Custom Photo Calendar Tutorial using Microsoft Publisher- Free and Printable!

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September 10, 2014 by bridgitgillis

Making a custom calendar like this is easier than you might think!

Making a custom calendar like this is easier than you might think!

Are you tired of paying good money for a calendar?  I was!  Usually the calendars in stores have cats, dogs, or cars on them.  I like my calendars to be a little more personal, a little more my style.  So I started making my own.  These are great if you want something cute to write your stuff on and don’t want to spend the money on a calendar from the store.  It’s a super easy way to add pictures of your family or pets to part of your day!

In order to make a printable, 8-1/2 x 11 calendar like the one above, you will need Microsoft Publisher.  I am using an older 2007 version, but the process should be almost the same in a newer version of the program.

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1. Open Microsoft Publisher and create a blank page.  Your page can be any size you want, but make sure your printer supports your selection.  You can also make your page vertical or horizontal, it’s totally up to you.  If you are doing a different custom look for all 12 months, you may want to insert additional pages now.  In publisher, select the “insert” tab and then “page.”  It will have a box for you to type in the number of pages. You will want to add 11 additional pages, so type 11 in the box and click “ok.”  This will allow you to save all 12 months as one file name.

Step 1

Step 1

2. If you added pages to your document, make sure you are on page 1.  At the bottom left of your screen, there should be pictures of pages numbered 1-12.

3. Minimize your publisher document and open a web browser.  Search for a free printable calendar for the month and year you want your calendar to be.  Look for one with clean lines that is shaped to match your page format- either horizontal or vertical.  (I found mine at www.calendarvip.com)

4. Once you’ve found your calendar, open it up to it’s biggest size.  Right click your mouse on it and select “copy.”  This will copy it to your clipboard.

Copy the Calendar to your Clipboard

Copy the Calendar to your Clipboard

5. Open up your publisher document and right click on the empty page.  Select “paste” and your calendar should appear.  Drag the corners in or out to resize the calendar.  You can also move it up and down.  If you plan to add a picture to the top, leave some space there for it.

Note that the edges of the calendar page go beyond the edge of the print range.  That's okay because I don't want all that white space.  Just make sure the calendar portion is within the boundaries of the page.  A good way to test this is to go to "file" then "print preview"

Note that the edges of the calendar page go beyond the edge of the print range. That’s okay because I don’t want all that white space. Just make sure the calendar portion is within the boundaries of the page. A good way to test this is to go to “file” then “print preview”

6.  In order to allow the calendar image to work well with the picture we will be adding, we want to do a couple of things to change the way the image is formatted.  First, right click on your calendar image.  Select “format picture” then “layout” then “none.”

Selecting "none" for format will keep your image stationary when you add other images or text to the page.

Selecting “none” for format will keep your image stationary when you add other images or text to the page.

7. After that, locate the little picture tool bar floating around your screen.  If you can’t locate it, it may be anchored to the tool bar at the top of your screen.  Select “set transparent color” then click on the white surrounding your calendar.  You will notice that all of the white on your calendar has disappeared, making it invisible, or transparent.

Making your outside color transparent allows the picture you will add next to show through.  If you do not do this, you will be limited in where you can place your picture.

Making your outside color transparent allows the picture you will add next to show through. If you do not do this, you will be limited in where you can place your picture.

8. Take a moment to adjust your calendar if necessary.  Now it’s time to choose your picture.  You can add multiple pictures or just one.  If you choose to search for images online, you can copy and paste them onto your page just like we did with the calendar portion.  If you want to add personal photos, you will need to select “insert” then “picture” then “from file.”

This is the path to access photos or other images stored on your computer.

This is the path to access photos or other images stored on your computer.

9. Once your image(s) are on the page, you will need to move and resize them to where they look best. Your images are probably covering your calendar at this point.  Don’t panic!  Right click on the image, select “order” then “send to back.”   Note that since your calendar is transparent, you can see your images beneath your calendar.  Play around with different images and move them around until you like what you see.

Note that my picture is hanging off the top of the page.  That's okay, because I have the "spring" part that I want within the boundaries.  To quickly see what this will look like when it prints, go to "file" and "print preview."  Adjust accordingly.

Note that my picture is hanging off the top of the page. That’s okay, because I have the “spring” part that I want within the boundaries. To quickly see what this will look like when it prints, go to “file” and “print preview.” Adjust accordingly.

10. I chose to add a quote at the bottom of my calendar.  You can add a quote or a place for notes anywhere you like.  Go up to “insert” then select “text box.”  A plus sign (+) will appear.  It will allow you to draw a text box anywhere you like.  Click where you want one of the corners to be, then drag the mouse while holding down the left button to complete the box.  Let go of the mouse button and a box with a cursor will appear.  Add your text.  You can select different heights and font styles on the tool bar at the top of the page.

11. Save your work.  If you’re going to print to a printer or work on the project later, saving it as a publisher document is fine.  If you will be emailing your calendar or posting it online, you will likely want to save as a jpeg.

Saving as a jpeg turns your file into a photo.  Once you save as a jpeg, you cannot open it and edit it in publisher.  I recommend saving in publisher first, then saving as a jpeg.  That way if you see a mistake later, you can open the publisher file and edit, then resave as a jpeg.

Saving as a jpeg turns your file into a photo. Once you save as a jpeg, you cannot open it and edit it in publisher. I recommend saving in publisher first, then saving as a jpeg. That way if you see a mistake later, you can open the publisher file and edit, then resave as a jpeg.

 

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Working in Microsoft Publisher may seem daunting at first, but once you know how it works it opens up amazing opportunities to create custom work.  Invitations, Post Cards, Fliers, Custom Collage Photos….  The possibilities are endless!

 

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