Recycle last year’s calendar into Handmade Gift Tags

Recycle last year's calendar into handmade gift tags
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Calendar photography transformed into handmade gift tags

New year, new wall calendar, but what do you do with the old one? Every year I feel like I could be doing something productive and craftsy with the beautiful images that seemed destined for the recycle bin.  One thing you can do is recycle last year’s calendar into handmade gift tags.

Easy to make, these gift tags feature last year’s calendar on the front side.  The reverse side is of colored card paper, ideal for writing personal messages.

 Recycle last year's calendar into handmade gift tags

What you’ll need for the project

This project will take about twenty minutes and needs a few tools that you might already have.


Last year’s calendar
Spray Adhesive/ Spray Mount
Craft paper
Metal ruler
Cutting tool
Hole puncher


Spray Adhesive vs. Glue

Select the images you’d like to use from your calendar and match them against the colour of card/craft paper you’d like to have on the other side. To get them to stick together without causing wrinkling or damage in the paper you’ll need to use a Spray Adhesive.

If you use an ordinary glue it’s very likely that you’ll have streaking and damage coming through from one or both sides of your gift tags.

 Recycle last year's calendar into handmade gift tags

Step 1: Stick the calendar artwork to the card paper

Follow the directions on the bottle and spray one side of the card paper you’d like to use. When the adhesive is ready (you’ll probably have to wait about 30 seconds), stick the paper onto the back side of the calendar image you’d like to use. Press it down firmly and then leave it for a minute or so to form a bond.

 Recycle last year's calendar into handmade gift tags

Step 2: Cut the gift tags out

Using your Metal ruler and Retractable Razor Knife, measure and cut the paper into gift tag sized cards. The ones in the image below are 2-3/4″ by 1-1/2″. When you flip all of the cards over you have an abstract cut out of the original image. If it includes lots of bold colours or detail, all the better for each gift tag.


 Recycle last year's calendar into handmade gift tags

Step 3: Punch the hole

A simple hole puncher and pair of scissors can be used to create a hole and to soften sharp corners. The holes I punched into the cards are in the centre but you could put them at the corner depending on your preference.

 Recycle last year's calendar into handmade gift tags

Garden gift tags to use throughout the year

This upcycling project will take you less than twenty minutes start to finish and will keep you in stock of high-quality garden gift tags all year long. Don’t you love an easy project that gives materials a second life?

 Recycle last year's calendar into handmade gift tags

Alternatively, create folded gift cards

Another idea is to create gift cards – double the size of the pieces cut out for this piece. For example to 2-3/4″ by 3″. These small folded gift cards can be attached with ribbon to gifts and gift bags.

Measure where you’d like the fold, which in this example would presumably be 1-1/2″ in, and use your metal ruler and cutting tool to score a fine line down that folding point. Not all the way through but about half-way through. When you fold along that line the fold will be crisp and professional looking.

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2 Discussion to this post

  1. Heather says:

    What a great idea! I have the cutest calendar from last year that would make great gift tags

  2. Very neat idea – thank you for sharing!

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