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DIY Holiday Gifts for Teachers
The holiday season is upon us and I have a few very special teachers that I need to treat this year! I am always at a loss of what to get my kids teachers and they definitely deserve a nice gift for all of their hard work this year. Not that my kids aren’t little angels, but you know…
This year I wanted to steer away from the coffee cups and coffee shop gift cards that I normally give and create something really unique. So I created this DIY perpetual calender in a school theme that will be perfect for their classroom year round!
If you are unfamiliar with perpetual calendars, it is basically a set of months, days and dates that you can switch over according to the current date. Because each item is separate, you can continue to use the calendar over and over each year. That makes this project practical as well!
This project was made using the Cricut Maker, Cricut chipboard and Cricut Vinyl. The Maker machine uses an adaptive tool system that allows you to use a few blades that are unique to the Maker, including the knife blade which I used for this project. The knife blade can cut chipboard, balsa wood and more, which totally expands what you can create on this machine. I wanted to challenge myself to use the knife blade to make something beautiful and useful, and I think I succeeded! You can see more about the Maker and its capabilities here. i have been using mine for about a year and I keep finding new ways to push its capabilities and make new and exciting projects.
How to Make a Teacher Perpetual Calendar
Teacher Perpetual Calendar Design in DesignSpace
Chalkboard Frame (I used this one from Hobby Lobby)
4 each: M6-1.0x50mm cap screw, M6-1.0 flange nut, M6-1.0 hex nut
For this project, the squares, circles and crayon shapes were cut out of chipboard. The other pieces were all cut out of vinyl. You will need to set your mats to adjust for the 11”x11” measurements on the chipboard pieces and adjust the other mats to the size of your vinyl pieces.
For the vinyl, I cut using the fine point blade and a medium grip mat, but for the chipboard I used the heavy grip mat and knife blade.
Using chipboard does require a little extra prep. When you select chipboard as your cutting material, it will prompt you to put your star wheels all the way to the right and to secure the edges of your chipboard with masking tape. This just gives your chipboard a little extra security to keep it in place when you are cutting. Another thing to keep in mind when cutting chipboard is that it takes a long time to cut. Each sheet I cut took about 20 minutes, so plan accordingly and give yourself plenty of time when you are making a chipboard project!
To get started, I prepped my chipboard by adding vinyl to the front and back for my squares, circles and crayon shapes. This way the vinyl and the chipboard were cut together and I didn’t need to line up all of those shapes and vinyl pieces. It worked like a charm and was super easy to do!
To add the vinyl to the chipboard, start by pulling back one corner and applying to the corner of the chipboard, lining up the sides. Then slowly pull back the paper backing while smoothing the vinyl down onto the chipboard with your hand. If the vinyl piece is bigger than the chipboard, trim the edges off before putting it on the mat. I used my TrueControl knife to trim my vinyl.
Once your chipboard pieces are covered with vinyl (on both sides) cut them and the vinyl pieces out with the Maker machine. Then weed and separate your vinyl pieces.
Once all of the cutting and weeding is complete, start layering the vinyl pieces and place them onto the chipboard pieces. The apples and numbers go on both sides of the circle pieces, with consecutive numbers on opposite sides (0 on one side and 1 on the opposite side; 2 on one side and 3 on the opposite side, etc.) You will have 2 sets of circle with 0/1 and 2/3 and 1 of each other number grouping (4/5, 6/7, 8/9) for a total of 7 double sided circles. I layered them as shown below.
For the crayon shaped pieces, I layered the black pieces and then the days of the week as shown below. You will have a set with Monday/Tuesday, Wednesday/Thursday and Friday. I did not do Saturday or Sunday since school isn’t in session on weekends!
For the months, I used the blue squares and layered the buses on as shown below. I added alternating months to the front and back for a total of 6 double sided pieces.
After all of the pieces were complete, I wiped down my framed chalkboard with an alcohol swab (to make sure it was good and clean) and added the lines and teachers name to the top edge.
Then I arranged the pieces on the board and marked where I wanted them to hang.
Using a drill, drill holes where you marked your spots on the chalkboard.
Put the flange nut on the cap screw, flange side down, and tighten it all the way tot the base of the cap. The put the screw through the hole you drilled and add the hex nut to the back, making sure it is tightened securely.
Once all of the screws are secured in place, just hang your pieces from the screws and you are ready to start using your calendar!
I cannot wait to gift this to our teacher this year and I hope she enjoys it for years to come! This project took about 3 evenings to put together with the long cut times for the chipboard, but it was super simple and fun to make! I hope you make one too, or even come up with a variation of your own! Maybe a Christmas or vacation countdown calendar? What are your ideas? Leave your questions or ideas below!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.