Making a calendar gift
January 23, 2013 6:21 PM   Subscribe

I have an idea in mind for what to give my niece as a HS graduation/off-to-college gift, but I'm overwhelmed, not knowing where to start on making it. Any crafty people w/ bookbinding or relevant experience wanna give me some (much needed, much appreciated!) guidance?

Here's my vision. My niece will receive a nice, kind of pro-looking, durable planner from me as a gift. I imagine it to be spacious enough that she could jot down a note or two on each day or each week. I'll have a good number of days already marked w/ info like the birthdays of her numerous relatives, holidays, anniversaries, maybe some pop stars' b-days or days of historical significance. I envision some other notes from me in the margins, perhaps some good quotes, or some questions she can ask herself and gauge the way her thinking and experiences are changing throughout her freshman year at school if the questions repeat.

It's supposed to be for fun and to comfort her as she's away from home. I imagine she uses digital media to actually keep track of assignments and whatnot, but to have a personalized calendar that she could keep in her school bag (or whatever) would be nice, and would link the two of us together.

Where do I start? Let's say I have gathered all the dates of note, some quotes, questions, etc. Is there a website with a template for this kind of thing, that will bind a hardcover or a nice spiral-bound book for me in an accessible (user-friendly) way?

I want the calendar to run from August 2013 through July 2014. Ideas, anyone? Trying to have a go at this myself is making me freeze up. Many thanks!
posted by little_dog_laughing to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't used this specific feature of theirs, but Blurb seems to meet your requirements and I can attest that the quality is terrific (pricey, to put it mildly, but very good).
posted by wreckingball at 6:45 PM on January 23, 2013

I would lean towards a birthday calendar type of format. This allows you space to note significant dates and add quotes for each month, and would not put pressure on her to add one more thing to her to-do list every day during hectic first year classes. She could hang it in her dorm room and it would totally remind her of your thoughtfulness throughout the year.

Another wonderful thing about birthday calendars is that they start in whichever month you're in, and they are reusable for every year.
posted by heatherann at 6:47 PM on January 23, 2013

You might look at the passion templates on the moleskine website. In fact, a moleskine would be perfect for this kind of project.

It would be fun to have something like one page for "coming this month" that has all your dates and birthdays and quotes and notes from you in it, then "happening right now" for notes, thoughts, jottings, then "what I learned this month" for reflection. That way, it's less like a hard copy date book/calendar and more like a journal.

You could get a nice scrapbook and dress it all up with pretty paper and what-not. It would be really personal that way. If I were doing this, I would get a nice used book and add a lot of tip-ins to add the sections you want, but that might be more than you want to take on.
posted by OrangeDisk at 6:50 PM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

I would add in a section with relative names/addresses/phone numbers etc.-- I'm always prowling through my emails for up to date ways of contacting my extended family and would have LOVED a list like this.
posted by jetlagaddict at 6:50 PM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Along with OrangeDisks idea of maybe using a scrapbook, you can get blank calendars to scrapbook or decorate up however you like.

Another option is ARC notebooks from Staples. You can make the pages up your computer and print them out, and then assemble however you like though you do have to buy a special hole punch it comes on sale a lot. The leather covers look great, I use these for my gardening calendar/journal and the flexibility is nice and the quality surprisingly high for the price. They have pre printed calendars and then you could just insert personalized pages as needed.
posted by wwax at 7:15 PM on January 23, 2013

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