Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Perpetual Block Calendar

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Each year, I make some kind of item to give to clients, vendors, and a few others for Christmas. When I saw this cool block calendar, I knew I wanted to do something like this. Forgive me, but this post isn't going to show you a completed piece...I'm making so many that I've got an assembly line going, and I've got a ways to go...but I'll post a final calendar when I've got one completed, I promise!

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The ingredients for this depend a lot on your own taste—
• You may prefer to have solid colors for your block panels, but I wanted a little more than just plain blocks, so I created bold graphic patterns for the backgrounds of the numbered panels.
• I chose a bold condensed font for the month block panels
• You could use the same font, but I wanted some contrast, and chose a bold extended serif font for the number panels (NOTE: the "6" in the font you choose needs to look like a "9" when upside-down, because you use it for both!)
• I used a set of parentheses, rotated, to frame my months
• And you need wood blocks (mine are 1", but you could choose any size). You can get them at a craft store, or online if you are making lots of calendars like I am. You need 4 per calendar. I'm lucky enough to have a dad who created the little base stands for me by just making a 3/8" "v" notch out of a block 3" wide, 2" deep, and 1/2" tall. I considered using larger blocks and not using a stand at all—having no stand is an option (but I wanted to put my URL somewhere since it is intended to be a promotion)

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You need 2 blocks for the numbers. And it took me longer than it should have to figure out which numbers go on which block...so I'm gonna help you! On one block, put the numbers: 0, 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8. On the other block: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. That way, you can make up any calendar date with the 2 blocks--remembering that the 6 and 9 use the same block panel. With 6 sides per block, it worked out perfectly to put 6 months on each of 2 blocks.
I set up a template using a 1" grid, centered the months (framed by the rotated parentheses), and the patterns with the numbers, then printed out the page at 96% (I wanted to make sure the paper pieces will be a little bit smaller than the blocks. The blocks are not all perfect and you don't want the paper to hang over the edge since you're covering every side. Plus, if you paint your blocks a contrasting color, you get a cute little edge (you'll see in my photo below).
I spray painted the blocks and stands in my signature green color.
I carefully trimmed everything out, then got out my mod podge and am now in the never-ending process of adhering each little square onto the blocks. It's not hard, it just takes a little while (If you're not making 50 sets, don't fret. It's not bad!)

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Here are a few of the stands, and some of the month blocks. I still have to finish 3 of the 4 blocks per set (times 50 sets...yeah, don't do the math for me!) I'm excited about how it's coming together so far. And like I said, once I finish, I'll post a photo with a completed calendar.

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Designer. Typography geek. Entrepreneur.


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