35 Ways to Re-Use an Old Calendar

There is nothing that seems more useless than an old calendar once the year is through right? It definitely seems that way, it certainly isn’t something one can re-use again and again for the same purpose.

Still, that’s 12 (or sometimes more) pages of paper – hopefully recycled – that then ends up in the recycle bin (I hope!). So, with the end of the year approaching and millions of calendars around the world looking down the barrel of becoming obsolete I thought this would be a great list to post. Some of these are things I just do, others are suggestions I’ve found in numerous places I would love to try. Some can even give you a bit of income!

  1. Kid Crafts – I’m of the belief that anything and everything can and should be used for kid crafts. They’re so imaginative, in fact I challenge all parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles etc. to grab old newspapers, toilet paper rolls, mismatched buttons, through in those calendars and see what those little ones come up with. I guarantee you it will be something that you never would have thought of and they will have tons of fun in the process!
  2. Adult Crafts – I believe we like to call it scrapbooking now (ha!). The best thing about an old calendar is the themed images! Cut out what you want, leave the rest do what you like with it. Don’t just use the pictures you can always cut up the date for birthdays and anniversaries etc.  Scrapbooking is a huge money maker these days, get your creative juices flowing and sell your end results!
  3. Card Making – Similar to scrapbooking I suppose but it’s a great way to make personal cards. Especially Christmas cards, it’s a great way to reuse that December page. Each month can be used for birthdays as well. You have the ability here to sell your creations as well!
  4. Picture It – Depending on what calendar you purchase (if you don’t make your own) those images can be straight up gorgeous. I found a calendar one year that featured renaissance paintings I grabbed it up more so because of what I wanted to do with it when the year ended. I took my favourite pictures put them in a frame and voila! I created some pretty decorations that cost a lot less than a print would have. (In fact if I recall I bought it at the dollar store!) I found several images I wanted for myself, the remainder I put into picture frames and sold at a garage sale – so I made money from those pretty pictures!
  5. Create Another Calendar – Today you can easily re-print calendars with all kinds of online resources, instead of purchasing. Save your ink by re-using the pictures from your previous years calendar.
  6. Save it for Another Year – You can always save those calendars and just re-use them when the days line up again. For example a oldcalendars2011 calendar can be re-used in 2022! OR if you have old calendars you can use them for this year.
    These old calendars can be used for 2016: 1904, 1932, 1960, 1988. And if you have a 2016 it can be used for 2044 and 2072. Look below for a list of calendar years that can be shared.
  7. Create a Collage – The pictures make a great start for a collage – each month can have it’s own theme or use the whole calendar to do a looking back on the year snap shot. It’s a great way to make memories that isn’t just a photo album.
  8. Create an Origami Box – This is one for the kids as well as adults. They can make super cute little boxes for different events, birthday parties showers etc,
  9. Create an Envelope – Use a free template to create envelopes, not only do you save the money you would have spent on the envelope but you also get to send out a letter with some personality!
  10. Turn it into a Journal – Nuff said – this can be a great use of old calendars. I’ve done this once so far but I love the idea. What a great way to capture ones life year by year!
  11. Pennant Banners – What’s a pennant, it’s just a triangle right? But you can use old calendar pictures to create some very interesting pennant banners. I saved all of my old superhero calendars (yes I’m a bit of a geek) and created pennant banners using these for a birthday party, it looked very cool if I do say so myself.
  12. Paper Chains – Who doesn’t like to create paper chains? Talk about an easy upcycle decoration. This is a great idea for something like a baby shower. Put the calendar days on the outside. People can then use the numbers to write their guesses for due dates on the actual chain. (Have them put the day but also time.) You still get the decoration of the picture on the inside and the outside becomes a fun game at the party!
  13. Paper Mache – Instead of using old newspapers you can use calendars as well.
  14. Wrapping Paper – This looks pretty cool whether you’re using the number side or the picture side (if you have that option).
  15. Present Bows – To go along with the wrapping paper.  Check out this tutorial by LifeHacker – it’s pretty awesome!
  16. Coasters – There are several ways you can make your own coasters, this style is a weaved version. Check out this tutorial from How About Orange.
  17. Learn Your Numbers – Use an old calendar sheet as a learning guide for small children. In the larger area they can practice writing the numbers they see in the upper corner.
  18. Book Marks – The world may becoming more and more digital by the second but if you’re like me you still love the feel of a book in your hands. For those book lovers why not turn some of that lovely calendar art into a book mark. This is an easy crafts for anyone!
  19. Place Mats – Here’s a neat idea. Using two sheets of wax paper and an iron you can easily make placemats with the calendar sheets. Use either the picture or the date side. This can be a great idea for commemorating certain dates such as your anniversary, birthdays etc.
  20. Packing Material – For those who can’t be bothered, or just don’t feel the creative spark you can always shred old calendars and use them as packing material. Just as good as those Styrofoam peanuts and less impact on the environment.
  21. Scrap Paper – If you have calendars with a blank sheet on the back use them as scrap paper to write down your to do lists or grocery lists on.
  22. Make a bag, tote, shirt whatever! – Remember those cloth calendars? You can hang them on the wall then use them as towels afterwards. What a great idea! You can take it one step further and use the cloth as material for your next sewing project.
  23. Puzzle – Another great idea for the little ones. Cut the picture into strange shapes and have your child put it back together again. They can even glue it to another piece of paper (perhaps the numbered sheet of the calendar).
  24. Turn it Around – Turn your calendar around and you may notice small thumbnail pictures of the calendar images on the back. Cut those out, since they are already on a thicker cardstock you can use them as gift tags.
  25. Book Covers – I’m a journal lover, I try my best to use online tools like google for calendars and notes but it just doesn’t beat pen and paper.  You can use the pretty pictures, or I even like the calendar days especially from December (since that’s my birthday month) and create a neat journal book cover.
  26. Decorate Your Binder – Much like the book cover you can use the pictures to decorate your school binders, or in my case your every day binders. You can even put a picture in the spine.
  27. Decorate Tin Cans – This helps you upcycle two things at once! Use the pictures from the calendars to decorate some tin cans and turn them into all kinds of things from craft containers to planters. I use mine to hold the water when I’m painting. 🙂
  28. Creative Drawing – Take the images and cut them, either in half or strips whatever you like. Make different cuts for varying levels of difficulty. Using your imagination draw in the other part of the image, or copy the part you took off. This can help hone your artistic skills and is just plain fun. Don’t limit it to yourself either, kids will love the challenge.
  29. Creative Writing – Use the images as writing prompts. If it is the kind with the blank backs you can write the short on the back and save the images in a journal. As a writer I find this is a great way to get the creative juices flowing, and who knows you may end up with a whole novel! Again another great idea for kids, the younger ones can say their story aloud while the older ones can write it down.
  30. More Journaling – Similar to the creative, use the image for journaling. You can do this month by month as the time goes on. On the back write a summary of the month and put it in your own personal journal.
  31. Postcards & Letters – Use the illustrations to create your own personal post cards, or write on the back and send as a letter.
  32. Wall Art – Get creative, you don’t need to frame the image and hang it on the wall. Cut out parts, make intricate designs for an accent wall.  Here’s a neat idea for a baby room – You can mark your progress on a calendar – when you found out, hearing the heart beat etc. The sheets of calendar paper can be used as a temporary wallpaper, or collage.
  33. Picture Frame – You can create some great picture frames with a piece of cardboard, or if you’re the handy sort you can cut your own wood and create a collage of the images around the frame.
  34. Gift Bags – This clever idea at “I do have talent” is a great idea for the upcoming season. These bags are made using two calendar sheets.
  35. Decoupage Furniture – Follow this tutorial from Better Homes and Gardens to turn some old furniture into a beautiful and unique piece.

