Old Calendar, New Life

Last year Susan Golden of the Sereno Group, sent us a beautiful calendar depicting local places of interest. Instead of photographs, the locations are watercolors by artist Lou Ann Styles.  Susan sold us our home almost 18 years ago and we haven’t moved since.

artist LouAnn Styles

Artful pages by Artist Lou Ann Styles

I like to re-purpose my wall calendars each year into something useful. They’re always beautiful works of art on lovely paper. It seems a shame to toss them into a recycling bin.
This year I turned my calendar pages into bookmarks for the Little Free Library. The natural settings and lovely detail worked well, even when cut into pieces and folded in half.

calendar book marks

From calendar page to book marks


Bookmarks using the center of the page

book marks

Bookmarks using the two edges of the page

I saved one of the pages to make an envelope. I used the back cover of the calendar with Susan’s picture to make her a special bookmark. I hope she likes it.

It’s fun thinking of ways to use an old calendar.  I’ve made them into envelopes, bookmarks, gift tags, gift card holders and postcards.  Last year I recovered a small box using several pages.  It sits on my desk on holds note cards and scratch paper.

Do you hang on to old calendars because they are too pretty to throw out?

Bookmark and envelope

Bookmark and envelope


Front side of Susan’s bookmark

41 thoughts on “Old Calendar, New Life

  1. They are lovely Alys – and you are on the ball! I just noticed last years calender is still hanging up in my play room ….. I don’t use it often obviously 🙂

    It is such a nice idea to make book marks for the LFL too – your kindness is showing again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re so resourceful, Alys! I have a few old calendars I can’t bear to part with but I’m not coordinated enough to do anything with them but cut out the pictures and frame them.



  3. I hang onto them as a family history. They contain all our appointments, birthdays, and things going on that needed a dated reminder. It’s interesting to go back through them years later and get a feel for what was going on in our family


    • Thanks for commenting, Mary.

      I used to save my day-timers for the same reason. It was fun to occasionally go back and look. Then I started scrapbooking and dates and events were folded into those. Now…social media and blogging.


  4. Oh WOW, I love those and how sweet to make for your very own Little Free Library. You’re so good at re-porposing, I think it takes a good eye. I adore water colours so much, I think I probably mentioned that before. I especially fancy ‘The Stanford’ because of all the white. Since there isn’t white in watercolour painting, it’s just the canvas left untouched. I’m pretty sure Susan is going to smile a mile. I’d hire her because she obviously has great taste and also a dog. They booth have great smiles 😀 What kind of books are people gravitating too? What a fun thing, have you chatted up many or do you just peak thru the bushes, LOL. xox K


    • Great taste and a dog: the perfect relator. That made me smile.

      Susan is very nice and extremely knowledgeable. I also like all the ‘green’ and charitable practices in her firm. Not everyone does that.

      Let’s see: at one point all of the children’s books were gone. I spoke with a dad yesterday and he said he was really glad the library had both children and adult books. Several new books turned up today (for adults) so the library flow has begun in earnest. Isn’t that fun?


      • Absolutely fun. I was at the Goodwill before Christmas. I wanted a vintage pair of small white figure skates for a project. Unfortunately I couldn’t see any (I’ll look in the off season). So I started to look at old children’s books thinking of these two projects:

        Remember the ‘B’ I bought at Paper Source?


        Cute photo album project

        I didn’t see what I wanted, probably again because it was Christmas. But they sure had a lot of Children books very very cheap. Maybe .50 or $1.00. Are you aloud to do that or must they be donated? I’m so happy you’re having so much fun with it 😀


        • I’ve been looking for skates too but I’m in the wrong part of the country to find them in the thrift stores. No children’s books here either. I felt sorry for the kids sitting there trying to find something to read. I’ll look at other thrift stores when I get out again. If I see white skates, I’ll let you know.


          • Great! I’ll pop on over 😀 Hey what were you going to do with your skates Marlene? I was going to sparkle them up for a wreath thingy….I’ll try it next year I guess. So I mustn’t spill the beans too much…hehe.


            • There are so many ideas on Pinterest for Christmas decorating that I was going to “borrow” one of them. There are also journals made from the covers of old Children’s books that I saw on Pillows A-La Mode. Like I have the time. 🙂


                • I was reading Simple Abundance for today and they suggested doing a collage of what you love for self discovery. I’ve done that before but for me Pinterest does it better than anything. I have 2 windows open right now. One on quilts, one on books, miniature books to be exact. I’ve had 3 or 4 windows open and spend way too much time there instead of getting anything done, like a quilt. Looks like you may be getting a few drops of rain. I’m wishing them for you. 🙂


                  • Thanks for your rain wishes. We got a trace last night, but so far just clouds today. Still hopeful.

                    I like the idea of Pinterest as a type of collage for self discovery. That’s a refreshing way to look at it.

                    Miniature books! What fun.


        • That is an adorable book/album. What a great idea. I’ll keep my eyes open here, too. Do you want aqua or is the story more important?

          As for the Little Free Library, yes, books can be bought new or used, or passed on from personal collections. I have a few boxes of used books from a client, and books from neighbors and friends. People are stopping by and leaving books now, too. So much fun!


  5. In answer to your last question, Alys, I do, I do. I hang onto all my old calendars because they are too pretty to throw out – and now they are causing major clutter on my desk! So you have totally inspired me – I must do something amazing with them. I simply must. What fabulous bookmarks, tags, envelope and a covered box … hmmm … great food for thought. Thanks so much for sharing your talents. xoxoxoxoxox


  6. Lovely bookmarks, Alys!! And what a sweet thing you are doing by leaving them in the Free Little Library….which reminds me….I think I have books due at my own library!!!


  7. I kept my calendars for such a long time but when I left my husband, I left so much behind; even the Mary Engelbreit calendar pages we made frames for. Haven’t had any calendars the last couple of years. I bought an ME this year for myself. I love her sayings. No one bought a garden calendar, It will be on a list next year since they don’t seem to know how to read my mind. 🙂


  8. Pingback: Welcome distractions | Teddy And Tottie

  9. I just love this! I’m so thankful that Dani linked to it, I don’t know how I missed it. Yes I do…so many good posts, so little time!!! I have been making envelopes and bookmarks from old cruise catalogs and other pretty pictures for years now, and I am so excited to find someone else doing it. Such fun!


    • How wonderful of Dani to link back to my calendar posts and what serendipity: you do the same thing!!!! Julia, I’m always smiling at these new discoveries.

      Several years ago I found myself on the mailing list of a high end fashion catalog. The fashion and the photography, not to mention the high-gloss pages made it a work of art, but the flower water colors really set it apart. I used that catalog for years for envelopes, bookmarks, stickers, you name it.


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