyl squares or rectangles edged with bias tape. Leave an open spot on one side to slide in photos. Then your calendar can change with the seasons and be personalized as well.

6. If you are just starting out in embroidery or are a seasoned pro a sampler of stitches is always a fun and helpful project. Decide which stitches you want to include and design your own pattern or check out vintage samplers online or at your library/bookstore and base your stitch collection on those.

7. Do you have a quilt block pattern you have had your eyes (or heart) on but aren't quite ready to take on an entire quilt? Try it out in small scale here first. This can be a fantastic way to use up little bits of your favorite fabric scraps as well.

8. I am slowly (but surely) falling in love with buttons. I would love to design a calendar around a small button collection. At the end of the year you could even snip them back off again and use them for something else. Check out this book for more ideas with buttons.

9. Iron-on transfer sheets. Of course you can print any photo or artwork you love onto these sheets and iron them onto your calendar. I'm certain that someone out there knows the BEST brand of iron-on transfer sheets to use and I am hoping that if you are that person - that you will share in the comments section. :)

10. Embroidering your child's artwork or hand prints is another way to capture and preserve the memory of this age in your child's life.

11. Why not incorporate imagery from a favorite children's book? I keep flipping through my copy of Ferdinand trying to figure out how to stitch up some of that amazing artwork. So many other favorites come to mind as well.

12. I love the idea of embroidering a small section of a map. Especially a map of a place that has special significance to me and my family.

13. Love to stitch words? How about lyrics from a favorite song, a prayer, or a poem?

14. Along those same lines - have you tried wordle? It's a really fun way to see words transformed into a visual treat. It would be ambitious but I would love to print a wordle creation and then stitch it.

15. If you haven't done any printing by hand it might seem a little intimidating. Two books that I have found really helpful and fun are here and here.
These will guide you through a whole variety of ways to print onto fabric

16. Turn your calendar into a fun diversion: Stitch on a piece of felt then cut out a variety of felt shapes: Mini felt board!

17. Do you have a set of dishes with a beloved pattern on them? How about stitching that pattern onto your calendar? It will fit in beautifully hanging in your kitchen.

I'll stop there but will be adding more. Don't forget to share your ideas as well!

18. [Nov. 19] Stopped by to add: Freezer paper stencils - so easy and so fun. Check out this tutorial by How About Orange


Becky said...

Sooooo, are you planning to make calendars that display the full year?

I love all your ideas! (Dangit, now I gotta make some calendars - hee hee)

I'll come back an post it if something pops into my brain.

Corinne said...

Thanks Becky,
I have some blank fabric calendar panels that I sell in my etsy shop so these ideas are mostly for use with those. I guess I should edit my post to note that :) (I should have thought of that before!)

Melissa Crowe said...

Three words: Wool. Felt. Applique.

Becky said...

Ahhhh, I should have remembered that!

Glenda said...

I am not creative about such things (coming up with original ideas), so I very much appreciate that you've started a list of ideas for us!! If something pops into my head, I will definitely come back and add it :).

Some of those ideas would work well as little kits, wherein you include the supplies and the buyer (or whoever they gift them to) assembles everything . . . kinda like Alicia Paulson (Posie Gets Cozy) does with her ornament kits.