I kind of geek out about projects that have multiple uses! I am also someone who processes information better by physically writing it down instead of just typing up notes on my phone. This DIY acrylic desk calendar checked off all of the boxes for me! It can be used as both a calendar and white board for making daily lists or a beautiful photo frame to fit your modern decor.
I created this acrylic desk calendar in collaboration with Canon USA. I’ve been using their PIXMA TS9120 and love how compact it is for studio use. It doesn’t take up much space and the cute metallic color means it fits in well with the rest of my decor. I love that it’s wireless, too! I can print from any work-station in my studio using either my laptop or phone. Need more family photo ideas? Try this cute one here, and one of my favorites here.
-1/4″ x 8″ x 8″ laser cut piece of white acrylic
-1/2″ x 8″ x 8″ laser cut piece of clear acrylic
–eight 5mm x 1 mm magnets
-13/64 drill bit
–super glue gel, clear
-dry erase marker
–Canon PIXMA TS9120
–Canon Matte Paper
The weight and thickness of the 1/2″ acrylic adds to the beauty of this frame and makes it thick enough to stand on its own as a frame. If you search for other acrylic sources, just be sure you only purchase something that has been laser cut for a smooth edge. Acrylic cut with a saw tends to be jagged and rough and won’t look very nice on display. Also, be sure the magnets that you are using are less than half as thick as your thinnest piece of acrylic.
You’ll need eight tiny magnets for this acrylic desk calendar but they come in packs of 50. These are powerful little guys and will jump around your workspace if there’s a lot of magnetic surfaces, so keep that in mind. You don’t want to lose one of these and have a pet or a child ingest one.
Make a mark with a dry erase marker about 1/4″ in from each corner and repeat in the next three corners. Do this to both pieces of acrylic.
Next, slowly drill down about 1mm on each mark. If your drill bit is pointed, you may want to drill down slightly lower than that. You shouldn’t have to worry about your acrylic cracking and breaking since it’s pretty thick, but slow and steady is the best policy. Remove any plastic debris and place your magnet in the hole to see if it sits flush with your acrylic. If it’s slightly above the acrylic, that’s fine, but you don’t want too much room between your two pieces of acrylic when held together. If you drill too far, just glue two magnets together in your hole. Remove your magnets.
Then place a teensy amount of clear Gorilla Glue in the hole and place your magnet back in. It really makes things easy if all four corners have the same side of the magnet facing you. That way no matter which direction your two pieces match up, the magnets always attract. Make sure it’s level and let the glue set for about 2 minutes before messing with it or testing it out. Repeat with the other three corners on your first piece.
Place your second piece of acrylic on top of your first piece and use your magnets as your template to make marks on your second piece of acrylic. Drill those holes and test your magnets.
IMPORTANT: Test which side of your magnet attracts to the magnet on your first piece of acrylic and glue it in the correct way. You don’t want a non-working frame because your magnets are stuck the wrong way.
Print out your 2018 calendar pages (we recommend this paper) and cut them to fit about 1/2″ shorter and wider than the width of your frame.
Place your paper calendar in between both pieces of acrylic so that it’s even.
Get your dry erase marker out and get your to-do list started! Your calendar printable will help you remember what day of the week it is and the rest of your negative space is perfect for notes and doodles.
Switch out your calendar for photos at the end of the year or just ditch the calendar idea altogether and print out some of your favorite memories to put on display. This photo of my three kids is my all-time favorite from when they were all little. Look at that bald baby!
I’ve currently got my monthly goals written down on my frame and one of my favorite selfies. I’m hoping this project doesn’t get hijacked by my kids when they come see me in my studio space. Although it would make the perfect surface for an impromptu game of tic-tac-toe. I hope you love it! – Rachel
Credits//Author: Rachel Denbow. Photography: Rachel Denbow and Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.