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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

DIY ChalkVinyl Calendar

Over the past year that I have been a full-time SAHM/home manager I have been slowly trying to implement simple organization methods to keep our family clean, sane, and on time. It's a slow trial and error process... organization is not a part of my God-given skill set. (That skill set does include... making adorable babies, enormous mess making capabilities, and talent for making marshmallows disappear.) Not everything I try works for us. But we are slowly moving in the direction of organization.
Which is why I felt like we should get a large calendar. I strongly considered a dry-erase calendar, but those things are ugly and I was trying to find place I could hide it from view-- which was kind of defeating the purpose of my calendar anyway...
Then I was at my friend's home and saw this awesome chalkboard calendar painted on her wall. "That's great!" I told her, "...but I would be nervous about painting that on my wall."
"Oh, it's vinyl," she replied.
Where does one get chalkboard vinyl? Turns out you don't need chalkboard vinyl. You can write on normal vinyl with chalk quite easily, and it wipes off with a rag or tissue. For real. I was amazed. And said I must have one. So I got to work.
I used some black vinyl I had on hand... I got it at the craft store a long time ago (I believe it was cricut brand though). And I cut it into 3" blocks. You will need 35 blocks total. I also put a title block at the top which was 3"x12"
As you can see I went high tech with a ruler and a rotary cutter... My fancy silhouette machine was buried, but if you have one of those... by all means, make it easy on yourself. But cutting squares is pretty easy to do by hand as well, so no stress if you don't have the fancy tools.
Then I got out my laser level (see the pink-ish line above the black blocks?) and my sewing ruler for spacing. Each of my blocks has a quarter inch between them. I would put them down, and sometimes the vinyl my stretch of land a little wonky, but it was easy to peel up and reposition until I felt good about it's position.
After making my first horizontal row of seven blocks, I continued on to the next, using my level and ruler (and some masking tape!) as a guide and spacer....
Until I had them all up... then I just wrote in days and numbers and a month title at the top with chalk. Easy peasy.
Oh! And I learned a chalk trick from pinterest...
You can use a pencil sharpener to make a nice point on your chalk for nicer writing. (WARNING: if you have any aversion to squeaky chalk... don't do it. It squeaks and screeches in ways that will make your teeth itch... but it does make for a much nicer writing and drawing experience.) Also I have heard (especially with colored chalk) you can dip it in water for smoother, quieter writing and bright color! I have not tested this method though...
So here is my calendar in my kitchen, in a nice prominent spot so we can't miss it, or the important events listed on it. (Sorry for all the shiny glare in the pictures. Don't paint tomato red walls in a semi-gloss finsh, okay? It's a bad and shiny idea)
This was about a 30 minute simple project that I am pretty happy with. It's been up since the beginning of the month, and has already been pretty effective... so as long as I can keep up with the month change, I think it's a keeper. If it's not, though... it's vinyl that peels right off the wall-- no harm in trying, amIright?
Even though this isn't hard to re-create, if you doubt your skills or time-commitment to the project, I found this chalkboard decal on Etsy.com that is super cute-- so you could let someone else do the work. Even better.
Do you have any awesome calendar methods or organizational tricks for your family schedules? How do you keep track of your family's events? Done any vinyl projects recently? Anything else you want to tell me about? Leave me a comment...


  1. Valerie, I love your creativity! Also, I'm very proud of you in your role as a SAHM/home manager. You are handling it very well and you are a great mom!

  2. Glad I could inspire you with a creation on my wall. :)

  3. I love this! I am making a new bloging space that will be quiet and more "officey" I think that this will be so good in it! I love this idea + it can work with any style room. :) thanks for the easy Tute