Switching your print on demand supplier? Get in touch with us here

1. History of calendars

How to make your own calendar step-by-step

Creating a personalized calendar is not only a practical endeavor but also an opportunity to infuse a bit of personality into your daily routine. 

Instead of settling for store-bought options that might not fully capture one's style or needs, crafting your own custom photo calendars provides a canvas to blend functionality with personal aesthetics. 

From choosing your own photos to marking significant dates, a tailor-made calendar becomes an intimate reflection of the creator's life and preferences. 

In this guide, we'll journey through a step-by-step process, ensuring that by the end, you'll have a unique calendar style that perfectly resonates with your essence.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • The history of calendars dates back to ancient civilizations, evolving over time. Modern calendars come in various forms like wall, desk, and pocket versions. 

  • Craft a Custom Calendar by deciding the purpose, theme, layout, and color palette, then adding personalized images and special dates.

  • Gelato's platform simplifies the design process with a calendar template, image uploads, custom date markings, and a preview function. You can order and await delivery right from the platform.

  • Gelato offers a print on demand platform, enabling artists and entrepreneurs to sell custom calendars globally, with advantages like reduced shipping times and broad ecommerce compatibility.

History of calendars

Did you know that the concept of calendars dates back thousands of years? The ancient Egyptians were one of the first civilizations to develop a calendar system around 3000 BCE. Their calendar was based on the cycles of the Nile River, which played a crucial role in their agricultural practices.

As civilizations evolved, so did calendars. The ancient Romans, for example, introduced the Julian calendar in 45 BCE, which was based on a 365-day year with leap years. This calendar served as the standard for many centuries until the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1582.

Today, calendars come in various shapes and sizes. There are different types of calendars available, such as wall calendars, desk calendars, and pocket calendars. Each has its own unique features and benefits, so choose one that best suits your needs and preferences.

Wall calendars are perfect for those who prefer a visual representation of their schedule. They can be hung on a wall in your office or home, allowing you to easily glance at your upcoming events and appointments. Some wall calendars even come with beautiful illustrations or motivational quotes to add a touch of inspiration to your day.

Crafting a custom calendar: Key steps and considerations

Creating a custom calendar can be both an exciting and daunting task, especially if it's your first time. Whether it's for personal use, as a personalized gift, or for business purposes, a customized calendar requires a harmonious blend of design, planning, and choice of materials. Here are some general steps and considerations to guide you through the process:

Design considerations

  • Purpose & theme: Before starting, identify the purpose of your calendar. Is it a promotional item for your business, a personal family calendar, or a special gift? Your theme could range from nature and landscapes to family photos or corporate branding.

  • Layout & grid style: Decide whether you want a traditional grid, a list layout, or something more abstract. The layout should be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

  • Color palette: Choose colors that not only resonate with your theme but are also easy on the eyes. If it's a corporate calendar, you might want to stick with your brand colors.

Selecting imagery

  • Quality: Always opt for high-resolution images. They translate better when printed, ensuring clarity and vibrancy.

  • Relevance: Ensure the images correlate with the months or theme. For instance, a snow-capped mountain might be ideal for December, while a sunny beach could represent July.

  • Licensing: If you're not using personal photos, ensure you have the rights to use the images, especially if the calendar is for commercial use.

Noting important dates

  • Standard dates: Incorporate common holidays and observances relevant to the calendar's intended audience.

  • Personal or corporate dates: Depending on its use, you might want to add personal events like birthdays and anniversaries or corporate events like product launches or annual meetings.

  • Special markings: Consider using icons, different colors, or stickers to highlight specific dates, making them stand out.

Choosing the right paper or material

  • Purpose-driven: If it's a wall calendar meant for writing, a matte finish might be preferable. For a desk calendar that's more decorative, a glossy finish could be ideal.

  • Durability: For a year-long use, select a sturdy paper type. Thicker paper stocks or card stocks (ideally 250 gsm) can prevent wear and tear, especially for desk calendars that might be handled frequently.

  • Sustainability: If environmental concerns are on your radar, consider eco-friendly materials like recycled paper or materials sourced from sustainable forests.

  • Finish: Depending on the aesthetic you're aiming for, you can choose between matte, semi-gloss, or glossy finishes. While each has a different feel and look, semi-gloss offers the best of both worlds.

Creating a custom calendar requires a thoughtful approach to design, content, and material choice. By focusing on these key steps and considerations, you can craft a calendar that's not only functional but also a reflection of your personal or corporate brand. Whether you're gifting it, selling it, or using it yourself, the result will be a piece you're proud to display year-round.

Creating a custom calendar with Gelato: A step-by-step guide

Designing a custom calendar tailored to your needs has never been easier with platforms like Gelato. Renowned for its user-friendly interface and expansive printing network, Gelato streamlines the process from ideation to physical creation. Ready to dive in? Let’s get started!

  1. Log in & navigate to the calendar design: Sign in to your Gelato account. From the dashboard, click on ‘Products,’ then click on ‘Calendars’, and select the calendar you want to personalize. 

  2. Decide on calendar size and orientation: Gelato offers flexibility in terms of selecting size and orientation. Size: Select from a variety of dimensions suitable for your intended use. Orientation: Choose between horizontal and vertical calendars. Binding type: Choose between ‘wire o top’ and ‘wire with hook top’.

