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DIY Perpetual Calendar – Sliding Wood Calendar Tutorial

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A couple weeks ago I shared a post about making a chalkboard countdown calendar to celebrate any occasion. Well, as I was preparing to build it, I was searching on Amazon for similar wood calendars, and I came across this one


It wasn’t a countdown calendar, but I really fell in love with it. But at $58, I wasn’t ready to make a commitment. I knew I could make it for a fraction of that, so I set to work.

Wood list:

1×4 – 1 piece cut to 19″
1×2 – 3 pieces cut to 18″ for rails
         2 pieces cut to 10″ for side pieces

I wanted my 1×2 rails to fit almost flush inside the side posts, so I laid all three rails on top of the posts and marked the width and where I wanted them to sit. Then I used my miter saw and set the depth to just over 1/2″. I did both posts at the same time to save some time, but it was still a little tedious.

Then I stained my pieces since I wanted to make sure to get down in that notched area. Since I was using scrap wood, I knew my pieces might not match perfectly, and I was okay with that. I also distressed my pieces a bit before to give it more of an aged look and somewhere for the stain to really sink in.

I pre-drilled my holes and used 1″ black screws to attach my rails in place. Be careful not to tighten them too much since it’s right at the end of the wood. You don’t want your wood to split!

And I just put one screw in the bottom on each side to keep the posts up. Your posts should be inset about 1/2″ on each side.

And I’m pretty horrible at writing and painting, so I had to use my Silhouette to cut out a template for the lettering.

Be sure to inset the lettering at least 1/2″ from the sides to allow for the glide to fit and not cover your words. And I used this paint pen to make the lettering a little easier.

And it was at this point that I was a little stumped. I wasn’t exactly sure how to make the tabs like they use on card catalogs. I started researching a bit, and what did I find??  Yup…someone had already built one of these babies and done a tutorial for it.  DUH!

And it was so beautiful! Amber from Shades of Blue Interiors had written a post for EHow all about how she built one for about $20. She used some brass card label holders from Rockler, and I loved the look of them! I highly recommend visiting her tutorial to see how she made hers.

But alas, I’m impatient and didn’t want to wait for anything to ship to my little island in the middle of the ocean. I also didn’t really want to spend more money and wanted to try to use things around the house.

So here’s what I came up with. I had some left-over flashing from a repair to our chimney. But I priced it out at our local Ace Hardware, and you can purchase it for $.75 for a foot. That’s all you’ll need for all three.

Since your lettering will be a bit different than mine, I’ll just give a general description of the measurements. Each piece will need to be 5″ in length, though, if you’re using 1×2 wood.

To determine the width, measure 1/2″ for each side, and then measure your longest word per line. My first row was just over 1″, so I cut my piece to 2″ wide and 5″ long.

Then I drew lines using a square. One line will need to go straight across at 3″ (if you’ve cut your piece at 5″, that will give you a 2″ side and a 3″ side). On the 2″ side, draw 2 vertical lines each 1/2″ in from the sides.

Then cut out the center rectangle with tin snips. Be sure to wear gloves since the pieces can be really sharp. Once mine was cut out, I used sandpaper to sand all the edges as well.

Now line it up so the top of your cut out rectangle is at the front and top edge of your wood. Then bend your “legs” over the front and wrap them around the bottom.

You’ll do the same over the back, so the finished bracket will look like this:

You don’t want it to be too tight, or it will make it difficult to slide and will peel your wood as you slide it from side to side.

Once you have it how you want it, put a couple dots of hot glue on the “legs” and glue them to the inside of the back piece, so the back looks solid like this:

And there you have it. A simple and super cheap DIY’ed perpetual calendar. This project was free for me with scrap supplies. All in all, the supplies could be purchased for less than $5, though.

Not bad for a simple build!

This might even make a fun Mother’s Day gift if you have a mom who loves unique items and home decor. 🙂
Linking to these parties:

Remodelaholic – (Friday)
Chic on a Shoestring – (Friday)
Sweet Pea – Best of the Weekend

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