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Family Birthday Calendar {Silhouette file}

This tutorial works whether or not you have a Cameo! Look for the alternate directions at some of the steps :)New take on a family birthday calendar using a Silhouette and paper key tags. This would be so special to give for Mother's Day or Christmas! #cameo #anniversary #chalkboardpaint #yellowgray #clevernest

This is one of those pins that I've had on my list for a long, long time! I've seen them and loved them on Pinterest, but unfortunately most of these pics link to Etsy shops, and don't show the full tutorial. I had to figure out how to make my own! 
Family Birthday and Anniversary Calendar inspiration. See how I made mine, using my Silhouette and paper key tags at Clever Nest. Silhouette files included #cameo #etsyfamilycalendar #grayyellow #clevernest

This is perfect for my big family, and keeping track of everyone's bdays and anniversaries. And it's a lot cuter than looking at Google Calendar on my phone, haha :) Yes, there are a ton of people in my family! This is my side, with my parents, aunt, and two little bros and their families.Celebrate Family Birthday Calendar by myclevernest. This comes with alternate instructions if you don't own a Cameo! #silhouette #yellowgray #handpainted #typography #subwayart #birthdaycalendar #clevernest

And this is Jason's side, with his parents, FIVE brothers, one sister and their families. This pic is from last year and there's 4 more babies born, or are due soon. My boys already have TWELVE cousins!
Celebrate Family Birthday Calendar by myclevernest. This comes with alternate instructions if you don't own a Cameo! #silhouette #yellowgray #handpainted #typography #subwayart #birthdaycalendar #clevernest

I'm so happy I have my own calendar up and running. I think I inadvertently memorized a few more birthdays by spending so much time looking at all those dates, lol. Let's call that an unforeseen bonus!

Family Birthday and Anniversary Calendar
Supplies:
Key tags like these
Sticker paper like this
Vinyl for cutting
Craft paint

Other helpful stuff:
Exacto knife
sand paper
Hot glue gun
Silhouette Cameo
Command strips (to hang on the wall)
1/8 in. hole punch

The board
I bought a 36x4 in. balsa wood board from Michael's for a few bucks. Any old board will do, but I love the featherweight of the balsa. This calendar weighs next to nothing and I stuck it to the wall using Command strips. There's no way this is falling off the wall.
New take on a family birthday calendar using a Silhouette and paper key tags. This would be so special to give for Mother's Day or Christmas! #cameo #anniversary #chalkboardpaint #yellowgray #clevernest

They didn't have any smaller size boards, so I cut mine down to 18 1/2 in. and sanded the edge.
New take on a family birthday calendar using a Silhouette and paper key tags. This would be so special to give for Mother's Day or Christmas! #cameo #anniversary #chalkboardpaint #yellowgray #clevernest

I've seen family calendars done with small wooden disks that you drill into to make the holes, but I have a mental block when someone mentions power tools that says, <<oh no, that is way to hard>>. Paper is more my speed!! Plus I like the retro look of the tags. Sort of vintagey. I bought a couple packs of these paper key tags for about $9 each.
New take on a family birthday calendar using a Silhouette and paper key tags. This would be so special to give for Mother's Day or Christmas! #cameo #anniversary #chalkboardpaint #yellowgray #clevernest

I took all the rings off the tags and hot glued 12 of them to the backside of my board (oh, yeah, and I painted my board black).
New take on a family birthday calendar using a Silhouette and paper key tags. This would be so special to give for Mother's Day or Christmas! #cameo #anniversary #chalkboardpaint #yellowgray #clevernest

To get my key rings to line up with the months, I measured 1 inch from the edge of the board to the center of the first ring. Then between all the other rings is 1 1/2 inches. Same goes for the left side, 1 inch between the center of the last ring and the edge.
New take on a family birthday calendar using a Silhouette and paper key tags. This would be so special to give for Mother's Day or Christmas! #cameo #anniversary #chalkboardpaint #yellowgray #clevernest

The rings only needed to overhang the board enough to slip another ring through. I eyeballed about 1/4 of the ring hanging over the edge.

In Silhouette Studio I made a "Family" and months stencil. (this part took me way.too.long. I wish I was better at Studio! Someday I will conquer you, o Studio.)

Click to download

If you're not using a Cameo:
"Family" is Times New Roman, size 340, and the months are Lucinda Calligraphy, bold, size 30. Print out the words and lay them over the board. Press firmly with a pen to emboss them on the board, then paint in the lines.

I used the stencil to paint on "Family" with craft paint, but I wasn't sure how the small month letters would do as a stencil. I decided to cut them with the Cameo on white sticker paper and stick them on the board. I gave the months a light dab of gray craft paint for some depth and contrast. They are super sharp looking.
Now I know!! easy visual to stencil using vinyl #silhouettecameo #cutting #familycalendar #birthday #distressed

As you can see, I had the most maddening experience of my freaking life some trouble getting the months to come out right. I think my problem was I was at the lower limit of the size of font the Cameo can successfully cut. These letters were incredibly thin and spindly and would rip off during the cutting process, or not get cut completely. It was a mess! If you know the secret to cutting tiny letters on the Cameo, I'm all ears. Trust me, I would love to learn this machine better. :)

I finally got all the months cut successfully and stuck on my board. For extra insurance I gave the whole board a coat of Modpodge to keep things stuck on!

