Updated: Nov 14
I wanted an acrylic, plexiglass calendar but I didn't want to spend 300-ish dollars on one so I chose to make my own. The photo below is the completed calendar.
-- Read more about the most recent update I made here.--
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Below is the wall in my hallway where the calendar will hang as well as a quick, iPhone sketch of my plan. Based on the size of my wall, I chose a 30 inch by 36 inch piece of plexiglass. I bought it pre-cut at Home Depot. You can most likely get a custom piece cut at your local hardware store or glass shop.
pencil or sharpie
drill (this set is my fav)
step bit (found at Harbor Freight)
speed square or measuring tape
scrap wood (strong enough to drill on)
The first step was to mark and drill holes for the sign stand offs. I based the size of the hole I needed on the sign stand off screw size. Drilling holes in plexiglass can be tricky. I made sure to let the drill do the work without pushing too hard so the plexiglass wouldn't crack. I used dish soap to lubricate the step bit for each hole. After putting two layers of painter's tape on each corner, I made marks 1 3/8 inches in from the corners. This is where my sign stand offs go. Once the corners were marked, I clamped the plexiglass to a table with several scrap boards between it and the table. This gave the plexiglass a stable base to drill on. I made sure to clamp the plexiglass and the boards slightly offset so if the bit went through the scrap boards, it would not damage my table. I made sure to leave the protective plastic on the plexiglass throughout the whole process.
With the holes drilled, I held up the plexiglass on the wall, checked for level and marked the holes.
I pre-drilled the marks I made and then screwed in the sign stand offs. I followed up with a test hang to make sure everything lined up correctly. After my plexiglass was ready to hang on the wall, I created my calendar design graphic.
I used a combination of photoshop and Canva to create the graphic in a way that I could puzzle piece it together since the whole graphic would be too large for a 12" x 24" cutting mat. This was by far the most complicated part of the whole project. (The graphic creation process would need a whole separate tutorial so I will just leave it at 'complicated'. If you have questions, feel free to email me or leave a comment & I will try to help however I can.)
After I finished my calendar design, I loaded my mat and set my Cricut to cutting.
*NOTE: I wanted my design on the wall side of the plexiglass, so I mirrored my cuts.*
I am working on getting a file together that will be available for purchase soon.
After the Cricut "kiss-cut" the vinyl, I weeded out the negative space of the vinyl that was not part of the graphic. Kiss-cut means that the blade only cut deep enough to go through the vinyl and not the backing. Weeding wasn't too tedious because the negative space was mostly large squares and thick lines. Next, I removed the protective plastic from the side of the plexiglass that the vinyl went on. Then, I used some painter's tape to make guide lines to help line up my vinyl graphic.
Once my layout was marked, I used transfer tape and my scraper/rubbing tool to remove the vinyl from the backing. Then I carefully placed each vinyl piece on the plexiglass while making sure to line it up. I rubbed the vinyl with steady pressure to make sure it was stuck tight and slowly removed the transfer tape. Voilà, the makings of my very own plexiglass calendar!
The final two steps after applying vinyl were to remove the protective plastic and install.
After several months, I decided to give my calendar an upgrade with Rustoleum Frosted Glass spray paint. I sprayed the backside of the plexiglass, let dry and reattached. This step made the writing on the plexiglass much easier to read. I added a led picture light above it as well. I use this calendar often during the night time hours, so turning on the hall light isn't always a good option because it shines right into my kids' bedroom. The picture light was the perfect solution!