You guys! Hiiiii! Thank y’all so much for all of your kind words and comments on Instagram and Facebook about my home office! I really love this space and it’s been getting a ton of use. You guys have been asking for a tutorial on my DIY acrylic calendar, so I’m thrilled to share it with you today!
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When I first spotted this amazing acrylic calendar on Apartment Therapy, I was absolutely smitten. Because I’m a DIYer to the core, I knew I could create my own version. I used my Silhouette Cameo (electronic cutting machine) to do most of the heavy lifting for this project.
Side note: I designed and built the desk with hidden printer storage. Here’s the tutorial.
Alright, so let’s get started. To make this DIY acrylic calendar, you will need:
- 30″ x 36″ Acrylic Sheet
- Oracal 631 or 651 Adhesive Vinyl
- Silhouette Transfer Paper
- 4 – 1″ x 1.2″ Stainless Steel Sign Standoffs
- Chalk Marker
- Metallic Gold Spray Paint
- Painter’s Tape
- 1-1/4″ Drywall Screws and Anchors or 2″ Wood Screws
- Cordless Drill
- 5/16″ Drill Bit
- Phillips Head Bit
- Silhouette Cameo
- Safety Glasses
The acrylic sheet will come with a protective film on it. Don’t peel this film off until you’re ready to apply the vinyl decals. Measure and mark where you’re going to drill the holes in each corner. I measured about an inch and a half from the edge and covered the area with some painter’s tape on both sides.
Next, clamp the acrylic sheet to a flat surface (I used my workbench). By supporting the underside of the sheet, you’re not only stabilizing your project, but you’re minimizing the risk of tear-out.
With a cordless drill fitted with a 5/16″ drill bit, drill a hole all the way through, peel the tape off, and clean up any ragged edges by scraping off the excess plastic that was removed (it’s easy to do with your fingernail or a butter knife). Do this for all four corners.
Check to see if your screws will go through the holes easily. If not, widen the hole slightly with the drill. The holes can be bigger than the screws – this will allow you some wiggle room and will make it easier when hanging the calendar on the wall later.
Now it’s time to prepare your vinyl decals. I used my Silhouette Design program to design the months, days, and calendar boxes. I wanted to apply the decal to the backside of the calendar so that when I wiped the calendar down every month, the decals wouldn’t get in the way. Because of this, I had to mirror my design. It’s a little tricky to re-wire your brain to think backwards and read from right to left and I probably made it much harder than it needed to be. I’m sure the decals would have been fine on the front, but I tend to overthink things. Hindsight is 20/20, right?
As the machine is cutting the decals out, prepare your calendar. I used painter’s tape and taped out a grid on the acrylic sheet so that it would be easier to line the decals up. You can also use the chalk marker to draw out a grid. It was challenging enough thinking backwards – I didn’t need to worry about alignment and spacing as well. My lady brain just can’t handle that amount of multi-tasking.
Then I used the transfer paper to transfer the vinyl decal to the acrylic sheet. There are countless tutorials online explaining how to cut and apply adhesive vinyl, but here’s a helpful video.
The standoffs came in stainless steel, so I spray-painted them gold. Finally, it was time to hang the calendar up on the wall. I held up the calendar in place on the wall, then marked where I would drill the holes in the wall. You can either use a stud finder to locate the wall studs and use 2″ wood screws to secure the calendar to the wall or you can use drywall anchors and drywall screws if you’re drilling into drywall alone.
I chose to use anchors and drywall screws because the studs didn’t align with the placement of my calendar. First, I drilled a hole in the wall and inserted the plastic anchor. Then I inserted the drywall screw through the barrel of the standoff and drove the screw through the barrel into the wall anchor.
Once the barrel is secured to the wall, hold your calendar in place and screw the caps in. Be sure not to over-tighten the cap because you may risk cracking the acrylic and then you’ll have to choke someone out because all of your hard work has been wasted.
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you would have seen the photo below, with my calendar featuring pink vinyl decals. The most difficult part of this project is lining up the decals perfectly. Don’t look too closely, but I missed the mark on more than one occasion here, which drove the perfectionist in me c-c-c-crazy. I ended up peeling off all the pink decals and starting over with white (because I ran out of pink). I definitely prefer the pink, but I just couldn’t live with the wonky-ness.
I certainly want to set you up for success, but I must warn you – this DIY acrylic calendar project is incredibly tedious and time-consuming! #keepingitreal
Good morning and happy Leap Day! I recently bought a new computer and didn’t have a desk to put it on so, of course, I had to build one! I teamed up with @build_something to bring you the plans for this DIY desk with hidden printer storage. It’s on the blog today! Click the link in my bio. @liketoknow.it www.liketk.it/2cVZG #liketkit
SHOP MY WORKSPACE
- DIY Desk with Printer Cabinet
- DIY Scrap Wood Hexagon Planter
- DIY Acrylic Calendar
- Philippians 3:14 Sign
- Arrow Trio (spray-painted metallic gold)
- Desk Lamp
- Desk Chair
- Area Rug
Want to see how I made the easiest desk drawer organizers ever? Check out the tutorial here.
What do you think? Do you think you’ll tackle this DIY acrylic calendar?
Thanks for reading friends! Be sure to PIN IT so you don’t forget it!
Hi Jen , I have an etsy shop where I sale DIY decals. I had a customer ask me to create a calendar for her. She was using your tutorial for the acrylic calendar, but wanted a different style. I love how it turned out. When I have customers ask me about creating the calendar, I use the link to this tutorial. Your office space is great. I have created decals that look like your calendar. I am wondering if your calendar is where they got their inspiration. Love it.
Cool! I often get questions about my acrylic calendar and if I sell the decals (I don’t), so I’m glad to know which direction to point them to now! Thanks!
I would love to have the svg of what you used for your calendar.
Joanna V says
What thickness was your acrylic sheet?
Chelsey Dalmer says
Would you be willing to share the font and font size of your calendar decals? I have a cricut and would love to make this!
I’m sorry, I no longer have those files.
I absolutely love this!! Definitely want to try it myself. Like you, I way over analyze lol! That said, do you think it would work to do the decals on the front of a piece of acrylic; then sandwich another blank piece overtop of it? So then it would be two pieces thick. But easier than needing to figure out how to mirror it all. Thoughts? I’ve never worked with acrylic or vinyl so appreciate any tips!