This Christmas I am making custom wall calendars for my mom, dad, and Grandma! It’s my first year doing this and it’s been a lot of fun.
I am printing a Shutterfly calendar. I know there are lots of places to do calendars, so feel free to use your favorite print company.
Collecting Birthdays and Photos
First, I emailed my aunts and cousins and siblings asked them to give me recent head shots of everyone in their family and a list of everyone’s birthdays. Then I emailed them again, and then again. Finally I threatened the stragglers, and they eventually complied.
I have a Photoshop.com account and I use it almost exclusively for getting photos from family members. I just gave them my username & password and asked them to upload pictures. And they did… after a few reminders!
Photoshop.com has a handy uploader application but it’s a downloader too. All my relatives have to do is drag & drop their picture folders and the program will upload them. My brother Jeff gave me 140 photos! To get them, I had to navigate to his folder and click “Sync.” A few minutes later and I had the full resolution version of all his photos.
Photoshop.com is a free account, but if you want extra storage you can pay a monthly fee. I have a Plus (paid) membership and 20 GB of storage but haven’t used much of it at all.
Creating a Calendar Project
First I created a calendar project. Then I was able to add events. There’s a white “manage all my events” link at the top left of the screen. I clicked on it and added everyone’s birthday.
Adding Birthdays with Photos
Then, I wanted to add head shots of everyone on their birthday. This is the process I used:
- Color-correct the photos you want to use in Photoshop Lightroom (or Bridge/Camera Raw or Photoshop or Photoshop Elements) and then export them to a single folder at a high resolution. It is not necessary to crop the photos at this point.
- Upload the head shots you want to use into a new Shutterfly album
- Go into your Calendar, click “Get More Pictures,” and add the entire head shot album to the calendar
- Go into each month of the calendar. There is a nice list of birthdays for the month on the left side of the page.
- Drag and drop each head shot onto their birthday. Then double-click on the day square, click “Edit Picture,” and add cropping and effects to the photo.
Making the top half of each calendar month
At this point, you could just upload more photos and use Shutterfly’s wizards to create the top half of each calendar month. I don’t like to do that, though! I like to use DHD templates and graphics and make my own digi pages. So this is what I did:
- Download the Shutterfly Photoshop Calendar template for the calendar top half.
- Open the template in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements and save a copy for each month. The template will have guide lines that mark the “bleed zone.” While you should fill the bleed zone up with the same background stuff you put on the rest of the page, be aware that anything outside the guides will most likely get cropped out. So don’t put anything too good there.
- Create your layouts.
- Save your layouts. Save one copy as a full .psd file, and another as a high-resolution .jpg file.
- Upload your layouts to Shutterfly and add them to the calendar project.
- Select the single-image template option for all of your month top pages, and drag & drop your layouts onto the correct zone.
Make a Calendar Cover
Create a cover layout that is the same size as your other calendar layouts. Then upload and drag & drop that in as well. I made this cover using Celeste Knight’s Winter Woodland kit.