Anna is a crafter, sculptor, painter, miniaturist, props magician, soap maker, animator, production/ events, and interior designer.
Create a Custom-Made Gardening Calendar
Gift-giving, especially for Christmas, is often well-thought-out, with consideration for what the recipient needs or wants. This would otherwise mean scouring shops or going to online shops for the perfect gift.
Here is a cool gift idea you can make for the plant mama in your life. It doesn't require a lot of materials, and if you are creative and have the time, it's something that you could commit to doing for a couple of days.
While this custom-made calendar is easy to make, it will be cherished by your loved one immensely, since you made it with your own hands. Another plus is that they can reuse this year after year, since changing out the boards and pages inside will not be a hassle.
For this project, we'll follow these overall basic steps:
- Embroider Flowers
- Make Pompoms
- Cover the Folder
- Create and Customize the Calendar Pages
What You'll Need
- Burlap cloth or fabric of your choice: Burlap is an inexpensive fabric you may already have in the house. This project only requires a yard of material to cover the interior and exterior of the file folder. Plus, burlap is easy to use.
- Cross-stitch needle: In this example, I used a cross-stitch needle, which is not sharp (and helped me preserve my fingers). The spaces in between the threads are large enough to slip through.
- File folder: File folders are reusable and inexpensive. It is also robust and will withstand years of use.
- Yarn: For this project, I used milk cotton yarn. For those unfamiliar with this material, it is made from casein, which is derived from milk. The reason I chose this is because of its colors. You can use any yarn for this project.
- Pattern: In this case, I decided to freehand draw my pattern. Since this will be given to a flower or garden aficionado, I chose a botanical theme. You can also get patterns online.
Embroider the Pattern
Please keep it simple! Here are some tips:
- Use a satin or fishbone stitch for the pattern to fill in the shapes quickly.
- To make all the elements come alive, use different color threads for the layers of the petals and various tones of green for the leaves.
- Mix small and big flowers of different varieties. They don't have to be real flowers. Make what looks acceptable to you.
- Keep on adding more elements if you feel like you need to cover more space in your canvas. Freehand more leaves or add berries and dandelions. This will make your work look more dynamic and exciting.
Pompoms are cute as a button! They will add volume and will make your work more interesting. You can make a few of these and position them in clusters. I also decided to embellish my pompom with a glass/crystal bead in the middle—this made it look like a flower.
Step 1: Grab one end of the yarn with your left hand. Pinch it tightly with your pointer finger and thumb.
Step 2: Roll the yarn around two fingers. Make sure not to make it too tight.
Step 3: Roll it around 40 to 50 times.
Step 4: Cut the yarn with an extra 6 inches. Pinch the lower middle part of the bundle, take the loose end, and put it in between your middle and pointer finger.
Step 5: Tighten your grip and pull backward.
Step 6: Turn your hand with your palm facing the ground and pull the string to your knuckles.
Step 7: With your scissors, push the string in between the base of your fingers.
Step 8: Turn your hand. You will see the string peek through.
Step 9: Pull the string out and on top of the bundle.
Step 10: Pull the string tight, making a knot around itself.
Step 11: Fluff the sides of the pompom by pinching it to make it rounder.
Cover the Folder
Step 1: Place your fabric on top of the folder, making sure it will fit the front. I recommend you cover not just the front but the back as well. It's just like wrapping a book or notebook with a protective film. For this example, I am only showing how the front is covered.
Step 2: Using a hot melt glue gun, glue the ends of the fabric onto the folder.
Step 3: Leave a 1/2 inch fabric to be folded inwards. Glue this on as well.
Step 4: With a separate piece of fabric, cover the inside part of the folder.
Step 5: Make sure the fabric lines up perfectly.
Step 6: Glue the ends tightly.
Create Printed Calendar Pages
I used free design software to create this calendar, and it was easy. You can even create a few pages aside from the primary calendar to turn this into a scrapbook and memory book: It's good to keep everything in one book.
At the end of the year, the person who receives this calendar can replace the sheets with new ones. Why not gift them new pages for next year?
This is how you can design your own:
- Create a grid using the line element in the program. The grid needs seven columns across and six going down.
- For the inside box colors, use the square element and stretch it. Choose what colors you want for the boxes.
- Look for a floral letter and use that for the first letter of the month and the year.
- Use the text to write the rest of the letters or words.
- For the days, instead of writing Monday, Tuesday, etc., use the first letter of the day and change it into a flower name. As an example, I chose Sunflower for Sunday, Magnolia for Monday, and so on. Do this to carry over your botanical theme into the rest of the calendar.
- Place your numbers on each box correctly.
- Do this for the rest of the months.
- Make a personalized message board.
- Design a pressed flower board for attaching any flowers they have collected each month. (Remember to print 12.)
- Create a monthly gardening to-do list. (Print 12.)
- Create a monthly flower wish list. (Print 12.)
Note: There are several free printable calendars you can get online if you are unsure about designing your own, but add the rest of the pages to customize the folder further.