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A family CD case desk calendar is a fun, frugal homemade Christmas/holiday gift idea. In an attempt to organize, I put my music CDs and movie DVDs into zipper binders. I had piles upon piles of CD and DVD jewel cases left. I didn’t want to throw them out, so I decided to see if I could make a nice gift for the holidays.
The Husband was great and printed out all the pictures, and the kids and I cut them out and inserted them into the CD jewel cases. You can find CD or DVD jewel cases (if you don’t already have a hundred of them lying around) at any office supply store, right near the blank CD’s.
You can print these out as photos at a CVS, Walgreens, or Walmart as well. If you do, the correct size is 5-inches x 5-inches, which will leave you to cut down around the edges. (A CD case is approximately 4.75-inches x 4.75-inches.)
However, I put 4 on a standard 8-1/2-inch x 11-inch paper (on PDF) and then printed it that way. It will take 3 sheets per jewel case. It’s also cheaper to print it out by color at Staples this way.
I was lucky enough that I had 12 members of the family, to feature for the 12 months of the year, but I made a rule that the youngest get displayed first and the oldest get bumped. We had enough people, but the youngest are the most important for photographs, right?
This calendar is really cool because it fits inside of a CD jewel cases (affiliate link), which is a great way to recycle all those awful cases. The best part is that you can flip the CD case around and it can display propped up. I also burned a music CD for my family of Christmas songs.
Step-by-Step Instructions with Canva (Free)
This is an eco-friendly way to upcycle and reuse CD album cases.
1. On the homepage, type in “calendar” in the search bar.
I chose one of the full year calendars that were horizontal. Some of the ones that I chose didn’t let me resize properly, but this one did.
After I created one, I turned all the font black and set the background to transparent.
2. Go back up top, and type in “cd cover” in the search bar.
Tbh, it doesn’t matter which you choose.
3. In the CD album template, delete everything.
4. Drag a photo into the background of the CD album.
You can resize the image if you want to get the closeup you’d like. Keep in mind that you will be trimming around the edges to make the photo to fit inside the jewel case.
N.B. I chose one of their stock photos. Isn’t that baby just adorable?
5. Go to lines & shapes and click on a square box.
6. Resize to the bottom, make the color white, and set the transparency to 60%.
You’ll notice that I made the box bigger than the dimensions of the image. That’s because I hate the snapping on Canva, and I always seem to offset things by an annoying 1 pixel. This solves the problem.
7. Go back to the calendar and grab the month you want. Copy and then paste into the CD album.
It’s so little!
8. I deleted the month, grouped the calendar part, and resized it.
Hint: if you click on one of the corners, it will select the entire grouped item.
Don’t forget that you will need to cut around the edge, so don’t put the calendar right up against it!
See how I left plenty of space around the edges?
9. Now just add the month and download your beautiful creation!
The Final: A Beautiful CD Jewel Case Calendar
If this was my baby, I’d make all the calendar months to be her pictures. That might be a great present for the new parent, too, if you have a picture from each month of the year for a child.