A family CD case desk calendar is a fun, frugal homemade Christmas/holiday gift idea. In an attempt to organize, I put my music CDs and movie DVDs into zipper binders. I had piles upon piles of CD and DVD jewel cases left. I didn’t want to throw them out, so I decided to see if I could make a nice gift for the holidays.
Why I Love This CD Case Desk Calendar
This calendar is really cool because it fits inside of a CD jewel case, which is a great way to recycle all those awful cases. (Update: Although, CDs seem to now be en vogue again …_) I also burned a music CD for my family of Christmas songs for the fam to enjoy.
The best part is that you can flip the CD case around and it can display propped up. One of the uncles reported that he kept his calendar at his office desk to make him smile each day. Everyone loved being featured in their month, too. I tried to pair people with their birthdays, but it doesn’t always work out. The Husband and the Eldest Kid, for example, have the same birthday.
As an alternative, try making memories of past years of that particular month. July, for example, could be a Fourth of July party. Or Valentine’s Day. Or an anniversary. And, of course Christmas and Thanksgiving!
CD Case Desk Calendar FAQs
- What Is a CD Case Desk Calendar?
A CD case desk calendar is a unique, homemade gift that repurposes old CD jewel cases into a charming and functional calendar. Each month’s page features a photograph, sized to fit within a CD case, which can be displayed on a desk. It’s a crafty way to recycle and a thoughtful gift, especially for the holidays.
- Where Can I Find CD Jewel Cases for This Project?
If you don’t have a stash of CD or DVD jewel cases at home, you can easily find them at any office supply store. They’re typically located near blank CDs and DVDs. You can also just buy them off of Amazon.
- What Size Should the Photos Be for the Calendar?
Ideally, photos should be printed at 5-inches x 5-inches. This size allows for a little trimming to fit perfectly inside the 4.75-inch square of the CD jewel case. You can print these photos at places like CVS, Walgreens, or Walmart for convenience.
- Is There an Economical Way to Print the Photos?
The Husband was great and printed out all the pictures, and the kids and I cut them out and inserted them into the CD jewel cases. But if you need to save money, you can print four images on a standard 8-1/2-inch x 11-inch paper (on PDF), which requires three sheets per jewel case. However, I put 4 on a standard 8-1/2-inch x 11-inch paper (on PDF) and then printed it that way. It will take 3 sheets per jewel case. It’s also cheaper to print it out by color at Staples this way.
- How Did You Decide Which Family Members to Feature Each Month?
I was lucky enough that I had 12 members of the family, to feature for the 12 months of the year, but I made a rule that the youngest get displayed first and the oldest get bumped. We had enough people, but the youngest are the most important for photographs, right?
- What Makes This Calendar Unique Compared to Traditional Calendars?
This calendar stands out because it not only repurposes CD jewel cases but also allows for a neat display. You can flip the CD case to make it stand up, creating a cool and unique desk accessory. Plus, the personal touch of family photos adds warmth and sentimentality.
- Can I Customize the Calendar with Additional Features?
Absolutely! For an extra special touch, you could burn a CD with songs, like Christmas music, to accompany the calendar. This adds a personal and thematic element, making the gift even more special.
- Is This a Suitable Gift for New Parents?
Definitely! For new parents, you could customize the calendar with a photo of their child for each month of the year. It’s a thoughtful and beautiful way to cherish those early memories.
- Would This Calendar Make a Good Christmas Gift?
I just love, love, love the way this used CD case calendar came out. It’s personal, homemade, and shows a lot of thought and effort. It’s not just a calendar; it’s a collection of memories and a practical piece of decor. Some of my family members love them so much that they keep them after the year is over.
Step-by-Step Instructions with Canva (Free)
This is an eco-friendly way to upcycle and reuse CD album cases.
1. On the homepage, type in “calendar” in the search bar.
I chose one of the full year calendars that were horizontal. Some of the ones that I chose didn’t let me resize properly, but this one did.
After I created one, I turned all the font black and set the background to transparent.
2. Go back up top, and type in “cd cover” in the search bar.
Tbh, it doesn’t matter which you choose.
3. In the CD album template, delete everything.
4. Drag a photo into the background of the CD album.
You can resize the image if you want to get the closeup you’d like. Keep in mind that you will be trimming around the edges to make the photo to fit inside the jewel case.
N.B. I chose one of their stock photos. Isn’t that baby just adorable?
5. Go to lines & shapes and click on a square box.
6. Resize to the bottom, make the color white, and set the transparency to 60%.
You’ll notice that I made the box bigger than the dimensions of the image. That’s because I hate the snapping on Canva, and I always seem to offset things by an annoying 1 pixel. This solves the problem.
7. Go back to the calendar and grab the month you want. Copy and then paste into the CD album.
It’s so little!
8. I deleted the month, grouped the calendar part, and resized it.
Hint: if you click on one of the corners, it will select the entire grouped item.
Don’t forget that you will need to cut around the edge, so don’t put the calendar right up against it!
See how I left plenty of space around the edges?
9. Now just add the month and download your beautiful creation!
The Final: A Beautiful CD Jewel Case Calendar
If this was my baby, I’d make all the calendar months to be her pictures. That might be a great present for the new parent, too, if you have a picture from each month of the year for a child.