The name circles
For the names and dates, I used the Cameo's "print and cut" feature (which is totally awesome). First I printed the birthdays on sticker paper using my regular printer. Then I took the printed sheet and ran it through the Cameo to cut the circular shape. If you use my Silhouette files, be sure to make the cut lines transparent before sending to the printer. Otherwise gray circles will print along with the names.

Click to download

and
Circles back Silhouette file

If you're not using a Cameo:
You can type the names and dates in a Word file. Use Lucinda Calligraphy, size 12 for the names and Times New Roman, size 48 for the date. Print it out, and use a 1 in. hole punch 
and 1/8 in. punch to make the circle cut and ring holes.

This is how my disks look in front:
easy and lightweight alternative to make a birthday calendar- balsa wood and paper key tags! No power tools needed #yellowgray #silhouettecameo #anniversary #christmasgift #clevernest

and in back:
easy and lightweight alternative to make a birthday calendar- balsa wood and paper key tags! No power tools needed #yellowgray #silhouettecameo #anniversary #christmasgift #clevernest

Remember to make the big and little circles transparent before printing your Silhouette file!

I used my 1/8 in. punch to make the bottom hole through each key tag. I stuck all the name circles to the key tags, linked the birthdays into chains according to the month each person was born in, and attached them to my board. Yes, it took me more than one try to figure out how to get them all facing front, durr.
easy and lightweight alternative to make a birthday calendar- balsa wood and paper key tags! No power tools needed #yellowgray #silhouettecameo #anniversary #christmasgift #clevernest

As a final touch I hand painted "celebrate" across the front freehand.
easy and lightweight alternative to make a birthday calendar- balsa wood and paper key tags! No power tools needed #yellowgray #silhouettecameo #anniversary #christmasgift #clevernest

Celebrate Family Birthday Calendar by myclevernest. This comes with alternate instructions if you don't own a Cameo! #silhouette #yellowgray #handpainted #typography #subwayart #birthdaycalendar #clevernest

It's tricky to share a birthday calendar without giving away every birthday of ever member of my family! haha, so I photoshopped out the names. Just imagine a cursive name centered above every number tag. The yellow tags are anniversaries. I rubbed a little yellow craft paint on those to make them stand out.
Celebrate Family Birthday Calendar by myclevernest. This comes with alternate instructions if you don't own a Cameo! #silhouette #yellowgray #handpainted #typography #subwayart #birthdaycalendar #clevernest

Celebrate Family Birthday Calendar by myclevernest. This comes with alternate instructions if you don't own a Cameo! #silhouette #yellowgray #handpainted #typography #subwayart #birthdaycalendar #clevernest

Celebrate Family Birthday Calendar by myclevernest. This comes with alternate instructions if you don't own a Cameo! #silhouette #yellowgray #handpainted #typography #subwayart #birthdaycalendar #clevernest

I love that I can finally keep track of every one of their birthdays and anniversaries. Now whether I get a card in the mail on time or not, that remains to be seen. :)



    
Celebrate Family Birthday Calendar by myclevernest. This comes with alternate instructions if you don't own a Cameo! #silhouette #yellowgray #handpainted #typography #subwayart #birthdaycalendar #clevernest

Family Birthday Calendar {update}

I've been posting pics and sneak peeks of this for a month, and now it's done! It's finally done!!! (sort of) But done enough for an update!

My sister-in-laws and I all made calendars at our annual family cabin trip, and it was a blast! Since we have such a big family, this was the perfect craft for us to tackle. And now I can finally remember everyone's birthdays and anniversaries.

I made one too when we got home, and tweakity tweaked it just a bit.
(yeah, I'm being a paranoid internet user and photoshopping out my entire family's birthdays :)


I think it's beautiful! but, man, some crafts just take for.ev.er. I felt like I was beating it into submission the entire time.

It was fraught with complications and set backs, mostly due to my inability to be a Silhouette Jedi Master. I love this thing, but right now it don't love me back.


I'll be back on Monday with more pics, and the full tutorial!

Have a great weekend!

    

Refinishing Furniture with Craft Paint {pros and cons}

Refinishing furniture using craft paint #kellygreen #clevernest #table #yardsale #gold #modern


I bought this table a year ago for $2. I know it has been a year because I bought it at our yearly community yard sale last June, and the next yearly yard sale is this weekend! Yes, I get around to things.
Refinishing furniture using craft paint #kellygreen #clevernest #table #yardsale #gold #modern

Refinishing furniture using craft paint #kellygreen #clevernest #table #yardsale #gold #modern

She was an ugly, damaged little thing, tossed to and fro by life's careless storms (also lack of coaster usage). I saw her there, dusty, scared, and alone, looking like she needed a home and someone to tell her she was beautiful. She only had three legs and if you bumped her, her top would fall off, but she had spunk, and oh SO MUCH HEART!!!

