Make a Perpetual Birthday Calendar [Tutorial]

Make a Perpetual Birthday Calendar

Have trouble remembering birthdays? Make a perpetual birthday calendar for your craft table or desk, and never miss another birthday!

No More Forgotten Birthdays

One of the main reasons I started papercrafting (besides my insane love of paper) was to make birthday cards for my loved ones. Unfortunately, it turns out I’m terrible at remembering birthdays! Thankfully, with a little creativity, I was able make something to counteract my forgetfulness: a perpetual birthday calendar!

Perpetual Birthday Calendar

Perpetual Birthday Calendar
Perpetual birthday calendar modeled after accordion fold scrapbook albums

Inspired by accordion-fold scrapbook albums, this perpetual birthday calendar is both fun and functional. It has a ‘page’ for each month, plus a couple extra ‘pages’ for decoration. There’s a date table attached to each monthly page with room to write in the names of loved ones whose birthdays you want to remember.

Turn the birthday calendar one way to see January thru June birthdays. Then, flip it around to see those in the second half of the year.

Flip the birthday calendar
Flip the birthday calendar around to display the second half of the year

To save space, you can even fold it so that just a couple of months are visible.

Birthday calendar folded to just show two months
Folded to just show two months

If you want to store it away, the pages fold down into a compact 4 x 4-inch size, with the decorative ‘pages’ doubling as covers.

Birthday calendar folds down to 4x4 inches
Folds down to just 4×4 inches

Do you, too, struggle to remember birthdays? If so, then this perpetual birthday calendar may be just what you need! Making one is super easy, and you can customize it to fit your home decor and/or personal style. To make it even easier for you, I’ve included a printable PDF file with date tables and optional month titles. You can download it via the link included in the ‘Supplies’ list below.

Because they’re so easy to make, you can even make a fresh one each year if you like. (The one shown here is just the latest in a long line of birthday calendars I’ve made!) These also make great little gifts. After all, everyone has special days that they need to remember!

Download Birthday Calendar Files

To make this birthday calendar as shown, you’ll need some date tables for your month pages. I’ve created a free downloadable PDF file to help you with this:

Free Download: Birthday Calendar PDF (<– Click link to download)

Please note that this PDF will download to your computer as a .zip file, so you’ll need to ‘unzip’ it before you can use it. Once unzipped, print pages 2 and 3 of the file at full (100%) size to make the birthday calendar as shown below. Optional month titles are included on page 1.

How to Make a Perpetual Birthday Calendar

Supplies

  • Birthday Calendar PDF – pages 2-3 (date tables) printed at full size
  • OPTIONAL: Birthday Calendar PDF page 1 (month titles) printed at size of your choice
  • 1 piece of 12×12 cardstock to build the base calendar
  • Additional cardstock and patterned papers to create layers and decorations
  • Paper trimmer
  • Paper scissors
  • Scoring/folding tool
  • Double-sided tape
  • Tape runner or other similar adhesive
  • Misc. stamps, die cuts, stickers, etc. for decorating your birthday calendar
  • OPTIONAL: Corner rounder

Directions

I. Prep Work

1. Gather all necessary supplies at your work area.

2. Cut your papers to the following dimensions:

  • Cardstock
    • (3)  4×12-inch strips
    • (14) 3.75 x 3.75-inch squares
  • Patterned Paper
    • (2) 3.5 x 3.5-inch squares
Paper to make a perpetual birthday calendar
Basic papers needed to make a perpetual birthday calendar

II. Build the Birthday Calendar Base

1. Rotate one of the 4 x 12-inch strips of cardstock so that a long side faces you.

2. Score the cardstock vertically (top to bottom) along this long side at 4 inches, and then again at 8 inches.

Score cardstock strips - Birthday Calendar
Score each 4 X 12-inch cardstock strip at 4 and 8 inches along the long side

3. Score the other two strips in the same way,

Each strip is now divided into three square segments of equal size.

