Hello again, I am SO excited to finally be doing a DIY post! I have been needing a calendar for a while now, but I wanted something that I wouldn’t mind having on display in my home. I was also looking for something that went with the farmhouse style. I found this beauty for sale on Etsy, BUT with a $108 (regularly $180) price tag, I totally couldn’t justify buying it. Instead, Nate and I made one for $25! I am absolutely loving the results. We already had a couple things on hand so the price may vary but for around $20-$30 it is totally worth making your own! Before starting this project, please read through the list of tools and materials as well as all the directions!
•(1) 1X3X8ft Pine board
•(1) 1X8X6ft Pine board
•(1) 1/8” 2X4 tempered Hardboard
Sand paper 150 grit
Sanding disks for orbital sander (If you choose to use one)
Chop saw *Optional, my husband and I did not use one but it may have been easier if we had.
Drill and Drill bits
Kreg Jig *Optional. We didn’t use one and made our own pocket holes but this would have been much easier.
Orbital sander *Again, this is optional. We used one and it made it go nice and quick but you could definitely sand everything by hand.
Foam paint brush (For chalkboard) like this one
Liner brushes like these (You can get these at Walmart or any craft store.)
Computer and printer
(2) 1×3 @ 29″ (sides)
(1) 1×3 @ 19″ (bottom)
(1) 1×8 @ 19″ (top arch)
(1) Tempered Hardboard 1/8″ thick @ 24×29″
Now that we have all that out of the way lets get started!
After making all of your cuts, take the two 29″side pieces and the 19″ Bottom piece and fit them together making sure everything is square and nothing is crooked. Make two pocket holes on each side piece about 1″ apart. Be sure that your pockets holes are not too close to the edges. You can now screw each side piece into the bottom as shown. You could definitely make your arch first and then screw everything together afterwards but this is how we did it.
Now that your sides are screwed into the bottom piece you can start working on the top arch. Unfortunately I do not have a pattern that you can follow for this. I happened to have a large enough bowl that i was able to use as a guide for my arch. No matter what you use, make sure that the thinnest part of the arch is 3″ which will match the width of your side pieces. We started by measuring down 3″ in the center of our 19″ top piece and placed the bowl on that mark and traced around the bowl.
Once your arch is drawn it is time to start cutting. Find a secure work surface and clamp your wood so that the curved line (or at least some of it) is hanging over the edge. Make sure the piece is secure and won’t move around while you are cutting it. Begin cutting along the curved line, stopping to adjust the wood if needed.
After you finish cutting your arch may be a little choppy or rough, that is okay. You will want to sand the inside of the arch by hand (we used 150 grit) until it is completely smooth. You can now move onto the rest of the piece.
Now that your arch piece is sanded, make two pocket holes on the top of each side piece, like you did for the bottom.
Screw the sides into the arch piece. You may find that the bottom of the arch pieces slightly stick out or move. If this is the case, you will need to make one more pocket hole on each side like we did. Be very careful not to crack the wood. If you don’t want to add a third pocket hole, you could instead use wood glue and clamps for a safer option.
After your entire frame is screwed together, give the whole thing a final sanding. Make sure it is free of dust and stain the frame with a color of your choice. We used Early American by Minwax. Apply as many coats as desired following the instructions of whatever stain you choose.
While your frame is drying start painting the smooth side of your 24X29″ hardboard. In the video you may notice I was using a paint brush but I ended up switching to a foam brush. The paint brush left a lot of brush strokes and the foam did a much better job of smoothing the paint. I applied two coats, waiting an hour between each coat but be sure to follow the instructions on whichever chalkboard paint you choose.
After everything was dry we placed the frame over top of our newly painted chalkboard and traced all the way around the inside frame. We did this because I wanted to be able to work on the chalkboard without the frame in the way but I wanted to make sure everything would be centered.
For the actual calendar portion of this project I did a 12″X12″ and a 4″X12″ “notes” section. To evenly place these I did a 1″ space on all sides. (sides meaning the traced line where the frame will be) I used a ruler and measured 1″ in multiple places, marking each spot as I went. After you have a few dots you can place your ruler on the dots to draw a straight 12″ line. Repeat this for the other three sides of your square. After the 12X12 box is done, (don’t worry about the grids yet) measure 1″ away from the outside of your calendar box and make your 4X12 “note” box using the same technique.
For the calendar grids you will want 7 boxes across. Using a ruler mark dots just under the 1.75″ mark.
To paint on the lettering, I downloaded a free font I found online. You could use a font that is already on your computer but I personally didn’t like any of those options. Dafont.com has some beautiful script fonts! I have used this website many times and never had an issue with viruses. You can choose your own font if you like, but here is the one I used for our last name. Once you pick your font click download. After it is finished downloading open it up and click “unzip” you can then install it onto your computer.
I cannot remember what I used for the other font but you can repeat the same steps as with the first font.
After choosing your fonts, open up Microsoft Word or Wordpad on your computer. Your new fonts should be somewhere in the drop-down menu of “fonts”. If you can’t find them try typing the name of the font in the search bar of your font menu. For our name “The Farrelly Family” I used size 72. Depending on the length of your last name you may have to type it on separate lines. I used size 72 for “Month” and for everything else I used size 48. Print out your work and make sure you are happy with the size. If you have a short last name you may prefer to go larger.
Cut out your newly printed words into neat, straight strips. Tape everything down with a small piece of tape at the top of each word. Make sure you can still lift your “words” to slide the transfer paper underneath. Make sure that everything is centered and straight before tracing on the letters. Working from top to bottom, slide your transfer paper under the first word and begin tracing each letter. Be careful not to shift your words while tracing. If you make a mistake or find that something looks crooked, just wipe it off with a damp cloth and try again. I had to do this a few times!
After you have everything transferred onto your chalkboard to your liking you can begin painting. You won’t need very much paint so I suggest starting with about the size of a quarter. You need to add just a tiny bit of water, just enough so the paint flows smoothly in a nice thin, smooth line on your paint brush. Test out your paint consistency on a different surface before starting on your chalkboard. You don’t want it thick but you also don’t want it too runny. You should be able to easily paint thin lines and curves. Once your paint is the right consistency you can start painting over your traced on letters from top to bottom. You may want to experiment with what size liner brush you use. At first I went with a shorter bristled one, thinking it would be easier. I found the the ones with the long bristles were easier for me to work with. Continue carefully painting over each letter, every so often you will need to dip your brush in water and then paint to keep up the same consistency.
Once you have finished all the letters you can either paint over your grid lines with the liner brush, or you may find it easier to use a paint pen. I just painted over the lines free hand, it was very difficult to keep nice straight lines so you may prefer the pen. You will probably have to do the calendar in blocks, letting them dry in between so you don’t accidentally smudge wet paint. Acrylic paint only takes about 5 minutes to dry, especially when it is watered down. When you finish the calendar portion, move on to the “notes” section.
Almost there! Now that all the hard parts are out of the way you can screw the hardboard into the frame! Make sure you line everything up with your pre-traced line on the front of the board before screwing anything in place. When everything is lined up flip the board over, being careful not to shift anything. You will then need to pre-drill small holes for each screw. We did three screws on each side and just one on the top and bottom.
After everything is screwed into place you can carefully nail on your picture hangers making sure that they are both level. Now your calendar is ready to hang!
Admire your beautiful farmhouse calendar!
I hope you enjoyed this DIY as much as I did! If you have any questions, or if you tried this DIY please leave a comment/photo below! Don’t forget to follow me on social media and subscribe to my blog for upcoming posts!