My Material Life

A Weekly Calendar to Print & Bind at Home

Lately I’ve been wanting to make some kind of record of what happened when, so I created a little weekly calendar that I could use to jot some notes down. This allowed me to complete a brilliant little binding project from Jennifer of Sea Lemon. The binding for this calendar is all hers, right down to the use of a La Croix box for the cover. I’ve probably been holding onto that box for over a year now – whenever it was that I first discovered Sea Lemon. It was a make your own spiral-bound notebook that got me so excited about her binding skills. I was holding on to this particular La Croix box to make my own spiral-bound notebook (hasn’t happened yet). But I love that blue, it’s so calming, so I decided to use it for this calendar instead.

The thing that blew my mind about this little project is how Jennifer uses staples to bind the book together. I would have thought you needed some kind of long-arm stapler to do it. It never would have occurred to me that you could take fresh staples and position them where you wanted them and then use a push pin to make holes through the paper and cover – finally pushing those staples through from the back of the cover (with your hands) and using the eraser tip of a pencil to fold and secure the staples back on the inside. You can find Jennifer’s excellent tutorial for how to create you own book this way in this Sea Lemon video where she shares ideas for gifts from the grocery store. I think it’s the second project in the video.

For my project I decided to bind a little book that had a weekly calendar and blank sheet opposite. To determine what I needed to print where, I took some little sheets of paper, stacked and folded, and drew lines where I wanted my calendar to appear. I think book binders call this a “dummy”.

Taking the dummy apart showed me where to print the calendar on the paper. I created the calendar itself by making a 1 by 7 table in Word and duplicating it for the bottom of each sheet. I eyeballed the placement basically. By putting the first set of printed sheets in my printer’s paper tray like this …

I was able to print the back side of the sheet with the placement of the calendar where I needed it according to my dummy. You can see it (faintly) showing through on the sheet below.

Note that my sheets were printed to cut along the center horizontally whereas Jennifer cuts her sheets in half along the vertical line. I decided I needed a cover sheet as well so I printed that too. I used nine half sheets of paper in the book that, when folded, gave me seventeen weeks of calendar, as each of the weeks is accompanied by a blank page for random notes. I could have gotten eighteen calendars with nine sheets, but I left the last page blank.

A very professional little binding job. Would be so fun to do with kids – they can select their favorite boxes for covers and create photo books or books of their artwork or ??? Just be sure to help with the staples depending on how old they are.

And do check out Sea Lemon’s stuff. Her videos are so clear and so inspiring.


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