Well, the gifts have been given, and the cats have been set free, so here is the latest installment of DIY XMAS, now known as DIY BDAY.
Episode One: Calendar Book
The basic idea of this gift is to create a perpetual calendar that your recipient can use to track all special occasions, plus envelopes for each month to hold cards and stamps. Pretty easy and really useful. At least, more useful than most of the crafty crap TFH has
1.5 - 2 inch three-ring binder (These can often be found in the housewares section of a thrift store, if you like to recycle. They aren't that much cheaper than new, but they do allow you breathe new life into some poor schmuck's corporate budget presentation.)
13 letter sized manilla envelopes (FruHo used these really fancy ones from Paper Source, the greatest paper store in all the land. But any normal kind would be fine.)
Assorted greeting cards with matching envelopes (If you don't have a bunch of these scattered around your house, stay tuned for some card-making ideas to come.)
Three hole punch (There are two kinds of these, the good kind and the annoying as hell kind. The former has open ends so a letter-sized envelope will fit in there. The latter does not. Jerk.)
Variety of craft paper, stickers, embellishments, etc.
Computer, printer, and paper OR 12 pieces of paper and really neat handwriting
You are making a binder with one envelope for each month, plus an extra envelope for stamps, etc. On the front of each envelope, you'll paste a perpetual calendar of important dates and a cool label that indicates the month. Inside the envelope, you'll put the blank greeting cards.
1. Punch holes in your envelopes.
2. Either: Create a calendar page for each month on your computer and print it out. Or: Using your stellar handwriting, write out a calendar page for each month. Whatever the case, list all of your recipient's important dates - birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc. Don't include the days of week so that this calendar can be used year after year, but do leave blank spaces for adding new dates. What? You might have a baby, right?
3. Use the glue stick to affix the page to the envelope. TFH recommends that your calendar be two-thirds of a page, so you have room to make a creative label for the month. (You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like a MS Word template.)
4. Make a label for each month of the year. Try to use paper that makes sense, but don't go out and buy a bunch of new stuff. If you don't have a storehouse of craft paper (FruHo? is totally guilty), try your kid's construction paper, magazine cut-outs, or all of those cards you got, saved, and don't know what to do with. The point is to make something fun, not something that could be featured in Martha Stewart Living. (Although, Martha? The Frugal Hostess is free for any article features you'd like to run. Just sayin'.)
5. Affix said month label to the appropriate envelope, fill it with the necessary cards, and then stuff a few extra cards and a book of stamps into the 13th envelope.
6. Last, make a cover to slip into the binder's plastic sleeve. No need to be as boring as TFH was (hers said "Birthday Book" in plain type - it totally sucked.). Make it cool. You know what to do.
The Frugal Hostess just wants to make sure you understand what those Amazon affiliate links are up there (the Paper Source links ain't affiliates). If you don't, please comment. Even if you do, please comment. La la love ya, don't mean maybe.