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.

Materials

  • 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)

Instructions

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.

DONE!

  1. I made one of these last night! Perfect use of the Fossil postcards I’ve been holding on to!

    I used a bamboo box intended for silverware organization from World Market. There are photos on my blog! :]

  2. SMB says:

    I made four of them at once, which is actually much easier than it sounds, and boom, I had several gifts. I used a 5″ glass container and put some small, glass stone at the bottom to keep the cards tidy. The gifts were a hit!

  3. Paula says:

    I love this, and I’ll be making a few this week! Thank you so much.

  4. Kelly Gibson says:

    I LOVE this! Thanks for the great idea, Ashley!
    Kelly

  5. Ev says:

    Just made one for my daughter for Christmas. I used an old cheese box which was the perfect size. For some dates I used special coloured paper, like red for Valentine’s and teal for her wedding anniversary, green for Christmas.
    There are lots of berry boxes in the vintage section of Etsy.com.

  6. erin says:

    can’t wait to make some of these for me and my friends. i’m
    even making one for my husband, in hopes that he’ll take a little
    more time to think about daily life. :) great idea, so
    clever.

  7. Steph says:

    What a wonderful idea! I tried keeping a daily journal on my computer, but it just didn’t work out. I could keep something like this on my night stand so I’d remember to write something right before bed. These would also make wonderful gifts!

  8. Luna says:

    Nice idea, I’ll start with it on saturday.

  9. Cigale says:

    Hi there, quite a nice idea! I store everything that I like
    (cards, museum tickets, leaflets, etc of things that we have been
    doing) in an A4 box, that I put on the attic once filled (oldest
    items on the bottom). I think that I am doing this for 10 years now
    and for sure it will be fun to open the eldest box. Your suggestion
    is even nicer, although more suitable for a kind of dairy/journal
    than for objects! One could even create a book of all loose ends in
    a later stadium (digital or in real), with a handmade cover! Thanks
    for showing.

  10. Kim says:

    Hi, love the idea – I didn’t want to buy a date stamp so I created a printable template for the cards (also easy for me to reproduce for gifts next year!). Thought I would share the link to my post containing the link to the PDF if anyone wants to use it! :) just print on the 4×6 card prior to cutting in half.

    http://www.thegeekysaver.com/2011/01/inspired-for-2011.html

  11. karin says:

    what a wonderful idea!
    i made three of them as christmas presents, my friends were very pleased!
    instead of a fruit container i used an old cigarbox and copied old fotos in sepia for the different month.
    here in germany you can`t find the small index cards, so i had to cut a large one in half, this was quite a thing.
    but it was worth!
    thank you so much for sharing this project!

  12. Kate says:

    This made me gasp, it’s so lovely. Thanks!

  13. Ashley says:

    Just absolutely ADORE these! I am a “memory junkie” & I used to be SO good at daily writing down a little note about what I did each day and look back the following years…but I’d have to dig out my old calendars. This is so handy and creative!! Thanks for sharing!

  14. I love this!! It is beautiful and practical. I have added your link to my blog as I think that many people would enjoy giving, receiving and having this.
    http://michellan-michele.blogspot.com/2011/01/diy-perpetual-calendar-this-is.html

  15. Sarah says:

    Fabulous! So simple and can be so personalized with special
    photos or postcards. This will be put into action for me this
    weekend! And I think it may just be my go-to gift idea as well.
    Many thanks! Love it.

  16. Love this idea! With my crazy busy schedule it would be nice to jot down just one sentence… and it is adorable to boot!
    ~D~

  17. tschitschi says:

    this is a wonderful idea!

  18. Emily says:

    I adore this, it is so cute and something you can put on your coffee table to remind yourself to write. Great idea.

  19. Amy says:

    This is fantastic, can’t wait to make one! Thanks for such a splendid idea.

