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Make Your Own Photo Calendar

Create a Printable Family Calendar

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Couple looking at photographs together
JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Getty Images
Looking for a personalized gift that will be enjoyed year-round? It's easy to create your own personalized photo calendar. Include images of friends, family, ancestors, or special places on your calendar to remind you of special people or events. Make your own calendar for grandma of the grandkids, or one of yourself for the special person in your life. Photo calendars are a thoughtful, inexpensive gift that can be used every day of the year.

Design Your Printable Photo Calendar

  1. Select your Pictures
    Find pictures from your collection that suit your fancy, and use your scanner to make them digital. If you don't own a scanner, then your local photo shop can scan the pictures and place them on a CD for you. Don't be afraid to get creative and branch out from traditional photographs - scanned copies of a child's artwork or family mementoes (letters, medals, etc.) also make nice calendar photos.

  2. Prepare Your Photos
    Once you have your photos in digital format, use photo-editing software like Microsoft Picture It! or Adobe PhotoDeluxe to add captions, or rotate, resize, crop, or enhance the pictures to best fit your calendar.

  3. Create the Calendar
    If you'd like to create and print a photo calendar yourself, specialized calendar software programs make a printable calendar as easy as drag-and-drop. You may also already have software right on your computer which will do the job. Many word-processing programs, such as Microsoft Word, include basic calendar templates, as do many photo-editing programs, such as Adobe Photoshop Album. A number of free downloadable calendar templates can also be found online.

    As an alternative, there are many calendar printing services and copy shops which can create a personalized photo calendar for you using your photos and special dates.

  4. Personalize Your Calendar
    Once you create your calendar pages, it's time to customize.

    • Go beyond the basic calendar by adding your own custom colors and fonts. Unlike bland, mass-produced calendars, each month can have a different theme. Match photos to the month's theme - a photo of your parents on the month of their wedding anniversary, or a closeup of the family Christmas tree and its treasured ornaments for the month of December.

    • Add personal dates, including birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and other significant events. Not sure when Thanksgiving or Mother's Day falls this year? Check out holiday calendars at Infoplease.com for a wide range of national and holiday dates.

    • Keep family history alive by including photos of your ancestors and major events from your family's past. You may be surprised to find how many of your family members share birth dates with their ancestors.

  5. Printing Your Calendar
    Once you've finished designing your photo calendar, it's time to print. If you plan to print the calendar yourself at home, begin by printing the photo pages - one for each month - preferably on good quality photo paper. Once completed, you'll need to reload the printed photo pages into your printer in order to print the monthly grids on the other side of the pages. Remember that each month's picture appears on the opposite side of the previous month; for example, you should print February's monthly grid on the back of March's photo. Make sure that you understand which side and end of the paper your printer begins to print from, to avoid mistakes with page orientation. If you're using a special calendar software program, look for specific directions and tips for printing your calendar.

    Alternatively, many copy shops can print and assemble your finished photo calendar for you from your saved copy on disk. Be sure to check with them before starting to see what file formats they accept.

  6. Finishing Touches
    After you've printed and double-checked your finished calendar pages, you may want to take them to your local copy center to have them spiral-bound for a more professional look. Alternatively, use a paper punch and bind the pages with brads, ribbon, raffia, or other connectors.

Enjoy your custom family calendar. And make sure you're prepared to repeat the project next year, because people will definitely ask!

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