Els van de Burgt Studio

It’s Always Calendar Time

December 28, 2015


By Judi Kauffman

The theme for the December 2015 Designers’ Challenge is an item that is near and dear to my heart: Calendars! I love having calendars all around the house. At any given time there are at least five or six in various spots. So why is it so difficult for me to remember what day it is? Oh well…

As soon as we got the Challenge theme I knew I wanted to put some of the new Els van de Burgt Studio ‘Through the Lens’ 6×6 papers into my project. And I knew right away that I wanted to design a calendar to hang on the bulletin board next to my computer desk, the one I look at many times a day. I picked the Metal Series pack.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 9.51.17 PM

If you want to make a simpler version of this calendar all you need to do is tape two square sheets together, reinforce the top and bottom with contrasting strips to add stability, top with a calendar, punch a hole at the top for hanging. Done!

I took things a lot further as you’ll see in the instructions. Pattern-on-pattern and lots of embellishments is my idea of heaven…

Tip: Take your time. Arrange, rotate, and rearrange the papers till you get a combination you want. Be very INTENTIONAL in your choices, how you position the papers, and what you do for embellishments.


*Instead of a calendar with all of the months shown at once, use a calendar pad with one month showing at a time.

*Go for a jumbo calendar and use four squares instead of two with a finished size of 12” x 12” instead of 6” wide x 12.5” long.

*Create smaller calendars using Tags & More die sets for shaped backgrounds.


  1. Choose 4 or more ‘Through the Lens’ papers that coordinate and please your eye. Choose 2 papers to leave whole; one for the top half of the calendar, the other for the bottom half. If you want to duplicate my project precisely as shown, choose the two pieces from the Metal Series pack that star in my project – one with a dark band that looks like a rusty old iron chain made of bent nails, one with a bent rusty metal piece with curves and twists. Both of these elements are oriented so they are strong horizontal bands. (With papers in hand it will be easy to match what I did.)


  1. Cut a 4” x 6” piece from another paper and back with Clear Double Sided Adhesive Sheet. Cut the rectangle into three strips: one 1” x 6” strip and two 1.5” x 6” strips.
  1. Use the 1” x 6” strip on the back to join the two 6” x 6” squares. This strip becomes a decorative element on the back of the finished calendar.
  1. Score and fold the 1.5” x 6” strips lengthwise. Use them as a binding to reinforce the top and bottom of the calendar (like binding on a quilt or blanket). Overlap ONLY .25” of the main squares so very little of the pattern is covered.
  1. Mat a 3.5” x 4.5” calendar with a double border made from two more of the Metal Series papers.


  1. Place the joined papers on a cutting mat and use a craft knife to carefully fussy-cut some of the curved areas at the bottom of the dark metal section (midway down the top paper) so the matted calendar can be tucked beneath it as shown in the photos above and below. Use Clear Double Sided Adhesive Tape to secure the calendar in place.


7. Back three .5” x 6” pieces of Fire Opal Gemstone Shimmer Sheetz and one 2.5” x 1.75” piece of Gold Metallic Shimmer Sheetz with Clear Double Sided Adhesive Tape. Also cut another 2.5” x 1.75” piece of Gold Metallic Shimmer Sheetz (not backed with Adhesive).

8. Die cut three Ribbon strips from Fire Opal Gemstone – two with narrow rectangular holes, one with oval holes. Keep the little pieces that fall out of the negative spaces in the die on a piece of waxed paper or a non-stick craft sheet. See photo above: You will be using the longer narrow pieces to create faux staples in step 9.) There are 5 dies in the Ribbons 1 set, only 2 used for this project. A Metal Adaptor Plate is required for die cutting Shimmer Sheetz. (Reminder: *Review Els van de Burgt’s YouTube tutorial if you are new to this technique, the cutting side of the die must face the metal plate with the Shimmer Sheetz facing UP in between the die and plate.)


Calendar-F9. Lightly sand the adhesive-backed Gold Metallic Shimmer Sheetz to tone down the shine. Die cut one clipboard-style hanger piece from this Shimmer Sheetz and a second one from the Gold piece that does not have adhesive. Attach the Gold pieces (back to back) at the top of the calendar, centered, as shown in the photo below – adhesive-backed piece on the front. (The clipboard hanger piece is from the Tags & More 8/Lattice die set. If you have other Tags & More die sets, die cut a .25” hole and substitute a different decorative reinforcement to surround the hole at the top of the calendar).


  1. Add three pieces of Gold Foil Chevron Washi Tape measuring 1.25” – 1.5”, randomly cut, to the top and bottom bands and one piece on each side of the calendar. To create the faux staples, add lots of the little rectangular pieces of adhesive-backed Fire Opal Gemstone Shimmer Sheetz (that were set aside in step 7) between the pieces of Washi Tape along the top and bottom bands, and around the outside of the matted calendar. The tape and faux staples appear to be holding the project together but they’re purely decorative! (Keep the little oval leftover pieces for another project.)



I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and get busy making your own calendars with ‘faux staples’ and Shimmer Sheetz Ribbons! Don’t forget to check the Elizabeth Craft Designs Blog on the 31st for more December Designers’ Challenge calendar theme projects.


Elizabeth Craft Designs –

TTL001 Through the Lens – Metal Series 6×6 Paper Pack (Coming soon)

SS0218 Fire Opal Shimmer Sheetz

961 Tags & More 8 – Lattice

1122 Ribbons 1 (Coming soon)

Clear Double Sided Adhesive Tape (.5” wide or wider), or Sheets


Other –

Foil Chevron Washi Tape (BoBunny)

Craft knife and self-healing cutting mat (for fussy-cutting)

Paper trimmer (or metal ruler and self-healing cutting mat)


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  • judi kauffman December 29, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Thank you, Bibi. That’s one of the things I like best about calendars: Useful AND fun to look at. It’s the reason I’ve always had several in different parts of my home.

  • Bibi, Rubber Dance Stamps December 28, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Not only is this calendar practical, but also very decorative. The new papers are nothing short of AWESOME and I really like your calendar with all its bits and bobs. Great job, Judi!

  • Judi Kauffman December 28, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    Thanks, Debbie. I’m glad you like the project and the papers are so much fun!

  • debbie December 28, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    FABULOUS project Judi. I love it and I love the new ECD papers too!

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