I am so happy to finally bring you a tutorial on how to make your VERY OWN acrylic wall calendar. This is probably something I get asked about more than anything else. At least once a day someone asks where I got my calendar from and I am pleased to say that I finally made another one to be able to show you exactly how I made it the first time.
I will say that I used a Cricut for all my vinyl letters and lines this time and that was a GAME CHANGER. It made it a lot easier. So if you have a Cricut, this is the perfect project for that. If you DON'T have a Cricut, have no fear. I didn't have one the first time either so I can tell you how to do it both ways.
*If you're looking to invest in a Cricut, HERE is link for the one I have. It is an affiliate link, which means I get a small kick back when you purchase through my links. While I know you don't have to, I sure am thankful when you use my links because it allows me to continuously bring you great content.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
- A piece of acrylic. (DUH) I actually got the sheet from Home Depot this time and it worked perfectly. I got the 36 in x 30 in and less than an inch thick. Linked HERE to see more details.
- NOTE: If you want a custom size that Home Depot may not have (& they do have a few size options), you may have to go to your local glass store and have them cut you your specific dimensions.
- Cricut OR a Large Paper Trimmer (this is actually what I used the very first time I made one, its easier than scissors)
- Tape Measure
- Hanging Hardware-- I like these.They come with exactly what you need.
- Drill and drill bits (1/4″ drill bit, 1/8″ drill bit, hex-drive bit)
- Expo Marker
- Straight Blade (optional, but helpful if you mess up)
Start off by measuring your lines and marking them on the piece of acrylic with an expo marker. For this 36 in. x 30 in. piece I made my squares 4 in. tall and about 5 in. wide. This allowed me to still have 6 inches at the top for my days of the week and months and 6 inches at the bottom for a notes sections. If you made yours bigger or smaller, just adjust these measurements accordingly.
When I was marking my lines, I did it on one side and then flip it over and place the vinyl lines on the other side. This is very helpful for you to be able to still see your lines while you work and your arm doesn't erase them.
This is where you will cut your grid lines and you can do it 1 of 2 ways:
1.) If you have a Cricut, you can go into your program on your computer and make 0.15 in. thick x 12 in long pieces (I made about 36 strips and I had extras). This way is very precise and all pieces are equal.
2.) If you DO NOT have a Cricut, then I recommend getting the Paper Trimmer that I linked in the materials. This is so much easier than trying to cut them with scissors. A *bonus* to doing it this way is you can make your strips longer than 12 in but it is harder to keep extra long pieces straight across the whole board so keep that in mind. Also, if you decide to do 12 in. segments here MAKE SURE you are cutting your pieces the exact same thickness or it will look funny.
Now time to actually place the vinyl on acrylic. This is where marking your lines ahead of time will come in handy. I also measure the middle of each square on the top row and mark it with a small tick mark so I know where the center is for the days of the week. I do the same thing with the months, I measure out the center of the whole board so I know that I have to have 6 months before the tick mark and the other 6 months after the half way mark.
Sizing + spacing is so tricky and sometimes very hard for me. There is no actual formula I can tell you other than what I did this time. On Cricut I used 72 point font and that was perfect for this size of calendar (36 in. x 30 in.). CONFESSION: I actually had to re-do my months once because my sizing was WAY off. Sometimes it's just a trial and error kind of thing and that was definitely the case for me this time.
Hobby Lobby has stickers that have IDENTICAL fonts to the one I used, and also many others to choose from. You just kind of have to eye ball the sizing, great instructions there I know, but that's kind of the only way I can help you there. LOL!
Once you have covered all your lines then go back and erase all of the expo and clean with glass cleaner.
Now this is the tedious part; drilling the holes. If you get your acrylic from as glass store, then ask them to pre-drill holes in the corners for you (that will save a ton of time).
So I had to drill my own holes and we used THESE and it worked like a charm. The key is to go super SLOW and steady. It will sound kinda like its cracking and as long as it's not splitting, it's normal.
When mounting, slower is better as well. Do NOT get impatient during this process otherwise your acrylic WILL split.
Start planning! Expo markers (obviously) work great, but my favorite thing to use on my calendar is Sticky Notes. You can pick them up and replace them anywhere without having to write it all over again. PLUSSSS Sticky Notes are brighter and it's easier to see them in my personal opinion.