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DIY Wooden Desk Calendar with the Cricut Maker

This post is sponsored by Cricut, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep me blogging!

DIY Wooden Perpetual Desk Calendar | Secret Santa Gift | Handmade gift for him | Cricut Maker crafts DIY Wooden Perpetual Desk Calendar | Secret Santa Gift | Handmade gift for him | Cricut Maker crafts

Ah, Secret Santa. Love it or loathe it, it’s a Christmas tradition that’s here to stay! Every year, I get roped into at least one Secret Santa group. Generally, I really enjoy it. I’ll often get someone that I know well, so it’s pretty easy to think of a gift for them.

But what happens when you have no idea what your recipient likes? It’s a nightmare!

This is what inspired me to make this wooden desk calendar. I like that it’s handmade, practical and decorative – but pretty much everyone will like it or get use out of it, even if you don’t know them very well!

DIY Wooden Perpetual Desk Calendar | Secret Santa Gift | Handmade gift for him | Cricut Maker crafts

I made this wooden calendar with my Cricut Maker. I’ve dabbled in a few wooden Cricut projects before (like this pumpkin badge, my Bauhaus chess set and the plane in this Cricut unboxing post), but this is my favourite yet! I designed the project from scratch by uploading my own images and shapes – and I want to show you guys exactly how I did it. Designing your own Cricut projects isn’t as scary as it seems, I promise. It’s actually really easy when you understand the process. 🙂

By the way – you can learn more about the Cricut Maker in my guide to which Cricut machine you should buy.

My DIY wooden desk calendar has two sections: a card template and wooden panels. The card template forms the basic shape and structure, then the wooden panels are simply stuck onto it to. The result looks pretty cool – it mimics a carved wooden block, but it’s much easier (and cheaper) to make!

DIY Wooden Desk Calendar

Tools and supplies

  • Cricut Maker and Knife Blade
  • Cricut Scoring Tool or Scoring Wheel
  • 12″ x 12″ Thin balsa wood
  • 12″ x 12″ Cardstock
  • Cricut StrongGrip mat
  • Cricut 0.4mm Fine Point Pen
  • Strong double sided tape or glue

Tutorial

Part 1: Make the card template

  1. The very first thing to do is find a net/template for your desk calendar. Since it needs to have 12 sides (for the 12 months), you’ll need to use a dodecahedron. I found a great template here. Download the dodecahedron net, so it’s saved to your computer.
  2. Open up Cricut Design Space. Start a new canvas and click the “upload” option. Select the downloaded dodecahedron template from wherever you saved it earlier, then upload it to Design Space.
  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to clean up the image (basically, remove the white space so you’re left with just the outlines). Remove all the white space AND the fold lines (tap on them when prompted, in order to delete them). This will leave you with just the outermost outline of the net – this will be the “cut” file.
  4. Next, repeat the process of uploading the dodecahedron net. However, when you come to clean up the image, you’ll need to remove everything except the fold lines. That means deleting the white space and the outermost outline – so you’re essentially left with a series of floating lines, where the net will be folded.
  5. You’ll be able to insert the dodecahedron net (in two sections) to your canvas. Ta-dah! In the layers panel, make sure the outline piece (from step 3) is set to a “cut” file, and the score lines (step 4) are set to “score”. Line them up on top of each other, so the score lines are positioned correctly in relation to the tabs of the net. When they’re lined up, use the “attach” tool to lock them together.
  6. Resize your dodecahedron net to fit a 12″ x 12″ Cricut mat by dragging the corner of the attached images. You might also choose to rotate them to better fill the space.
  7. Apply a 12” x 12” piece of mid-weight cardstock to a Cricut Standard Grip mat (the green one). Add a Fine Point blade and scoring tool to your Cricut Maker. Then follow the on screen instructions to cut out the dodecahedron net, and score the tab lines.

DIY Wooden Perpetual Desk Calendar | Secret Santa Gift | Handmade gift for him | Cricut Maker crafts

Part 2: Make the wooden panels

  1. Use the “shapes” tool to add a pentagon to the canvas. Resize it to the exact same size as the pentagons in your dodecahedron net. This is easily done by positioning the pentagon over the net, and dragging it until the sizes match up perfectly.
  2. Duplicate this resized pentagon until you have 12 identical shapes. These will be the wooden pieces that you’ll stick onto your paper template. In the layers panel, make sure they are a different colour to the dodecahedron net – this means that the Cricut will see them as a completely separate thing to cut out.
  3. Using the “text” tool, write out each of the calendar months as a separate layer. Make sure you use a simple, clean font! Use the space bar to add wider/smaller gaps between each number, so they all lined up in columns. I’ll be honest; I thought this step was going to take ages – but it was all finished in less than half an hour!
  4. Position each calendar month over one of the pentagons from step 8. Resize the text to fit neatly within each pentagon. Use the “attach” tool to join them all in pairs (1 month to one pentagon). This will stop them from moving about when we go to draw and cut.
  5. Add a Cricut pen and Knife blade to your Maker. I’d recommend using the finest pen you have (I used a 0.4mm tip), to make the writing as clear as possible.
  6. Apply a sheet of balsa wood to a StrongGrip Cricut mat (the purple one). Then simply follow the on screen instructions to draw and cut out your hexagon calendar pieces.

