diy project: vintage postcard calendar journal

Growing up, I kept a daily journal. I always enjoyed looking back at previous entries to see what had changed over the course of a year. These days, I can’t seem to find the time to journal, but I do try to jot down a little note from each day on my perpetual calendar/journal. The idea is very simple — flip to the current date and at the end of the day, write down something that happened. Some days it is big things like “Annie took her first steps.” Other days it is small, like “needed more than one cup of coffee this morning.”

The first year is the least rewarding, but I imagine that in 10 years, it will be a daily treat to be reminded of what happened on that date over the last decade. I think these would make great gifts this season, not only for adults but also for older kids, baby showers, retirement parties, wedding showers and more. Enjoy! — Ashley

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!

I’m always trying to give new life to things I can’t pass up at flea markets. Vintage postcards can be found at most flea markets and antique stores. The colors are often beautifully faded. I didn’t mind trimming them, as they’d be enjoyed more in this gift than they would be tucked away in a box at the flea market! You could customize yours numerous ways to fit your taste. Though stamping the dates looks like a long process, it actually took about an hour to complete this entire project.


  • fruit box and 12 postcards found at flea markets (my box was $1.00, postcards $1.00 or less each)
  • 180 4 x 6″ lined index cards
  • date stamp
  • paper cutter (or scissors)
  • twine (for gift wrapping)


1. Cut index cards in half.

2. Stamp the month and date on each card. This step took a little under five minutes per month.

3. Trim postcards to the same width of the cut index cards and just a bit longer than the index cards.

4. Organize postcards by date, dividing each month with the postcards.


  1. Sarah says:

    Came across this on pinterest just at the time when I needed a ‘different’ type of gift for a friend. Perfect!

  2. TexasDocked says:

    Saw on Pinterest and want to repin. Love the idea. Many years have gone by and doing this over them would have been an excellent idea. I’ve never been one to keep a journal, but think this would be great to do each day. I’ll be making some for gifts.

  3. Pam says:

    This is a wonderful idea, and the presentation is beautiful. Thank you sincerely for sharing.

  4. Allison K. says:

    Am I missing something? 180 index cards x 2 = 360, but there are 365 or 366 days in a year. I’m not being a smart@$$, just wondering.

  5. angelsverges says:

    Where can I buy the fruit box please? I love the idea!

  6. Aubrey says:

    This is such a cute idea!! I don’t usually keep a journal because I feel pressured to write something long, But with little cards, I will only have to write a quick not or thought. I think I’ll get a post card when I go places from now on.


  7. PamB says:

    I’m going to make one for my granddaughter’s third birthday. My daughter would LOVE this!! Quick to do, but so special for the future!! And I’ve got several journal-wishing friends who would love the quickness and ease of this idea!! What a meaningful gift!!! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Jackie says:

    I started this for my daughter the day she was born. I use the larger size index cards and keep them in a picture box. Planning to give it to her for her graduation. Love this idea!

  9. Linda says:

    I did not have time to read all the comments. But..I thought this would be a great idea for a new mom. Baby book are a good idea, but this takes less time and gives a permanent record for all the changes a new baby goes through. The next baby can be added in or start a new journal box for them. I can see this for keeping track of medical issues, financial, crafts, etc…

  10. Agath Q. Kazoo says:

    this is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I’m lovin’ it!

  11. Allie Sanderson says:

    Just got my postcards and I’m pretty excited to start making christmas gifts! How big are the fruit trays, pint or quart-sized? Thanks, this is lovely!

  12. Ruth Ann Anderson says:

    This is a great idea…I have used old family pictures for the dividers.
    Also,read when we pass on a recipe…write it on the back of a photo .may be of yourself or someone in the family. Check all the ingredients ..and also write who is represented in the pic.

  13. Peggy says:

    Such a fun little project!

  14. T says:

    Love this Idea! Doing for my sister, to start on her wedding day! Beginning a new chapter in her life. I am using pictures for dividers and I wrote little encouraging phrases at the bottom of a few cards for a surprise.

  15. katie says:

    I am gifting this to my girlfriend this christmas, and to dress it up ill be putting it in this awesome porclain berry box from Crate and Barrel!

  16. Katrina says:

    Made this as part of my home made Christmas! Thank you for the great ide.

  17. Catherine says:

    I love this but will have to get a different container. Cutting vintage postcards is sacrilege to me.

    1. Sharon McKiernan says:

      I agree!

  18. Sara B says:

    I just finished mine tonight! Instead of postcards I glued scrapbook paper of different colors/patterns to heavy paper and cut it to size. It looks great! I got my fruit container at the farmers market. :)

  19. Tricia says:

    I love this. I am looking in my craft closet now for just the right container. So fun to start out the new year. Thanks so much!

  20. Pteridactyl says:

    Just an FYI, Anthropologie has a ceramic produce carton for $14 tha works perfectly. You can buy it in stores or online. I’m almost done with mine. I couldn’t find vintage postcards in time for the new year so I did I sort of ombré pink with cardstock.

  21. Linda says:

    I made a cute one for my daughter using 3×5 index cards from Dollar Tree and I found a white square box there too that works perfectly. I wrote all the dates on but am wondering if I might have some rubber stamps that would work. I used heavy duty sparkly scrapbook paper for dividers.

