This post is sponsored by Cricut, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep me blogging!
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!
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
Part 1: Make the card template
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Part 2: Make the wooden panels
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Part 3: Assemble your wooden desk calendar
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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