DIY Wooden Perpetual Desk Calendar | Secret Santa Gift | Handmade gift for him | Cricut Maker crafts DIY Wooden Perpetual Desk Calendar | Secret Santa Gift | Handmade gift for him | Cricut Maker crafts DIY Wooden Perpetual Desk Calendar | Secret Santa Gift | Handmade gift for him | Cricut Maker crafts

Part 3: Assemble your wooden desk calendar

  1. To assemble your calendar, start off by sticking each of the wooden hexagons onto the card template. I used a strong double-sided tape, but hot glue would work too.
  2. Finally, fold the template at each of the scored lines, then stick the whole thing together at each of the tabs. As you fold it, it will be come clear how to stick it to form the final 3D shape. It’s amazing to see it all come together at the end!

DIY Wooden Perpetual Desk Calendar | Secret Santa Gift | Handmade gift for him | Cricut Maker crafts DIY Wooden Perpetual Desk Calendar | Secret Santa Gift | Handmade gift for him | Cricut Maker crafts DIY Wooden Perpetual Desk Calendar | Secret Santa Gift | Handmade gift for him | Cricut Maker crafts DIY Wooden Perpetual Desk Calendar | Secret Santa Gift | Handmade gift for him | Cricut Maker crafts

DIY Wooden Perpetual Desk Calendar | Secret Santa Gift | Handmade gift for him | Cricut Maker crafts

This desk calendar is one of those DIY projects that’s come out exactly as I hoped it would! Also, because it’s almost spherical, it’s actually really sturdy – so I’m sure it’s going to hold up well as a desk ornament for the entire year.

I think people tend to be a little intimidated by making their own Cricut projects (rather than following the existing Design Space projects). But trust me, it’s really easy! This calendar is a great project to learn with – it combines multiple tools and techniques, which all work together to create something pretty cool. If you’re curious about making your own Cricut project, give this a go – I know you can do it! 🙂 – Mike.

Please help more people to see this by sharing it on Pinterest!

DIY Wooden Desk Calendar | Secret Santa Gift | Handmade gift for him | Cricut Maker crafts

About Author

Hello, I'm Mike! I started this blog in 2013, and it's since become a part-time job for me. I've always been obsessed with crafts (my very first memories are of making things... and I've never grown out of it!). So it really is a dream come true that I can now share this joy with people like you, every single day. Thank you for being here! READ MORE

11 Comments

  • Amanda
    March 13, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    That’s so cool!! May I ask where you found a 12×12 sheet of thin balsa wood? The thinnest I can find in sheets rather than strips is still too thick for the Maker.

    Reply
    • Mike
      March 14, 2019 at 2:10 pm

      Thanks so much, Amanda! I was gifted the balsa sheets by Cricut – but previously, I’ve bought the thin balsa strips from Hobbycraft. They aren’t 12″x12″, but you can move the project pieces within Design Space, so they fit to the balsa strips. I hope this helps! 🙂 – Mike.

      Reply
  • Danielle Green
    December 31, 2018 at 11:23 pm

    Hello, I had a few questions about this after trying it once without success:

    What setting did you use for the balsa wood? I used the 3/32, and did 4 extra passes, and it still didn’t cut all the way

    And what size was your font? 7 just looks too small, but it seemed 8 was too big

    Thanks for your help

    Reply
  • Letty
    December 18, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    This is amazing!!!!! I just found your IG page and I loved all your work but this wood calendar is wonderful I had to come check your blog. I’m hoping to one day do this for my friends or family I just got a cricut maker I have no idea how to start but I’m definitely sure I want to do this project as soon as I learn how to use it. Thank you for all your inspiring ideas

    Reply
    • Mike
      December 19, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      Oh, thank you so much!! You’re going to LOVE the Cricut Maker. Happy crafting! 🙂 – Mike.

      Reply
  • Nicole Nuijten
    December 18, 2018 at 7:11 am

    I stumbled on this today and I love it!! I have a Maker and have balsa wood which I didn’t know what to do with. So this will be my next project! Thank you so much for this very clear tutorial!!

    Reply
    • Mike
      December 18, 2018 at 8:44 am

      Thank you so much! So happy you like the project. 🙂 Please tag me in a photo if you do make the project, I’d love to see it! – Mike.

      Reply
  • Diane
    December 18, 2018 at 3:16 am

    This is simply amazing… I just got a maker.. this is way above my skill level!! But one day I shall attempt this!

    Reply
    • Mike
      December 18, 2018 at 8:42 am

      Oh don’t be put off – it’s way easier than it looks! The Maker will do all the work for you. 🙂 Hope you’re enjoying your new Cricut! – Mike.

      Reply
  • Lisa // Cucicucicoo: Eco Sewing & Crafting
    December 4, 2018 at 8:16 am

    This is just amazing!! I can’t believe that it was all made with a Cricut, and now I’m even more sad that I didn’t buy a Maker (which is what I really wanted, but I live overseas and couldn’t find it anywhere). Pinning this idea for those lucky people who do have the Maker! 🙂 Lisa

    Reply
    • Mike
      December 4, 2018 at 5:03 pm

      Thank you! It’s incredible what the Maker can do when you use it creatively – it’s a shame you couldn’t get one! Did you manage to get an alternative Cricut model? Thank you for Pinning it! 🙂 – Mike.

      Reply

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