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Producing Calendars at Home

A way of getting your images on the wall whether it be your own wall or that of a member of your family, friend or colleague is to produce a calendar. Here we are going to cover the cost effective way of producing a small number yourself at home.

All you need to do, to carry out this task is:

  • Design and Create the Calendar

  • Print It

  • Bind and Package it

You need to look at what you can design and produce with the equipment, software and supplies you have or can get, from this you can decide how many pages your calendar is to have, what type of paper it is going to be printed on, how you are going to design the date grids, and how you are going to bind them together. Once you have this defined you are ready to start putting it together. The equipment and supplies you need are:

  • Computer

  • Software, this could be a photo specific package like Photoshop, or a word processor like MS Word, or one of the specific calendar producing packages which come with templates etc.

  • Printer - your own printer or you could get it printed by someone else

  • Paper

  • Binding method, this could be a special purpose binding machine or a hole punch and rings.

Once you have the calendar completed you then have to present it. You could just hand it to the individuals you have made it for, however if you intend it to be a present or want to add that extra touch then you need to look at how you may wrap it. You could use an envelope, if you take this route then this will need to be considered at an early stage and you will need to identify what size envelope you will need and don't forget to allow for the binding method you are using.

Creating the Calendar

A calendar is made up of three elements, the cover, the images and the date grids. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, they can be desktop, shaped or wall hanging, in sizes of A5, A4, A3 folded etc. Depending on your design, style, layout and printing method this will determine both the size of your grids and the images you need.

The date grids will determine the number of pages and therefore minimum number of images your calendar will have.  It could be annual (single page), quarterly (5 pages), bi-monthly (7 pages), or monthly (13 pages). Each of the pages would contain at least 1 image, but you could use more. To create the date grids you could use templates already created by others, in the specialist software you are going to use, what you can download from the internet, see Calendar Further Information or you could create your own by using tables and grids, or take a look at Calendar Templates for some we have put together for you to use.

Then decide what theme you want your calendar to be, it is one thing to want to display some of your images but if you are making them for friends and family then you should be able to decide a theme for each individual to match their personality, interests and experiences and adding that little touch of making the effort to design the calendar specifically for them, this they will appreciate. You may be thinking the images is the easy bit, but it will be a lot harder to choose what you want to include from the many good images you have, even with a theme. When selecting the images remember to keep in mind the size the eventual image on the calendar, you may have a fantastic picture when it's printed full size A4, but when you want to produce it as an A6 (6x4) image it may loose it's impact.

To produce your calendar there are also various options, including:

  • Word Processing packages such as MS Word, where you can use tables to both create the date grid and to position the image on the page where you want it.

  • Photoshop using different layers for the date grid, image and any other text.

  • Specialised Calendar software packages which come with templates already built in, such as ArcSoft PhotoImpression, you can find these in such shops as PC World, Staples or online at Amazon etc.

  • Or some other software package like MS Powerpoint which comes with a number of calendar templates built in. However if you use something like Powerpoint you can print it out on your own printer, but if you are getting it printed elsewhere you will need to be able to save it as a JPG or similar file to transfer it to the printer, unless they also use Powerpoint of course.

  • Or any other software package, where you can combine photos with text, can be used.

Once you have designed each of the calendar pages you are then ready to print it out. This can be done using your own home printer or getting it printed elsewhere, such as via an online service or using services such as those provided by Tesco or Jessops in your High Street. We have a separate article on Printing Calendars which covers this in more detail, and our Calendar Further Information has links to calendar printers.

The Final Touches

If you have printed the calendar on your own printer, or had pages printed elsewhere unbound you will now have to bind the pages together in some way. There are a number of ways of doing this and it will depend to a certain degree on the style of calendar you have chosen to produce as well as how good a presentation you want. The methods are:-

  • Folding and Hole Punching.

  • Using Rings - you could collate the pages together and place two single hole punches at the top and hold them together using rings which you can get from any stationary shop.

  • Using a Binder. There are two types of binding, wire binding and comb binding. Comb binding is the cheapest form and you can pick up a binder in a stationary shop which will punch up to 8 sheets in one pass for around 30. They are usually supplied with a small number of combs, but then you can buy extra boxes of combs in different pack sizes. The wire binding equipment is a lot more expensive so unless you are going to do large numbers then it is not cost effective. However both these methods of binding can be done at some stationary shops, like Staples, and printers, you merely take along what you want bound and they will do it for you on their kit for a fee.

It is now ready to present.

We have many other articles looking at different aspects of calendars from producing to printing them, to getting an income from them, looking at charity and fundraising calendars as well as templates and much more. See Calendars for the full list.


By: Tracey Park Section: Reference Section Key:
Page Ref: calendars_home Topic: Calendars  Last Updated: 10/2010

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