  22. Danielle Hill says:

    Absolutely love this idea, I’m going to make one on the weekend for myself and my family and best thing is I’ve got all but the date stamp to hand so that will be my reduce reuse recycle and then I plan on making some for my SIL, two nieces and my mum, thanks for such a brilliant idea, I just can’t get over it

  23. Holly says:

    I made two of these as Christmas gifts, using different boxes, full-size index cards and postcards that I bought in sets from eBay (they came in souvenir folders, with the cards all attached to each other.) I had trouble printing the dates neatly, so I made stickers using a punch-label-like font.

  24. what an amazing idea, will definitely be trying this out as a Valentine’s Day gift.

  25. Mercedes says:

    Great idea and easy to make

  26. Mercedes says:

    Great idea and easy to make.

  27. Jennifer says:

    This would be great for a new mom or a bride.

  28. Noor says:

    Hi! I’ve made those the moment I saw them in this post. Thank you so much for the idea, it’s so amazing looking back at what I’ve done two years ago, image how cool it will be in 2 more years :D THANK YOU! :D

  29. ER says:

    I love this idea! Made them for 2 friends getting married this year, and had the calendars “start” on their wedding date! (I made one for me too!) Used stoneware berry baskets from Sur La Table, and included a cute pen.

  30. LEDA says:


  31. Jamie says:

    this would be great in a classroom to document what you were teaching each year on that day

  32. Kate Robinson says:

    Love this idea, created my own version for a friend to try it out for the first time (and because I already have a line-a-day 5-year journal book I started and want to complete. I posted a link from my blog to this page to give you credit. MOST of the other versions online actually mention your page here! I, like many other commenters here, have kept journals and have not wanted to store them, and also have not felt compelled to revisit them. The multiple years on a page/card is the best ever. I have the Q&A a day version and one based on “The Happiness Project” book with comments at the top of each page. I LOVE this version, though, as it looks so awesome on display in an easy place to just jot something each day. I made one for a friend and have proposed this idea for an upcoming art retreat. So many ways to individualize, alter, etc. this idea, with the basic principle being a completely convenient and inspiring way to journal. So cool! Thanks for this as I am inspired by what you’ve done in a big way! THANK YOU!

  33. Denise says:

    Just found this idea and I am in love! Making for a quick wedding gift for a niece this weekend. How great to look back the first years of marriage! Thanks so much!

  34. Eileen says:

    I just found this idea. What a lovely way to remember all the special (or perhaps challenging) moments. Since I don’t have any vintage postcards, I am going to use photos that I have taken. I love to go on walks or drives and snap photos of things that interest me. This would also be a wonderful opportunity to do some collaged cards. Vintage photos would be great for family! Definitely a gift idea for Christmas- thank goodness, I still have a few months to prepare. :)

  35. Caroline says:

    This is such a great idea!

    I posted this on my blog here:

    And I linked back to this page.


  36. Miranda Lebron says:

    If you’re having trouble finding the fruit crate like I did, go to They have ceramic versions that are a little more expensive, but I figured they would last longer than the cardboard version.

  37. I love this so much! I have a young son and it would be so fun to do this with him and review throughout the years. I’m sharing it on my blog today:

  38. Hi! Do you know if they make anyy plugins to assist with Search Engine
    Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not sereing very good results.
    If you knbow of any please share. Appreeciate it!

  39. Catalina says:

    I just adore this idea! I wish I had seen it before! It is perfect when you have children. There are so many memories to keep.

  40. Caitlin says:

    Do you know what size your berry box was that you used? Such a perfect gift idea! So adorable!

  41. lena says:

    I don’t know how I stumbled upon this project (probably Pinterest?) but I DIYed the s*it out of it and started making daily entries in June 2011. Now, 3.5 years later, having moved to different cities, different countries, I still do. Apart from one or two days around Christmas every year (wonder why that is..) I haven’t stopped. Writing a sentence or two on one of those little cards has become a nightly ritual for me. It makes me reflect on the day and often I get lost in the prior entries (“Oh, that’s when this happened!”). I think it helps that the box is always right there on my nightstand and that I don’t have to write much. This journal has definitely enriched my life in many ways and I just wanted to say “thank you” :)

  42. mei-ling says:


  43. Jeannine says:

    I love this idea – I am going to make this with vintage postcards from all over the United States where I remember going with her or my mother telling me she went over the years – I thought it would be a nice idea for her to jot down a few memories of the specific places she has been on the back of the postcard. Thanks for such a great idea.

  44. Anne says:

    I started one of these journals yesterday. I didn’t get quite so fancy: I used index cards but didn’t cut them in half, hand wrote the dates in the upper corner and for now just wrapped them in a rubber band until I get a box. I certainly would get more fancy if it was a present. Thanks for the great idea. My sister has started one as well.

  45. Emma says:

    I was just looking for ideas to make a personalised calendar journal and found this. Lovely idea, thank you so much for sharing! Can’t wait to get started on my photo calendar journal :)

  46. Nancy says:

    So simple, yet so effective! With this day and age with so many technical ways to record things, I find it refreshing going back to pen and paper. There is something about physical writing that just feels good. Recording a few thoughts each day so you reflect on changes in your life. Thank you for this. I will be getting supplies to make my own. :)


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.