So, last year I picked up a really cute calendar from Bed, Bath and Beyond that was on sale. It had fun illustrations, and I just thought it would be a fun, colorful and positive addition to my new apartment. I totally fell in love with the calendar. Each month, the message was just so perfect. For Christmas I am actually asking for the 2013 calendar with illustrations by the same designer.
This calendar became so special to me, that I made a pact to not write on it at all in the name of Crafting. I knew that I wanted to save the prints and somehow frame them for future decorating. For a while I priced 12x12 frames online, but they were either too expensive or too cheap-looking (and still expensive). I bit the bullet and actually purchased two three-packs online from Target, but when they arrived I was so disappointed to see that they were all broken. I fretted for a while before I realized that I could achieve the same "frame" effect with canvases. Sometimes when you're brainstorming a project... it just takes a while for the light bulb to go off.
If you're sad to see your 2012 calendar go in a month, then I recommend you pick your favorite months and do this DIY. That way they'll live forever!
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For this project, you'll need: 12x12 canvases (as many as you need), your calendar prints (with .25 inches cut off each edge), ribbon that's at least .5 inch thick (you'll need roughly 4 feet of ribbon for each canvas you want to do), adhesive spray, craft glue and a rotary cutter or pair of scissors. (I ended up using my rotary cutter more, but scissors would work fine.)
I just love pretty ribbon.
First of all, go outside and use your spray adhesive to glue the prints to the canvases. Don't worry if they're not all perfectly centered. The ribbon you'll apply later will cover up any small imperfections.
SPECIAL NOTE: before I settled on the spray adhesive, I ruined two other canvases and prints trying other methods. If you attempt to Mod Podge, your prints will bubble and crease because the paper is too thick. Also, I tried to give one print that I had adhered with the spray adhesive a glossy finish (I had some acrylic Mod Podge finishing spray that gives projects a sheen), but it made the print too wet in the process and while drying it bubbled, too. You have been warned!
While your prints are drying, cut your ribbon. Each canvas will need four pieces of ribbon: two that are 11.5 inches long and two that are 12.25 inches long.
Glue your ribbon to each canvas in stages. First, glue the 11.5" strips on the vertical sides of the print and then glue the 12.25" strips on the horizontal sides. Special directions for the horizontal edges below.
For each 12.25" strip, you will need to "hem" the rough edges of the ribbon. Start by applying a small amount of glue and then folding the edge over itself, like this...
Hold it in place until it sticks. Then glue it on the horizontal edge, overlapping each vertical ribbon edge.
(This process moves faster if you already have a line of glue down and add a little bit more glue on each bottom corner. Then, technically, you only have to "hem" one edge of each horizontal ribbon strip and then fold the bottom edge onto the corner--into the glue. I hope that makes sense, if not, it just might be one of those things that comes natural as you're doing the project.)
Final product! I was really happy with how they turned out. I love projects like this that are fairly simple, can be done while enjoying something on TV, and recycle something you already adore. More things in life should be like that.
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