Saturday, June 22, 2013

Calendar and Spiral Punch Page Projects

Make your own custom calendar, birthdates "minder", 
or monthly reminder flip chartusing cut designs or series available
from SnapDragon Snippetsthrough the Silhouette America online store.
Different variations and details are presented for each of the three.
Find project details and prep processes for all 
with the following images and descriptions.
(Find the names of cut designs used at the end of the post.)
 The largest calendar project in this post is finished at 8.5 x 11 inches. I have cut the inside pages from white 12x12 cardstock sheets using the spiral binding cut pages cut file design. I selected a pre-cut 8.5x11 inch paper for my cover which cannot be cut with the holes in the regular fashion at a size that matches the cutting size. To make it work, I modified the cut file in Silhouette Designer Studio to cut a contrast header (red top strip), then glued it to the top of my paper after trimming a little from the tan sheet so the holes would show through (see following images for more details on this).

I used the Calendar 2014 cover (file also includes numbers for updating to 2015 or 2016 for the next two years). The cut file includes the shell flourish, "calendar" script text, swoosh, bracket and bracket liner. I punched the bottom hole to match the other cut pages.

Here you can see the 3/8" or so trimmed from the top of my cover (and backing) sheets. The red "header" strip was modified to about 1" long (then trimmed to about 3/4"). To modify the page to prepare and cut JUST the header strip, use the "Modify Points" tool that is below the "Direct Select" tool on the upper left tools panel. "Ungroup" and "Release Compound Path" for the page, then move the bottom corner points up to desired position. Take care not to move the page, or the holes will not line up with the other pages. When done, re-group or restore the compound path.

The previous photo shows the full tan sheet top edge trimmed away to expose holes of header strip. This image shows an even better approach to this. INSTEAD of trimming all the way across, I carefully left a tiny uncut margin at each edge. This allowed me to clue the header in place matching the original top cut edge of header and page. When the glue dried, I could simply tear through the remaining margins. 
Here is the finished cover with the header in place. The backside cover of the calendar might need the same treatment if using pre-cut 8.5x11 sheet.

 Here is a tip for transferring letters or numbers to preserve the original spacing. Use a piece of masking tape (stick to your clothing or something similarly lint-y to decrease the stickiness so it won't harm your cutting mat tackiness) to stick lightly to the number fronts. Then lift them off carefully.

Then apply glue to the number backsides before positioning as a unit in place inside the bracket. After glue dries, carefully remove the tape.

For the days and dates grid, I used the 2014 Calendar (here showing April from the Mar & Apr design; month grids are available in pairs). The numbers are fused with the grid in the original cut design, with the month title text separate. The delicacy of these cutting lines warrants a good new blade and a very functional (sticky) cutting mat. Take care when removing the grid after it is cut.

For this inside of your calendar, you can choose to hang it "double-tall" and use decorative cut designs, photographs or prints to embellish the top of the hanging page. These decorations would be placed on the "backside" of the previous month's calendar grid page.

I have used the designs from dozen quilt squares for my decorations. Just the squares with outer frames trimmed slightly, and the hanging holes eliminated prior to cutting were prepared.

Once  month pages and front and back covers are completed, stack and align the top edge holes. Use a plastic spiral coil to bind them together. I obtained the coils individually from my full-service printer (UPS Store) for a very minimal cost.

Begin at one end and insert the tip into the first hole. Roll the coil between your fingers (roll coil toward the right in this case). 

Continue to turn the coil and watch how the coils easily roll into each successive hole punch. As the insertion progresses, it is easier to actually place the rolling fingers above the page top.

I think you'll be surprised how easily this works. I was!

When fully inserted, trim the excess coil about one extra "curl" from each end of the paper. (Coils I purchased are about 12 inches long.)

This image shows a different project. The excess coil end is tucked into the final hole. Do this for each end to prevent the coil from coming loose.

This smaller calendar version features a few different details. Here is the smaller cover using the 7x7.5  spiral cut size. The number portion has been left off the cover and the "date minder" panel included.

NOTE: this sample is actually smaller than the 7x7.5 page size, so the "June" will fit above the calendar grid, and the page includes a hole punch at center bottom.

This is the June page for this variation. It also hangs "double-long".

The calendar grid was scaled to 80% reduced size prior to cutting for this smaller version.

Since nearly each month includes some blank cells, there is a convenient space for making note of notable dates, like birthdays.

Use the print and cut tools and features in Silhouette Designer Studio to ungroup and release the compound path of the individual calendar grids, then use that cut opening shape as the cutting guide lines. The text is also set up on the page, working within the rounded rectangle shape inside Studio. Use the print cutting registration marks tool and other steps to accomplish this handy detail. (See the Silhouete youtube channel for tutorials.)

As an alternative to the print and cut process, use regular typesetting program (like Word) to prepare your text, test for size, print, then lightly trace the opening and rotary or hand cut it slightly larger than the traced size. Apply adhesive to the backside of the grid around the selected opening, then position and affix the cutout shape behind the grid window opening.

Here is a closeup of the calendar grid. I have color coded the grid dates to the birthdays listing on the bottom using punched or cut colored dots.

This is the smallest version, a "perpetual" birth dates listing without the calendar grid. Prepare it using the 6x4 inch spiral binding page size. Then use the print and cut process and the text tool inside Designer Studio to set up the Month and the dates listing. Choose smaller cut designs appropriate to each month to embellish the page. This one is "heart strawberry."

Here is a list of the cut file designs used for these projects:
2014 calendar jan & feb, mar & apr, may & june, july & aug, sept & oct, nov & dec
calendar cover 2014-2016
dozen squares quilt blocks (jan - dec)
spiral binding punch pages
heart strawberry

1 comment:

  1. I love, love, love this calendar. I use it for birthday cards for my family and friends. The cut is so perfect each time. I have cut it as small as 3x2 and it is still a perfect calendar. Please design this calendar for next year and years to come. Once again I love it please don’t stop designing it. I will be looking for the calendars for next year please consider making them. I will purchase every month.