Each row below shows years that can share a calendar from 1900 – 2100

1900 1906 1917 1923 1934 1945 1951 1962 1973 1979 1990 2001 2007 2018 2029 2035 2046 2057 2063 2074 2085 2091
1901 1907 1918 1929 1935 1946 1957 1963 1974 1985 1991 2002 2013 2019 2030 2041 2047 2058 2069 2075 2086 2097
1902 1913 1919 1930 1941 1947 1958 1969 1975 1986 1997 2003 2014 2025 2031 2042 2053 2059 2070 2081 2087 2098
1903 1914 1925 1931 1942 1953 1959 1970 1981 1987 1998 2009 2015 2026 2037 2043 2054 2065 2071 2082 2093 2099
1904 1932 1960 1988 2016 2044 2072
1905 1911 1922 1933 1939 1950 1961 1967 1978 1989 1995 2006 2017 2023 2034 2045 2051 2062 2073 2079 2090
1908 1936 1964 1992 2020 2048 2076
1909 1915 1926 1937 1943 1954 1965 1971 1982 1993 1999 2010 2021 2027 2038 2049 2055 2066 2077 2083 2094 2100
1910 1921 1927 1938 1949 1955 1966 1977 1983 1994 2005 2011 2022 2033 2039 2050 2061 2067 2078 2089 2095
1912 1940 1968 1996 2024 2052 2080
1916 1944 1972 2000 2028 2056 2084
1920 1948 1976 2004 2032 2060 2088
1924 1952 1980 2008 2036 2064 2092
1928 1956 1984 2012 2040 2068 2096

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