What is a Perpetual Calendar? Calendar Making Project for Children

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A perpetual calendar is a fun gift that you can make yourself. What is it? It is a calendar that shows the days of the year without designating the year, or which day of the week dates fall on. This way the calendar can be used for any year.

Webster’s dictionary defines a perpetual calendar as a calendar mathematically so arranged that the correct day of the week can be determined for any given date over a wide range of years. It also refers to a desk calendar adjustable for each of many years. In this article, you will find instructions for the second type of calendar.

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What is a Perpetual Calendar? Image by woodworkingformeremortals.com

Perpetual calendars usually have themes and are usually bound on a spiral so that the page can be flipped over each day, and so that the base acts as a stand to hold the calendar upright. The perpetual calendar is usually a desktop item rather than a wall hanging.

How a Regular Calendar Works

Image by blog.arduino.cc

A calendar shows all twelve months of the year and is laid out in weeks. The name of the month and the week days are all written across the top. This is a simple way for the calendar to be arranged so that you can easily see what day of the week each date falls on. For example, Christmas this year will fall on a Tuesday.

Each month starts on a different day of the week so particular dates should fall on different days of the week. Some holidays fall on a certain day of week like Thanksgiving which is always on the fourth Thursday no matter when that falls. Easter is always on a Sunday. Others go by date. Christmas is December twenty-fifth.

Making A Perpetual Calendar

Let’s Talk Paper

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Making a perpetual calendar will require a good amount. Image by vikalpah.com

Making a perpetual calendar will require a good amount of heavy paper Since the calendar will consist of 184 pages, and you will not want to cut these all by hand, consider purchasing tag paper that is already cut into a good size.

Unlined 4X6 index cards will work. These can be white or come in colors. Choose colors that go with the theme.

Let’s Talk Theme

Waldorf family perpetual calendar  WR
Waldorf family perpetual calendar. Image by myriadonline.co.uk

Choose a theme of interest to the person who will be using the calendar. Does that person love old cars, birds, dogs and cats, airplanes, horses, flowers, boats, trees, or a sport? Realize that some subjects are much harder to come up with ideas for than others. You will need quotations on the subject or pictures of items to attach to each page—three hundred and sixty-five of them! That grows to a huge amount as you work.

The theme of flowers, for example, will be simpler than one about daises, say. So chose a general theme rather than a specific one.

Let’s Talk Binding

creative calendar ideas
Creative calendar ideas. Image by vikalpah.com


You will need to come up with a way to bind your calendar together while still giving yourself a way to flip the pages. You will need a hole punch to punch two or three holes evenly spaced across the top one sixth of each page. Use metal rings to clip the pages together after you are finished decorating each and writing the date one each.

Let’s Talk Stand

You will need to build your calendar with a built-in stand. Cut a piece of white poster board 10X6 inches. Punch holes in the top and the bottom of this piece which line up with the holes you have punched in your index cards. Fold the cardboard in half at five inches from the top of each end. Fold an additional seam one inch from the center fold of the cardboard. This 2-inch piece will fold out to form a base to set the calendar up on.

Let’s Decorate

black and white calendar
black and white calendar. Image by vikalpah.com

Decorate each page by writing the days on each page bottom or top however you prefer. Look at a wall calendar to learn the number of days in each month and add February 19 as the calendar may be used in Leap Year. Draw pictures on each page or cut photos from magazines. Use stickers or designs to ornament each page. Add quotes from famous people or Bible verses. You might choose to add sayings or bits of poetry to each page. Most perpetual calendars use inspirational sayings or quotations and facts work well too. Use your favorites to design a cover for the calendar.

Let’s Assemble the Calendar

DIY round perpetual calendar free template
DIY round perpetual calendar free template. Image by vikalpah.com

This may well be the most difficult part of the project. All the pages must have holes for the rings to fit through. First put on the cover. The second page may have To: and From: lines. The third page should be the January first page. At July first the calendar will have to be flipped to reveal July second to the end of December. The stand should fit at the end of December.

A perpetual calendar takes some work and imagination to design, decorate, and finish, but it makes a nice gift which will be a year-round encouragement to someone that you are searching for just the right gift for.


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