  3. ‘Start selling' or 'Buy for yourself’: Choose either option depending on your goals. But before that, don’t forget to check the quantity discounts applicable to your product.

  4. Upload images: Use the drag-and-drop function or browse your device to upload photos. You can also source images from Instagram, Facebook, or Google Drive. Gelato's editor will indicate if image quality might be problematic for printing. You can add a unique image to the front, back, and each month of the calendar year. 

  5. Personalize the design: Adjust fonts, add layers, and experiment with different grid styles. Utilize Gelato's graphics to embellish your calendar. Explore several other personalization options to create a one-of-a-kind calendar that's both practical and visually appealing. 

  6. Preview & adjust: Don't rush; perfection takes time. Use Gelato’s preview function to view the calendar in its entirety. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure each page aligns with your vision.

  7. Place your order: Once satisfied with the design, proceed to the checkout. Choose your preferred shipping method. Remember, Gelato's global network often ensures local printing, reducing shipping times.

  8. Await delivery & enjoy: In no time, your custom calendar will be in your hands, ready to grace your walls.

With Gelato's intuitive platform, crafting a custom calendar with your favorite photos becomes a joyful creative endeavor rather than a daunting task. Whether it's a personal project, a thoughtful gift, or a branding exercise, Gelato ensures quality and personalization, making each day of the year a bit more special.

Ensuring your custom calendar stays durable and visually appealing all year long

After putting in the time and effort to create a custom calendar, it's essential that it remains a source of joy and utility throughout the year. Here are some tips to ensure its durability and visual appeal: 

  1. Protective coatingLamination: Consider laminating your calendar, especially the cover. This provides an additional layer of protection against spills, stains, and wear.UV coating: A UV protective coating can prevent the colors on your calendar from fading, especially if placed in direct sunlight.

  2. Reinforced binding: Ensure that the binding, whether spiral or stitched, is reinforced. This prevents pages from falling out after frequent flipping.

  3. Handling with care: Advise anyone using the calendar to turn pages gently. Rough handling can lead to tears or the pages becoming detached. If the calendar is meant for writing, always use the appropriate writing instrument. For instance, if it's semi-gloss paper, use a permanent marker that won't smudge.

  4. Optimal placement: Place wall calendars away from high-humidity areas to prevent warping or mold. Similarly, keep them away from direct sunlight to prevent fading. Ensure desk calendars have ample space and aren't placed under heavy objects that can bend or crease them.

  5. Monthly maintenance: At the beginning or end of each month, take a moment to clean your calendar gently. A soft cloth can be used to wipe away any dust or grime.

  6. Storage: If you're not immediately using your calendar, or you order multiple copies, store them in a cool, dry place. Keep them flat to prevent bending or curling of the edges.

  7. Use protective holders for desk Calendars: If you have a tent or flip-style desk calendar, consider placing it in a protective holder or stand. This prevents direct wear from contact with the desk surface.

  8. Embrace minimalism: While it's tempting to stick notes, photos, or other items to your calendar, too much added weight or bulk can lead to quicker wear. If you must add items, opt for lightweight materials.

Your custom photo calendar represents your creativity, memories, or brand identity. By taking these measures, you ensure it remains a functional and beautiful addition to your space throughout the entire year. A well-preserved personalized photo calendar can even serve as a keepsake, allowing you to revisit cherished moments or milestones in the future.

Selling unique calendars through Gelato's print on demand

For artists and entrepreneurs, calendars aren't just tools for tracking days; they're canvases for showcasing creativity and building a brand. Leveraging a global print on demand platform like Gelato can help monetize this creativity by allowing you to easily sell custom calendars and create personalized calendars.

Gelato's print on demand platform offers a streamlined, risk-free way for artists and entrepreneurs to venture into the custom calendar market. With its global reach, ease of use, and quality assurance, turning your creative designs into a profitable business has never been easier. 

Gelato's brilliance lies in its ability to merge global reach with localized production. Whether it's a startup looking to minimize initial costs or a well-established brand aiming to expand its global footprint efficiently, Gelato's approach to cutting down shipping times and costs while maintaining quality makes it a game-changer in the ecommerce landscape. Our global alliance of print partners facilitates localized production of various products, including t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, and wall art

By leveraging POD services, businesses and artists can effortlessly cater to the diverse cultural nuances of different regions. Gelato's compatibility with major ecommerce platforms makes it incredibly user-friendly for businesses. So, sign up for Gelato today.

How to make your own calendar step-by-step: FAQs

How can I ensure my images look good when printed?

When it comes to making photo calendars, always use high-resolution images, preferably 300 DPI or above. Before finalizing, preview the design to ensure clarity and vibrancy.

Can I add personal dates, like birthdays or anniversaries, to my calendar?

Absolutely! One of the advantages of creating a custom calendar is the ability to highlight personal significant dates, events, or milestones.

How do I choose the right layout or grid style for my calendar?

Consider the number of images you want in your calendar. As far as grids are concerned, you can choose what appeals to you: bordered, borderless, or one with a dark background.

What if I don't have design experience? Are there tools to help?

Yes, Gelato's free online calendar maker provides easy-to-use calendar templates that guide you through the design process, ensuring professional results for your personalized photo calendars. 


Next steps

Start selling products with Gelato