4. Take one scored strip in hand, and fold the first square up and over the second square along the 4-inch score line.

Fold first square up and over second square - Birthday Calendar
Fold first square up and over second square

5. Now fold the third square back behind the second square along the 8-inch score line.

Fold third square back and under second square - Birthday Calendar
Fold third square back and under second square

6. Fold the other two cardstock strips in the same way.

Three accordion-folded cardstock strips - Birthday Calendar
Three accordion-folded cardstock strips

When finished, you should have three accordion-folded strips.

7. Unfold and lay one of the strips on your work surface. Rotate as necessary so that a long side faces you, and the left-most fold is a ‘valley’ fold — one that has a downward-pointing crease.

First fold of strip is a 'valley' fold - Birthday Calendar
First fold of strip is a ‘valley’ fold

8. Apply double-sided tape to the surface of the last square of the strip.

Tape last square on strip with double-sided tape - Birthday Calendar
Tape last square of strip with double-sided tape

9. Now rotate a second cardstock strip so that one long side faces you, and the first fold is also a ‘valley’ fold.

10. Lay the first square of Strip 2 over the taped square of Strip 1. Align all edges, and then press to seal together.

Attach two strips - Birthday Calendar
Attach two strips

11. Repeat steps 8 to 10 above to attach Strip 3  in the same way to the end of Strip 2

You now have an accordion-fold base for your birthday calendar, with a total of 14 square panels – 7 on each side.

Accordion-folded birthday calendar base with seven panels on each side
Accordion-folded birthday calendar base with seven panels on each side

The first six panels on each side will display the birthday months, while the seventh gives you extra room to decorate. When the birthday calendar is closed, those extra squares will also function as decorative front and back covers.

III. Attach the Paper Layers

1. If you want, round the corners of each cardstock and patterned paper square.

Optional: round the corners of the paper squares - Birthday Calendar
Optional: round the corners of the paper squares

2. Apply tape runner or similar adhesive to the back of each of the 3.75 x 3.75-inch cardstock squares.

3. One by one, center and then stick the squares to the coordinating squares on the birthday calendar base.

Attach one cardstock square to each month panel - Birthday Calendar
Attach one cardstock square to each month panel

4. Apply one 3.5 x 3.5-inch patterned paper square in the same way to the last panel on each side of the birthday calendar base.

Attach patterned paper squares to the two decorative panels - Birthday Calendar
Attach patterned paper squares to the two decorative panels

IV. Attach the Date Tables

1. If you haven’t already, print out pages 2 and 3 of the Birthday Calendar PDF at full size. Each date table is sized just right to fit on one month panel, while leaving some space above it to decorate.

Print the date tables from the attached PDF file - Birthday Calendar
Print the date tables from the attached PDF file

2. Using your paper trimmer or scissors, cut out each of the date tables.

Cut out date tables from printable PDF file - Birthday Calendar
Cut out date tables from printable PDF file

I just cut mine out with scissors, using the outside lines of the tables as cutting guides. While I like to leave about 1/16th inch of white space around the edges, feel free to trim yours however you like.

TIP: If you want, stamp on or otherwise decorate the date tables, Just don’t go overboard, because you want the birthdays to be able to show through!

3. Apply tape runner or similar adhesive to the back of each date table.

4. Attach a date table to the first six squares on each side of the birthday calendar base.

TIP: Remember: each month of the year has a certain number of days. Make sure the date table you attach matches!

V. Label the Months

Now you need to label the months on your birthday calendar so you know which is which at a quick glance. Although it might make sense to do this before attaching the date tables, doing it in this order means being able to see how much space you really have for your titles.

To label the months on your birthday calendar, use stamps, stickers, or even handwritten titles. Optional printable month labels are also included on page 1 of the Birthday Calendar PDF file attached to this post. Of course, you can also create your own labels on your computer and then print them out.

