Project: One Page Calendar with Watercolor & Calligraphy

Here’s a project that ticks all the planning, painting and precision boxes! It’s a great handmade gift that keeps on giving every day of the year!

A lot of calendars are printed with each month on a separate page, but having the whole year on one page is handy to glance at for easy planning.

You’ll need just a few basic supplies for this project.

  1. 1 sheet of presentation paper or laser printer paper (not inkjet paper as the calligraphy ink will pool)
  2. 1 sheet of 1/4″ graph paper
  3. Pencil
  4. Ruler
  5. Painter’s tape or washi tape
  6. Dip pen & black India ink or fountain pen or brush pen for calligraphy
  7. Micron 05 pen
  8. Light pad
  9. 4″ x 5″ watercolor painting, sketch or photo

Create a calendar template.

  • On the graph paper, draw (with pencil) 12 boxes for each of the months.
  • There will be 3 rows of 4 boxes.
  • Each box will be 7 squares across and 8 squares down.

Position the paper on the template.

  • On the light pad, position the graph paper so that all 12 boxes are centered on the light pad.
  • Position the presentation paper overtop of the graph paper so that it is centered in the bottom section of the presentation paper, making sure that you leave 4″ at the top of the paper for the watercolor, drawing or photo. (if you don’t have a lightpad, you can tape the graph paper to a window, and then position the presentation paper over the graph paper and tape into place, then write the calendar months and days on)
  • Use painter’s tape or washi tape to secure the pages in place on the light pad.

Write the calendar months and days into the template blocks.

  • Turn the lightpad on to reveal the month blocks on the graph paper.
  • With a calligraphy pen, brush pen or black marker, write the months and 1st initial for the days of the week on the first row (January, February, March, April).
  • Then, move to the 2nd row of blocks and continue with May, June, July, August as well as the days of the week.
  • Then, move to the 3rd row of blocks and finish with September, October, November and December as well as the days of the week.
  • Working on 1 row at a time ensures that you won’t smudge the ink before it’s dry!
  • Wait for a few minutes to make sure the calligraphy ink is dry.
  • Write the number days of the month for each month, making sure each number is lined up under the proper day of the week for the year you are working on.
  • For the numbers, I right justified them on the right side of the graph squares.
  • Once the ink is completely dry, remove the tape slowly from the pages.

Attach watercolor painting, sketch or photo.

  1. Center a 4″ x 5″ art piece of your choice at the top of the calendar and secure into place with an adhesive tape runner.
  2. Place the calendar into a thermal plastic sleeve and insert into a thermal laminator, or take to an office supply or UPS store for laminating.
  3. Done!

I hope you enjoyed learning about this process for making a handmade calendar with your own art work. It’s a gift that everyone can use every day of the year!

This project was inspired by classes developed by 3 of my favorite Skillshare teachers! Anne Butera (calendar design), Rosalie Haizlett (watercolor) and Nicki Hess (calligraphy with a dip pen).

I would love to see your calendars, let me know in the comments what you create!

As a thank you for discovering and reading this blog post, you are welcome to download the finished calendar for printing and gift-giving!

Download my sunflower 2022 calendar:


#nature #watercolor #calendar #art #sketch #photo #year #lightpad #calligraphy #ink

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