As we're nearing the end of 2013, I see companies like Shutterfly, Vistaprint, and even Walgreens offer 2014 calendars with your photos and I thought, "There's gotta be a way to do this for less than $20, right?" Well kids, I did it for free! You can make one for free too if you have:
1. Microsoft Word
2. Digital photos
3. String/yarn/something to hold the pages together
4. Paper (I used white card stock but you could use printer paper, photo paper, etc.)
5. Hole punch
The hardest part was creating the actual calendar part. I could have copied a calendar from Google by searching "January 2014", "February 2014", etc. but instead I made it from scratch. To save you the time and headache, I'm offering my template here (click on the small down arrow on the left-hand side, next to the printer icon, to download). Feel free to change the font of the month (I used Betty Noir in 60 pt. font).
Once you have the template open, you can add in holidays, add photos, etc. For example, for every member of our family, I put their photo on their respective birth date. That way, I would know exactly whose birthday it was and when!
The easiest way I found to add photos in Word is by doing the following:
1. Go to Insert --> Picture --> From File
2. Find your photo, select it, and hit Insert
3. Double-click on the photo or go to Format --> Picture
4. Click on Layout and make sure "Behind Text" is selected and hit OK
5. Size photo to your liking
You can then print out each page, hole punch three holes (one on each end to loop string through and one in the middle to hang on the wall) or you can keep going like I did and add more photos to the opposite pages!
I used Word again and made new documents to add my photos (note that I kept the .5" border again) and I tried to keep separate documents, so as not to confuse myself. One document was called "January" and I included all photos taken in January, then next document was called "February", etc.
Now here's where it can get a bit tricky. I'm glad I punched the holes in all the pages before moving on because it was easier for me to figure out how to feed the pages into the printer. Every printer might be different but here's what I did:
For example, I created an "August" document and added all the photos I wanted for that month.
Then I took the July page face up and with the holes on the right side, so that the August photos would print out correctly on the opposite side.
And I did that for each page until it was all printed out. You'll have to punch in holes again for the center (if you want to hang it). However, if you don't want to hang it on a wall, you don't have to, as I ended up putting mine on the fridge!
TOTAL COSTS: Free!
However, I already had Microsoft Word, paper, string, and a hole punch on hand
TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME: Times may vary
It depends on how many photos you want to include but my calendar took about 6 hours to complete
EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): 2 out of 5
If you're not familiar with arranging photos in Word, this might be a little difficult to get at first but you'll figure it out soon enough!