Label the panels with the names of the months - Birthday Calendar
Label the panels with the names of the months

I used the “Capture This” stamp set by Close To My Heart to label the months on my birthday calendar.

Capture This stamp set by Close To My Heart - Birthday Calendar
Capture This stamp set by Close To My Heart

First I stamped the banner image in various coordinating ink colors, then stamped the names of the months in black over the top of the banners. I fussy cut the banners, and attached them to the birthday calendar base with tape runner adhesive. As a finishing touch, I added an enamel dot to each banner to give it a ‘pinned on’ look.

VI. Decorate Your Birthday Calendar

Now it’s time to decorate the rest of your birthday calendar however you like. Go ahead — make it really bold and bright! The more eye-catching it is, the more likely you are to really ‘see’ it every day. And the more you ‘see’ it, the less likely you are to forget those ever-important birthdays!

How I Decorated My Birthday Calendar

To decorate my birthday calendar, I used papers and other elements from the “Some Kinda Wonderful” kit by Close To My Heart. These were all designed to work together, and they do — perfectly!

Some Kinda Wonderful kit by Close To My Heart
Some Kinda Wonderful kit by Close To My Heart

I started by trimming 3.75 x 1/2-inch strips from the patterned papers. (The black paper is actually a ‘zip strip’ from one of the papers!) Then I attached one strip above each date table on the month panels.

Patterned paper strips make great decorations - Birthday Calendar
Patterned paper strips make great accents for the month panels

For the two end panels, I stamped and colored images from the coordinating “Some Kinda Wonderful (Cards)” stamp set.

Some Kinda Wonderful (Cards) stamp set by Close To My Heart
Some Kinda Wonderful (Cards) stamp set by Close To My Heart

Although not specifically birthday stamps, the animals from this set are just so cute! I could look at them all day every day and still smile. Those are the kinds of images you want on something like a birthday calendar that you’ll be seeing over and over again!

I cut out the images with the matching Thin Cuts die set (available as part of a stamps/Thin Cuts bundle), and then attached them to the panels with foam tape for dimension. Some glittery black accents from the “Some Kinda Wonderful” kit and a little dotty doodling helped me finish these off in a fun way.

Decorated covers - Birthday Calendar
Decorated covers of my perpetual birthday calendar

Conclusion

Don’t forget to fill in the date tables on your finished perpetual birthday calendar! Although fun and easy to make, the real purpose of this birthday calendar is to remind you of those important days. Once finished, set it on your craft table or desk where you’ll always see it. With this gem of a memory jogger constantly in sight, you’ll never forget another birthday!

Share Your Thoughts

What do you think of this project? Will you make a perpetual birthday calendar to help you remember birthdays? How will you decorate yours? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts!

Article written by Deedee Anderson

 

 

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Deedee Anderson - Independent Close To My Heart Consultant

8 thoughts on “Make a Perpetual Birthday Calendar [Tutorial]

    • Thanks, Sandy! The accordion fold is what makes this birthday calendar so adjustable. I’ve seen a similar fold used on handmade scrapbooks and it works great!

  1. What an adorable calendar! A definite improvement over the spreadsheet I have on the inside of a cabinet! I need to update that spreadsheet anyway, so maybe one of these may be just what I should do. Like you said, they are a great gift item as well. Thanks so much for the easy to follow tutorial.

    • Thanks, Steph! Ha ha — I’ve been using a similar spreadsheet. I hope you get more fun out of this one! I made a few of these for the craft fair a couple years ago at my daughters’ school, and they were a hit. So many of us need help in this area! 😉

  2. Stephanie Tubbs Harbeston says:

    LOVE this idea, however- The link for the “Birthday Calendar PDF” page is not working. Can it be emailed to me???

    • Hi Stephanie, Thanks so much — I’m glad you like it, and hope you’ll have a lot of fun making it! I just fixed the link, and emailed you the file as well. Thanks for bringing that to my attention! 🙂

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