Dang, I should have been a novelist.
A satirical furniture repainting novelist.

Can I use craft paint on furniture?
Do you have color crushes? I was "50's girl, screaming at a Beatles's concert" in love with this particular shade of green, Kelly Green by Americana.
Refinishing furniture using craft paint #kellygreen #clevernest #table #yardsale #gold #modern

Kelly Green kind of sounds like a rock star name, now that I think about it. Doesn't it?
Refinishing furniture using craft paint #kellygreen #clevernest #table #yardsale #gold #modern
Thus I wanted that EXACT color green for my table, and I didn't want any shenanigans trying to mess with color matching. I had no room for substitutes in my heart.

Refinishing, as easy as SaWiPrPaSe!
Maybe it's not a slick acronym or anything, but I follow the following sure fire process whenever I refinish wood: sand, wipe, prime, paint, seal. It's a bit of work, but the results really last. SaWiPrPaSe!!!

I exfoliated the little lady all over with 120 grit sand paper.
Refinishing furniture using craft paint #kellygreen #clevernest #table #yardsale #gold #modern

I wiped down the whole surface with a damp rag to remove the dust.
Refinishing furniture using craft paint #kellygreen #clevernest #table #yardsale #gold #modern

I gave the table 2 coats of Rustoleum Primer and let it dry. I learned in this post why it's worth every penny to buy the higher quality spray paints for priming or painting. They work way faster and better than the cheapie brands. My favs are Krylon and Rustoleum.
Refinishing furniture using craft paint #kellygreen #clevernest #table #yardsale #gold #modern

The directions on eHow suggested watering down the craft paint a little so it goes on in thin, smooth coats and doesn't crackle or flake. It took a bit of trial and error to get the right consistency. A few drops is all you need.
Refinishing furniture using craft paint #kellygreen #clevernest #table #yardsale #gold #modern
Above: my first batch, way too much water.

After one coat it was pretty thin. I kept painting, and paaaaainting. Check back with me in FIVE coats.
Refinishing furniture using craft paint, pros and cons #kellygreen #clevernest #table #yardsale #gold #modern
Here's where I have to ask- was it worth it to use craft paint? On one hand, I got the exact color I wanted, for way cheaper than a quart of house paint. On the other hand, craft paint is much thinner, and watering it down only made it worse. If you don't mind spending a week painting on and off and on again, then yes, it's worth it.

For fun I added some accents with Martha Stewart Metallic in Gold.
Refinishing furniture using craft paint, pros and cons #kellygreen #clevernest #table #yardsale #gold #modern

After the final coat of craft paint, it was time to apply the sealer. I knew my way around polycrylic sealer from doing my Ikea kitchen island. An 8 oz. bottle of sealer was just enough.
Refinishing furniture using craft paint, pros and cons #kellygreen #clevernest #table #yardsale #gold #modern

I let the first coat of sealer dry for several hours. That's a lie, it was like a day. A three month old feeding, toddler bathing, dinner making, and a shower later.

The direction on the can say to lightly sand between coats. This worked fine when I did my kitchen island when it was just wood underneath. But when I sanded the top it started to take the paint off! I could see areas of white primer showing through. Noooooooo-oo.
Refinishing furniture using craft paint, pros and cons #kellygreen #clevernest #table #yardsale #gold #modern

I wiped off the dust and chucked the sandpaper. I touched up the chipped paint, put on another coat of sealer and called it good. Then the baby needed feeding again.
Refinishing furniture using craft paint, pros and cons #kellygreen #clevernest #table #yardsale #gold #modern

Refinishing furniture using craft paint, pros and cons #kellygreen #clevernest #table #yardsale #gold #modern

This is where I show you my new table in our bedroom. But it's a bit of a wreck in transition with a very stylish pack and play, nursing chair, and baby paraphernalia all.over.the.place. So, instead let's look at it in front of this nice looking wall.
Refinishing furniture using craft paint, pros and cons #kellygreen #clevernest #table #yardsale #gold #modern

Refinishing furniture using craft paint, pros and cons #kellygreen #clevernest #table #yardsale #gold #modern


 I LOVE this color!
Refinishing furniture using craft paint, pros and cons #kellygreen #clevernest #table #yardsale #gold #modern

Refinishing furniture using craft paint, pros and cons #kellygreen #clevernest #table #yardsale #gold #modern

Thanks, leggy lady. You were worth the wait :) I can't wait to get my bedroom back in order so I can start using her in there!

Total spent on this project, including the table: $22
$2 Table
$4 craft paint
$4 Rustoleum primer spray paint
$9 Polycrylic sealer
$3 Brush

Have a great weekend!

    
Refinishing furniture using craft paint, pros and cons #kellygreen #clevernest #table #yardsale #gold #modern

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