Thursday, August 9, 2012

Verjaardagskalendar (Dutch Perpetual Birthday Calendar)

The first time I visited my in-laws in Holland, I was intrigued by the perpetual calender they had in their main floor bathroom. I asked Niels about it, and he said everyone in Holland has one. It's really brilliant actually. 

Instead of filling out birthdays and anniversaries on a new calendar every year, the verjaardagskalendar (literally: birthdays calendar) has dates and lines (no days of the week), making it a perpetual calendar. The Dutch keep it in the bathroom because that's the one room where you sit for a few minutes each day. 

A month ago, we bought an Ikea Ribba shelf for our verjaardagskalendar, but it needed something else. I liked the idea of a magnetic board with scrabble letters, but the one I made was an epic fail. Well, maybe not epic because D likes to play with it, but it's too ugly for our powder room!

Yesterday, I found this magnetic dry erase board with two photo slots at Target. It was just what I wanted, but the wrong color. Our powder room is yellow with orange accents. But I couldn't stop thinking about it, and last night I picked it up.

I thought about painted it, but I don't paint so well. I had some glitter tape from Joann's, but it was just not quite wide enough.  

I improvised with some printed paper tape from Target. I tape the entire outside edge of the frame with the orange striped tape.

I remembered to use an old bread bag clip to make using the tape easier.

The orange tape was a little wider than the frame.

I clipped the corners and tucked them over.

Next, I placed the glitter tape on top, lining up on the inside edge of the frame.

I cut the corners on the diagonal with my exacto knife.

I used the same idea for the center pieces.

I used several small stripes on the small piece so the pattern continued.

No more blue. Well, only a peek of blue.

I wasn't happy with my trim job, so I touched up with our trim paint, Sherwin Williams Pure White.

A clean seam.

Next, I rounded up all D's frig magnet letters that he hardly uses anymore. I borrowed this idea from The Crafted Sparrow.

I bought both a primer and a metallic finish paint.

The primer was pointless.

But it didn't matter. The metallic paint worked great.

I did have to spray from both sides.

While I waited for the letters to dry. I turned my attention to the photo frame slots. I knew I wanted one to explain the verjaardagskalendar. I used PowerPoint to make it. It took two tries because the frame actually covers quite a bit of the 4x6 glass.

I used the glass to trim the paper.

Next, I chose one of our new family photos. In order to not waste photo paper, I also printed another photo I knew I wanted to frame.

 Perfect fit.

I love this picture of Niels and Bailey. This was taken the day before she died. I love that my dog really became our dog.

By this time, the letters were dry.

And my paint sheet has a nice design.

When I collected all the magnets, I thought it was fun that you could still see the colors on the back.

I thought the letters would be a fun touch.

I put the rest of the letters in an empty basket I had sitting on the window ledge.

You can still see a touch of blue.

But it's okay because there's touch of blue in our art.

Especially this one:

A few close ups:


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  1. Jen this turned out so nice! What a fun idea for a calander.

  2. SUCH a great idea!!!! Thanks for the link back! Thanks for linking to the first every craft link at Tasteful Tuesdays! Hope you come back again this week and show off your stuff! Party Opens tonight at 8:30.

  3. How cool is this? I love that the verjaardagskalendar is such a common part of Dutch culture. I may need to take a tip from them and move mine to the bathroom. Lol. Thanks for sharing this link!

    The Thinking Closet

  4. Is this really such a traditional Dutch thing? If so, it seems that my mum kept a little bit of her Dutch heritage… (My Grandma was the last Dutch, since her we're all German!)
    We always had those calendars at home. And I'm pretty sure, my mom still has!

    Love, Midsommarflicka

    1. It really is! I love that you still have a little Dutch with you!


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