Family Calendar & Message Wall

Are you an organizer? I love EVERYTHING about organizing! I love baskets, little compartmentalized drawers, family planners, and labeling anything in my house that sits still. What I love the most are Calendars!  My favorite thing to do in December is to pick out the new calendar that goes on our refrigerator.  One calendar is enough, right?

If you answered “Yes”, you’re wrong!  I have calendars all over my life!  One on the refrigerator, one on my phone, one in my family planner, one in our home classroom, and a big huge one on our family message center wall.  I could explain all their purposes, but if you’re like my husband, it will turn into “Blah, blah, blah – ANOTHER calendar, blah, blah!”  It all makes sense in my head, which works much like all those color coded files at the doctor’s office.

The main calendar in our house is on the family message center wall.  Information from all the other calendars that is a “need to know” goes on this calendar.  I thought about making it a chalkboard calendar, but didn’t want the chalk dust on the carpet or chair molding.  Instead, I made it out of a large frame.

Family Calendar made from drop cloth, ribbon and lettering

I was going to make another calendar like this for the home classroom, but found an old classroom calendar and decided to use it instead.  So, I’m going to have to walk you through the process without as many pictures.  Hang with me!

Materials needed for this project:

1.  24 x 36 Plexiglass frame

2.  Large Painters Canvas Drop Cloth

3.  Colored 5/8 inch Grosgrain Ribbon

4.  Spray Adhesive

5. Ruler

6. Vinyl letters (optional)

Instructions for making:

1.  First, I purchased the frames.  I bought about 7 of them.  We have a few at the beach holding black and white poster size pictures of the boys on the sand (C to the U-T-E!), and a few more poster photos in Billy’s office, and two more used in the family message center.  These are 24×36 Picture Poster Frames.  There are a few that are not as expensive, but I tried those and they look cheap.  I liked these because of the molding.


2.  The second step is to take it apart and remove the cardboard backing.  Don’t toss it!  You’ll use it as a template, and to hold your canvas.

3.  Take a large painters canvas drop cloth  and stretch it out on the table or floor.  Put the cardboard backing onto the canvas, trace around it with a pencil or pen, and cut it out.

4.  Use spray adhesive to attach the canvas to the cardboard.  To do this, I used straight pins to hold the canvas to the end opposite of where I was standing.  (You could use alligator clips, chip clips – really whatever you have that will hold the material down to the cardboard.)  I sprayed the adhesive on the half of the cardboard closest to me.  Next, I gently pulled the canvas toward me, lined up the corners and pressed it down.  First half done!  I removed the pins, flipped back the canvas on the side away from me, sprayed that half, and again, lined up the corners and pressed it down.

5.  Next, you’ll need to decide on the dimensions of your boxes.  If you want it the same as mine, you’ll need 6 x (36 inch) pieces of ribbon, and 6 x (20 inches) of ribbon.  Below you can see how I measured mine out.  (Sorry for the glare.  It is impossible to get a picture in plexiglass.) I used good old white school glue to glue the ribbon in place.  You can draw pencil lines on your canvas to help keep the ribbon straight, or eyeball it.  I penciled the first few out, then just threw caution to the wind!  I let my OCD walk on the wild side that night.


 6.  Finally, I added vinyl letters for the days of the weeks.  I cut them out using my Silhouette machine.  Honestly, the letters do not stick well at all.  I’m expecting them to start falling down any day.  I keep walking by and pressing the letters down to help them stay (as if it helps 8 months after I put the thing together).  I should have used the iron on material from Silhouette, but didn’t have any.  Truth be told, next time I will probably grab a sharpie and write the days of the weeks.


I used a second frame to make a messaging center.  I only needed one piece of 24 inch ribbon for this one.  Again, I used the vinyl Silhouette letters at the top.  When I make my grocery list here, I like to take a picture with my phone and have it while I grocery shop.  Since making this board, I’ve started printing out a generic grocery list that I keep in our family planner.  It’s easier to use when meal planning.  Occasionally, Billy will add his own items to the board, but not often.  I may switch out the grocery side to something else one day down the road.

I keep Vis-A-Vis Overhead Projector Markers handy and use those to write on the calendar and message board.  Some months I get really creative with my monthly decorations, especially now that Piggy One is more interested.  He looks for “birthday cake pictures” and asks whose birthday.

Hooks for hanging jackets, mats, or backpacks at the garage door

As a bonus, I added a few hooks below our message center to hang backpacks, rest mats, jackets, and empty grocery bags.  My intention (for almost a year) has been to use vinyl letters above the hooks so that the boys can start to recognize their name.  Piggy One will have 2 hooks, as will Piggy Two.  Maybe I’ll tackle that when school starts!

I hope you will try this easy project!  I use my calendar All. The. Time!

Do you use drop cloth for anything besides painting?  I have a ton of DIY canvas drop cloth projects.  I keep three or four of them around at all times.  In a pinch, I rip one (rather than cut it, so it looks frayed) into the size of my table for a cute table cloth. Come back and I’ll show you some of those projects soon.


(This post contains affiliate links.)


  1. Hi there!
    Omgosh…. let me start by saying I absolutely love all of your crafty ideas!!! Tbh, I would love to make a large calendar like this but I don’t have a place to put it!! Booo! ): However, I think I will tackle the grocery list idea. It’s fabulous! Thanks for sharing your creative side to all of us! ~hugs~ Anne ( :

    • Thanks so much, Anne! I’m glad to be able to share some ideas with you. If you don’t have room for a large calendar, you could always try making a smaller version using an 8×10 picture frame. My husband and I use one to write notes back and forth in the kitchen. It stays propped up by the coffee maker. Maybe I’ll make a post about it. Good luck with the grocery list project! 🙂

Speak Your Mind