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Don’t toss your old calendars

By on February 17, 2008

photo by freakapotimus
calendar envelope
We’re six weeks into the new year, and you’ve probably replaced your outdated calendar with a new one. If you didn’t throw your old one away, there are plenty of ways to reuse it. I save mine to do crafts with my kids. My 5-year-old hangs her favorite calendar pictures on her closet door. I help her practice writing her numbers in the squares, and we have even used them to play ticktacktoe.

I’ve discovered I’m not alone. Readers share what they do with their old calendars.

PAPER CRAFTS: Laminate the pictures to make place mats. Use it for craft paper, decoupage, scrapbooking or other crafts. Fold to make small gift boxes. The calendar page can be the bottom, and use the picture for the top. Cut up pictures to make puzzles for kids. Origami. Wrapping small gifts. Fold the picture in half with the picture on the outside, insert a blank paper inside and write your wishes to use as a greeting card. — Shortcake, Canada

WALL ART: I have cut the picture to a smaller size and put it in a frame with a matte. Some of the pictures are so pretty and look great as home decor. — jskell911, Connecticut

Cut and laminate/contact paper them and make bookmarks. — Bonnie, Oregon

REWARDS: I let my students pick pictures out of them as rewards for doing what they should. This works really well if the calendar has lots of kitten and puppy pictures or sports-car pictures. — ilovechocolate, Georgia

GIFT ADD ONS: I have made envelopes out of them to send cards in ( I have also cut them up to make gift tags. I save them every year because they are so useful. — Marie, New York

LEARNING TOOL: I used them with my students as story starters, or to write descriptive essays about the people or the scenes. I cut up the numbers to teach counting. I’ve also used the numbers as a way of drawing for chores, turns, etc. (Whoever got No. 1 got the first turn.) Some are good to cut up for scrapbooking or cardmaking. — forHisglory, via forums

EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN: I hold onto calendars that I really like. I can use my old one again in 2017 ( — Stacey, Pennsylvania

PRESCHOOL FUN: I used my old calendar to make lacing cards for my daughter. I laminated mine and used a hole punch to make a design around the calendar pictures. I taped yarn to the back side. You could glue the calendar cut out to thin cardboard or poster board to make it more sturdy. — Sirena E., South Carolina

SCHOOL DECORATION: My daughter took some of the pictures to hang in her locker. She slips calendar and magazine pictures into the sleeve cover of her binder, too. She’s 13, and she and her friends love decorating their lockers on birthdays, so she saves wrapping paper, calendar pictures, cards and bows. — Candace R., New Mexico

MAGNETS: Cut 1/2-inch to 1-inch circles (can use a punch) of parts of the pictures you like and glue them in the bottle caps. Fill the caps with clear casting resin and let dry overnight. Add a magnet to the back. You can make earrings, key chains and pendants. Here’s an example of what they look like: — Linda, e-mail


  1. Mr Beagle

    2/18/2008 at 12:35 am

    This is a great list. I especially liked the idea of using them to teach kids how to count.

  2. Sara Noel

    2/18/2008 at 12:50 am

    Thank you. It’s nice to meet you and discover your blog. 🙂

  3. Amy

    2/19/2008 at 11:28 am

    Wish I had read this before tossing five years worth of calendars not too long ago! These are great ideas! Thanks, Sara.

  4. AnnK

    2/19/2008 at 1:50 pm

    I can not believe I never thought of a single use for an old calendar. Too bad I didn’t read this before I tossed it.

  5. Darlene

    2/19/2008 at 3:26 pm

    Great ideas! I also like to keep last years calender to remind me of when my last dentist apointment, vision check up etc. was.

  6. Marie78

    2/19/2008 at 11:11 pm

    These are great ideas, I always save mine and the only thing I have come up with are making envelopes out of them and cutting them up for gift tags.

  7. jskell911

    2/20/2008 at 9:22 pm

    I sometimes go back and revisit my calenders to see what my family was up to during previous years. Sometimes we can rediscover outings we enjoyed but forgot about.

    It’s also a good way for me to guage previous illness and doctor’s visits as I have a few chronic conditions and often use the calender to monitor symptoms. Sometimes you can spot a cycle this way.

  8. anli

    4/6/2008 at 3:25 pm

    I’m glad I stumbled unto this site. I am somewhat of a packrat (but a very neat one since I classify my collections! I want to know where everything is so I could grab them immediately in a moment of need) and I save old calendars among other things. I use them to decorate sturdy boxes that I also save and use for storage of anything (rmember I am an orderly packrat) or as wastebaskets. When I first came to the States, I was appalled at the way the people I came across waste so much of their resources — food, non-perishable goods, office materials, etc. Again, I am glad to know not all Americans are such profligates.

  9. scottish fold kitten

    10/28/2009 at 9:46 pm

    that’s an excellent post thanks for sharing

  10. Rhiana from A Frugal Life

    11/23/2009 at 7:45 pm

    Laminated calendar pictures make great placemats too.
    .-= Rhiana from A Frugal Life´s last blog ..Blog Giveaway: The Couponizer =-.

  11. Leah

    1/15/2010 at 9:12 pm

    My old calendar is special,as it has pictures from a blog I visit daily. It’s made of high quality paper too. I’m going to make a coffee table booklet out of it!

  12. Amanda

    4/8/2010 at 4:31 pm

    I also use old calendars and newspapers and magazines as wrapping paper, so not only do I save money by not having to buy any wrapping paper, but the wrapping is always unique and 100% recycleable afterwards.

  13. Nina

    4/1/2011 at 9:57 am

    This is so GREAT!.. I would always feel so sad when I recieved calendars as gifts.. I would always think it was such a waste, I have a dry earse system at home and have no need for paper calendars.. so I always try to pass them on, but I always end up with a few to toss! Thank you so much for the ideas, now I will be so excited when I get my next calendar as a gift.. I can’t wait to try out everything!!

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