A Stendig calendar has been on my wish list for a long time and I probably would have finally just bought the original this year if I weren't on a spending freeze in order to pay off my mortgage in a contracted time period. When you are impatiently waiting years for something to end (ie. my mortgage) you find yourself gazing at the calendar a lot. I really wanted a huge wall calendar to look at, one that wouldn't require wearing glasses to read it and one whose only purpose was for counting down, not planning, because hey, I already have (two) planners for planning - that area's covered. ;).
While pining after the beautifully stark (and large!) Stendig calendar for about a year, I realized that I had everything I needed to just make it myself:
-A bunch of large paper which I found at Value Village for $5. (The paper measures 22" wide and 17" high (56 cm x 43 cm) , which is not as large as the original Stendig but this isn't the orginal Stendig!
-Letraset rub ons (more on that, below)
-Black bristol board
-2 Binder Clips
-Number stamps in a Helvetica font
-StazOn ink (black)
STEP ONE-DRAW THE VERTICAL LINES: I divided the width of the paper by 7 (the number of days in the week) and drew lines vertically, the height of the paper. On the original Stendig, the days of the week are left-justified to these lines. Also I should point out that one of the signature design details of the Stendig is that there are NO HORIZONTAL lines. My version has horizontal lines because I needed them as a guide for stamping the numbers and then forgot to erase them, and instead drew over them with marker DOH!
STEP TWO-USE RUB-ONS TO CREATE THE DAYS OF THE WEEK: I came upon the mother lode of Letraset Rub-ons a couple of years ago while at a thrift store. Letraset was the industry standard for rub ons back in the 70's. They were used by architects for mock ups, businesses for sign making and by kids like me who liked to use them for making, um, kid stuff. (The only thing I remember actually using them for, as a kid, was calendars, coincidentally).
I have 5 boxes full (which I am never parting with, unless it is for creative purposes), and there is a wide selection of font sizes, although the font style is mainly Helvetica (yay!) or Helvetica-like.
I used the largest font size that I had (192 pt. HELVETICA MEDIUM - HAAS #707C) for the days of the week and set about cutting out the letters M, T, W, T, F, S (x2). I then used a plastic rubbing tool (essentially a pencil made of plastic) to rub the seven letters onto the paper. Knowing that these rub-ons were very old, I was worried that my project would fall apart at this stage, but they performed quite well overall. I did have to go back with a micron pen and fill in some cracks and missed spots but they were small.
STEP THREE-FIND A PROFESSIONAL PRINTER TO REPRODUCE THE ORIGINAL COPY: Ok, this is the one step that is not exactly DIY in nature, but I didn't see the point in using up my precious rub-on stash to make 12 copies of the same thing so I set about finding a printer to print out a bunch of copies. I went to a professional printer and had 24 copies made which came to $37 CDN. I made extras because I envisioned myself making stamping errrors in the next stage of the process and I didn't want to have a meltdown if I ruined a paper or two.
STEP FOUR-STAMP THE NUMBERS USING NUMBER STAMPS - I found an unmounted set of rubber stamps in a numbered Helvetica font on Ebay years ago. My boyfriend at the time, cut wood to size and we spent an evening gluing the stamps to foam and then to the wood. I love this set of stamps and even though I've switched almost exclusively to acrylic stamps now, these clunky numbers still escape my purging efforts year after year.
I spent a few hours one Sunday afternoon stamping out the months of the year for 2018. I realized a bit too late, that the stamp pad I was using (StazOn Jet Black) was a bit dry. This created variations in the stamping which I actually quite like. The grainy-ness definitely adds to the handmade look.
The orginal Stendig has the calendar month printed on the top right side of the calendar. I omitted this step because I want to reuse these sheets year after year. Next year, I will just reorganize the sheets I've made into the proper order and then create the months that I don't already have, from the remaining extra blank sheets that I had printed. As long as I remember to switch the page at the end of every month, I think I should be ok.
STEP FIVE: CUT THE TOPPER FOR THE CALENDAR FROM A PIECE OF BRISTOL BOARD: I took a black piece of bristol board that I had hanging around (I used to use it as a backdrop for one of my Etsy stores) and taped it to a piece of white foam board so that when I started cutting I wouldn't cut my desk top.
I cut a piece that measured the same width as the calendar and sort of eyeballed how high it had to be. Then I scored two lines in the middle with a bone folder so that when I wrapped it around the paper, it would stay straight.
STEP SIX: ATTACH THE TOPPER TO THE CALENDAR WITH 2 BINDER CLIPS: I had trouble figuring out how I was going to attach the topper because I wanted to reuse the papers year after year so stapling was not a viable solution. I finally decided on binder clips because I knew they would be strong enough to hold the weight of the paper and they also have a little ring at the top which I knew would be easy to hang on a nail:
The paper curls at the bottom, it is smaller than the original, the numbers are lighter than the days of the week, there is no month so I have to remember which month we are currently in (duh!), but I made it myself! and I saved $100+ times the number of years that I reuse it, so that makes me happy. Yay!
I hope this was helpful in case any of you want to make one of your own. You could use any set of number stamps that you want - they don't have to be Helvetica! Make it your own! Let me know if you do, ok?