I don’t know about you, but when the time of year comes to throw out last year’s calendar, I get that sense that I’m throwing something useful away. Concerned that I’m getting rid of something I quite liked a year ago, and mainly only used as a changing wall-hanging, for no good reason other than it’s got the wrong dates on it now. I worry for the big chunk of paper that I’m putting into the recycling when I could be using it for other things first, and continuing to enjoy the images that – let’s face it, were only visible for a month anyway.
If you feel the same, here are a few ideas for ways you can turn this year’s calendar into next year’s treasure. If you don’t have this response to old calendars, you are living a more carefree life than I, so well done.
First, select which images you want to keep. Not every month will have had a brilliant image, so pick a few of your favourites and cut them out. If you’ve written all over the calendar in ballpoint pen, this will be trickier. But if, like many, you keep most of your dates in your smartphone, this won’t present an issue.
It’s instant artwork – just pick up an A4 frame (if you scour your local charity shops you’re likely to find one for around £2) and select an image to put in it. Easy.
Make a bag
By covering both sides in clear plastic, you can create the materials for a unique bag or purse! WikiHow has excellent instructions (theirs are based on maps, but it’s a similar principle… you might need to adapt the sizings to suit). You could also sew the images to an existing bag, such as a reusable shopping bag.
Turn them into coasters
If the image has an interesting coaster-sized detail, simply cut the image to size, glue on to a plain coaster and then lacquer with ModPodge for a water-resistant, shiny finish.
Cover a notebook
Great for kids or students, you can glue a calendar image to an A4 book or binder before covering it in clear plastic for a standout book-jacket.
Saving something from the recycling box is a great feeling – especially when you can turn them into beautiful gifts or unique pieces for your home with easy, crafty activities.
Vivienne Egan writes for Thomson Local who provide listings for recycling waste management