DIY Acrylic Desktop Calendar

Happy Friday friends! Thank you for all your support and comments on Wednesday's post, Underwater.  I certainly wasn't writing for the sole purpose receiving support, but it is so wonderful to know it's there.  You guys are the best!


One of the ways I cope with the feelings of an out-of-control life is to GET ORGANIZED.  Truly though, gettingorganized is less of a destination and more of journey, you know?  The journey itself tends to help right me back to a floating position rather than a sinking one.  

I decided that, in terms of my blog as well as overall disorganization, I needed a place to work.  The kitchen table and junk space in the guest bedroom was not cutting it anymore.  

See ya later paper-covered dining table and fabric-stuffed guest bedroom [I thought if I said it out loud, it might stick better...?].  

Time for a real workspace.  

A workspace that inspires - that is visually-stimulating when I need it to be and calming when I feel flustered.  A workspace with room to work.  With room to spread out.  

And so I marched my determined disorganized self to Ikea and purchased a nice wide desk.  Sometimes Ikea's style works for me and other times not.  In this case, the clean, minimal Scandinavian-style was exactly what I needed.  

Currently, I am styling the desk to satisfy both design and function as it needs to fulfill these three objectives:

Designed to promote optimal productivity

Designed to inspire creative thinking

Designed to look good to house guests  

My first project towards these goals was to find a large desktop calendar that looked good stylistically and kept me organized.  Turns out there aren't too many options out there.  

There are some calendars that look good, but don't allow for notes, appointments, etc.  There are others that leave plenty of space for written information, but look like they should be laying on Milton's desk in the basement of Initech.  

After being inspired by Crate and Barrel's Stendig Wall Calendar and Little Green Notebook's Jenny Komenda's own whiteboard wall calendar, I thought I would create my own version.  I threw a little Mere in there with the acrylic because I LOVE ACRYLIC.  

Oh, wow, sorry.  That just came out.  


Here's how you can create your own acrylic desktop calendar!  


Sharp x-acto knife

Small "Magic Sliders" plastic grippers [purchased at Target in the aisle with 3M products and furniture protectors]

A piece of acrylic cut to 19" by 24"

Graphic tape [purchased here]

Vinyl stickers [purchased at Office Max in the kids project section]


Find a place to purchase the acrylic.  You most likely have a few options for finding acrylic sheets, depending on your area.  In my case, I googled "acrylic plastic cut to order Oakland" and I found a local place that specifically works with plastics.  I walked in, gave them my dimensions and they had it ready in five minutes - just enough time for Vivi to trash the store.  It was clearly a win, win for us both.  [Insert Emoji grumpy face].

You have two other options for purchasing acrylic.  Go to a local hardware store such as Home Depot, buy a preset sheet and cut it at home.  Note - I have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever in regards to how to do this, but I'm sure there's tons of info online.  The other option is to order from an online cut-to-order site such a this one.  The acrylic sheet is by far the most expensive piece of the project, though not unattainable.  I paid about $30 for mine after taxes.

Remove the almost-invisible plastic wrapper from one side.  This will be your calendar side.  Keep the plastic wrapper on the bottom side to prevent the acrylic from scratching.  

You can use a straightedge or a lined self-healing mat underneath the acrylic if you like, but I just used a small measuring tape and my eyeballs.  I like the way the lines turned out slightly imperfect; it gives the impression of dimension.  Start by running the graphic tape horizontally across the top about 3 inches down, leaving a little overhang on each side.  This creates the top margin.  Mess-ups are okay here.  The graphic tape can be easily removed and readjusted.

Run a vertical strip of graphic tape about 4 inches from the right side of the calendar.  This creates the right margin for "notes".  

To create the individual boxes for the dates, measure about 3.25" down from the top margin 5 times for each of the 5 rows.  Again, mine was not exact.  I'm all about the lazy man's eyeballing.  

To mark each row, I lined the calendar with the lower edge of my desk and placed small strips of tape on left side of the calendar on the desk.  A little confusing to explain, but the photo shows it better.  Then I laid the strips down horizontally.  You should be left with a little over an inch at the very bottom.  This will be your "goals" margin.

To create the vertical rows for the dates, measure about 2.75" across starting from the top left corner.  Do this 6 times until you get to the right margin.  I ended up using about a roll and a half of tape.


Now its time to bring out the machete.  Uh, I mean x-acto knife.  You do need to be very careful with this around the acrylic.  Acrylic scratches easily - there's just no getting around this.  It's the nature of the beast.  

Because of this, when I trimmed the excess tape from the margins and edges, I simply pressed the knife where I wanted the cut to be, and pulled the tape piece up and out.  This keeps whatever scratches that form directly under the tape. 

Add your letters.  What I loved about the Stendig calendar is the way the helvetica lettering is so close.  To replicate that, I simply overlapped the letters slightly.  Luckily, the letters can also be repositioned easily.  

Remove the plastic wrap from the backside of the sheet.  Add one plastic sticky gripper to each corner as well as one in the middle.  This will keep the underside from scratching on the desk.  Grab a dry erase marker and go to town!

 Thanks for stopping by today friends!  I hope this calendar inspires you to get your shit together like it does for me.  

If you enjoy reading my posts, please sign-up for email updates at the top right corner of the page.  Emails only go out when there is a new post.  I'd love to have you [yes, I'm looking' at you!] in the Everyday Enthusiastic gang! 

All ideas in this post are of my own opinions including mention of companies and/or affiliate sites.  No sponsorships were involved in the creation of this post.  Photographs taken by Meredith Wheeler using a DSLR Canon Rebel T3 and edited using Photoshop CC [my self-taught first attempt.  don't judge. ;)].