  20. Summer says:

    I did it!
    Only, I changed the rules a bit and called it a blessing box where I write down each days blessings:
    http://www.lemusingsofmoi.com/2011/01/blessing-box.html

  21. this is brilliant!!! i may just have to do this myself!! thank you very much for creating and sharing with us!

  22. Jamey says:

    what a fab idea!
    this would be sooooo good to give as a gift to a newly married couple, or a new mum!

  23. Stacy says:

    This is great! Thanks for sharing!!! I’m making one right now with vintage love postcards for my fiance who loves to journal, but can’t seem find the time each day. I hope he enjoys it as much as I like the idea!!! :)

  24. Absolutely love this! Fantastic gift idea!

  25. Laura says:

    I think I am going to make this for a friend’s wedding gift!

  26. Paulina Juárez says:

    Amaxing, sooo useful!! Thank you so much for the idea and for bringing us life again!!

  27. Katey says:

    I think I am going to have to make one too! Great idea~

  28. Great idea! What about a perpetual flip calendar? Same idea, but use/make an A frame out of sturdy cardboard, make the pages, and take to store to have it spiral bound.

  29. Cassi says:

    Oh my god i love this idea!

  30. Callista says:

    Such a cool take on the 10-year journal. I’m going to make this for my little sister’s 20th birthday.

  31. janine says:

    just super great!! Best wishes from janine, from germany

  32. Edith says:

    This is a great idea if you wanted to store brainstorming ideas in a cute creative way!

  33. Mallory says:

    Great idea! I will definitely be making these to give as gifts this season!

  34. susan says:

    i heart this idea so so much. i tried to do something similar with cereal boxes and recipe cards but i like the perpetual calendar idea much more. i think i will look for different boxes/containers to put mine in. all the women in my family are getting these for xmas this year!! thank you so much for the inspiration. i am blogging it, hope its ok to use you pick and link. if not i will take it down

  35. Shalimar says:

    Love it! I read about it in a magazine a while back and totally forgot about it. Will definitely do!

  36. Dana says:

    This is GREAT!! Dumb question………is there a specific size for the berry bucket? And are there larger ones if I wanted to do the 5×8? Thank you for your help!

  37. Abbie M says:

    this is so cute!!! one question – where did you get the date stamp? cause i love it :)

  38. Barb says:

    I have the same question as AbbieM, I’m surprised it wasn’t asked earlier!

  39. Lynn says:

    The date stamp can be found at Staples or Office Depot.

    And for anyone looking for a more sturdy “berry box” that can survive years of journaling, I just found a white porcelain one at crateandbarrel.com for only $6.95. It’s a “Berry Box Colander”. 5″ square and 2.75″ high. Super cute and definitely on my wish list!!! :)

  40. NEX-5 says:

    Просто мислех, че ще ви капка линия, за да ви кажа, твоя сайт наистина скали! Търси такъв вид информация за дълго време .. Обикновено аз не отговаряш на постове, но аз в този случай. WoW страхотно страхотно.

  41. Lynn C. says:

    I love this! I’ve been keeping calendar journals for several years. How much easier to go back and read this way. Just have to do this. Thanks so much.

  42. Irene says:

    This is such a good idea! I have to start this journal.

  43. jackie says:

    What a great idea! I’m planning to make one for myself to start January 1st – what a great memory maker over the years.

  44. Rachel says:

    This is such a great idea. Good on you for thinking it up – what a creative genius. I’m going to make one for my sister for Christmas. Thanks for sharing it!

  45. Nancy says:

    What a cutie patootie idea! I think I will make one with printed out art that I have done into postcard sise! Thank you for the great inspiration! xoxo

  46. Carolyn says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this idea! After reading your blog post, I made one for myself and have plans to make them as gifts as well. I used recycled greeting cards (good use for those I’d been saving) cut to fit for the dividers. For boxes, I will use burlap covered cardstock boxes (made from a box template found online), with a little decorative ribbon. What a fun and thoughtful treasure! Thanks again!

  47. Kim says:

    Thanks for the Crate & Barrel info, Lynn. Cute! I ordered some.

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