Dress Up Your Yearly Calendar with a Frame

Instead of simply hanging that folding calendar on the wall with a tack, how about stepping up your game and building an attractive frame to hold it?

Every year as soon as the New Year starts, I love to purchase all the new calendars that I will use around the house.  I have a calendar on my desk, in my briefcase, one in my garage and of course the one on my computer.  However, my favorite calendar is always the one that my mom buys me as a stocking stuffer (no she doesn’t jam it in my stocking) she leaves it on the mantle where my stocking is hung by the chimney with care.

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This year she purchased me a really neat one that has the artist Charley Harper featured. I love this calendar and I really wanted a great way to not only be able to use it, but to display it as well.  My mom (I know I’m doting) has a cool calendar display in her kitchen, so using that design as inspiration; I decided to construct my own.

Below are the instructions to build your own special calendar frame.

 

 

 

Materials List:

  • Miter Saw
  • Tape Measure
  • 1 x 2 oak lumber 4 x 8 feet (depending on calendar size)
  • Square
  • Nail gun and wire brads or hammer and finish nails
  • Wood glue
  • 150 Grit Sand paper
  • Sheet of 3/32 inch thick replacement glass Glass cutter – cutting oil- glass marker
  • Straight edge
  • Stain or paint
  • Tack cloth

Instructions:

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1.  Lay the calendar on a work bench and do a little pre-lay out.  Lay the 1 x 2 inch lumber next to the calendar and determine the spacing between the frame and the calendar.  I determined that 1/8 inch all around would look best.

 

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2.  To start making the cuts for the two frames (you will construct two frames – one for the top portion which will hold the glass, and a second frame to be placed underneath the glass frame, the calendar will hang from this frame) measure the calendar width and add the 1/8 inch spacing (1/4 inch in total) to the length.

 

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3.  Cut the frame pieces to length, each frame will have a bottom and top and two sides.  Use the miter saw to make the cuts. Cut the pieces at 45 degree angle cut.

 

 

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4.  Make your first cut then measure from the inside of the angle the distance of the bottom and top pieces.  Cut the pieces to length using the miter saw.

 

 

 

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(For my calendar frame the top and bottom piece measure 13 ¼ inches – my calendar is 13 inches wide).

 

 

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5.  Cut the pieces to length using the miter saw.

 

 

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You will now have 2 tops and 2 bottoms for two frames. Repeat this process for the height of the calendar.

 

 

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6.  Measure the height, and cut the frame to length using the miter saw. Don’t forget to add your 1/8 inch at each end for the gap between the calendar and the frame.

 

 

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This will give you all the pieces for both frames- 4 sides and 4 tops and bottoms.

 

 

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7.  Do a dry fit for both frames to make sure that everything is lining up, I use a square just to make sure that it is…well…square.

 

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8.  The top frame will hold a sheet of glass for viewing and protecting the calendar.  A routed edge will need to be routed to receive the glass.  Using a ¼ inch straight bit on the router table, rout the edge.

 

 

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9.  The routed groove will need to be deep and wide enough for the piece of glass. Do a test after the groove is routed.

 

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10.  Prior to assembly of the frames, side all the pieces smooth with 150 grit sandpaper.

 

 

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11.  To assemble the frame, use carpenters wood glue.  Apply using a brush to distribute the glue evenly (I buy these brushes in a big supply – not expensive and very useful). Make sure to wipe any excess glue off with a damp cloth.

 

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12.  Secure the frame with wire brads (or finish nails).
Time to Cut the Glass for the Top Frame.

Tip:
A glass cutter kit can be purchased with all you need.  Never cut glass with a new cutter, run the cutter over a scrap piece of glass at least 10 times.  This hones the cutter and ensures nice clean cuts.

*When cutting glass, always wear gloves and safety glasses.

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1.  Measure the width and height of the routed groove of the top frame to determine the size to cut the glass.

 

 

 

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2.  Lay out the dimensions of the glass by using a glass marker and straight edge.

 

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3.  Cut the glass by using a glass cutter, first by dipping the cutting tool into the cutting oil.

 

 

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4.  Hold the cutter erect so that the wheel will revolve easily.  Make a straight, even stoke.  Press hard enough to make a fine hair line cut on the glass.  If you press to hard the glass will flake.  Run the cutting wheel across the panel running the cutter off the edge of the glass.  Do not retrace a cut.

5.  To break the glass hold the glass on the edge of the work bench and give the glass a sharp bend, the glass break will run the entire length of the cut.

The Final Steps

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1.  Prior to installing the hinges to the two frames.  Remove all dust with a tack cloth.

 

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2.  And stain to the color of your choice.  Allow to dry before the next steps. 

Tip:

I use a foam pad to apply the stain then remove with a paper towel. Remember to dispose of towel properly.

3.  Fill any nail holes with wood putty that matches the stain color.

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4.  Place the glass into the top frame and secure using glazing points.  Use a putty knife to push into place.

 

 

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5.  Install the two piano hinges to the sides.  Pre-drill pilot holes, these little screws break easily when being driven into hard oak….I learned the hard way.

 

 

 

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6.  Attach a small handle to the center of the top frame opposite of the hinges.

 

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7.  To hang the calendar, secure a small cup hook to the center/top of the bottom frame. Pre-drill a pilot hole.

 

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8.  To hang the frame, place two nails into the wall that the frame will rest on.

This is a really great way to display calendars, especially those that are works of art.  All in all, the entire project took about 4 hours, not including drying time.

Just a little side note, while working on this frame, it was -4 degrees outside and my shop was 15 degrees, even after using my heater it took forever for the stain to dry, plus on a concrete floor my toes were numb.  So this project was finished on my dining room table.

I’m praying for spring already.

Enjoy your calendars and frame!

Matt

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