I’m one of those people who never knows what day it is. I tend to blame my past professional life for this disorder – I used to work at a daily newspaper, and in that business, you are often working ahead. The Sunday inserts get done on Wednesday, the Thanksgiving special gets planned in October, etc.
In reality, I’ve been out of that business for years. So I may have to find another excuse.
I have a ton of electronic calendars at my disposal which are great for actually scheduling, but when I just want to know the day and date, I still look up at my paper calendar.
Perpetual calendars are a neat thing – you don’t have to buy or set up one each year. The day numbers and days of the week just rotate through, uh, perpetuity.
I’ve seen several craft projects where you decoupage paper numbers and other decorations onto wood cubes. I decided to see if I could make one completely out of paper.
Spoiler alert: I did! Double spoiler alert: You can make one too (free files at the end of the post).
I used my favorite template maker site to create two types of boxes – one size for the numbered dates, and another for the days of the week. This, unfortunately, required a little math. I decided I wanted my date cubes to be 2″ square. The days of the week I split up onto two boxes that were 4″ wide (to be the width of the two date boxes sitting on top of them) and 1″ deep (so both could fit under the date boxes).
The template maker spit out my templates, and the Internet gave me the numbers set up for the date cubes.
In Adobe Illustrator
In Illustrator, I brought in my date cube template, and then on a separate layer, set up the artwork for the date cubes. I made a layer for each of the two blocks. I saved each block layer as a PNG file, and exported the template as a DXF file, since the basic version of Silhouette Studio can’t work with an EPS or PDF file, but it can import a DXF file.
I repeated the process with my days of the week boxes. There are more sides on those boxes than there are days of the week, so I left the little square ends blank, and then added one extra special day of the week “Crafterday”.
In Silhouette Studio
In Silhouette Studio I set up my Design Page settings for an 8.5 x 11 sheet because I was going to do this as a Print & Cut. I turned on the Registration Marks, and then merged in my two files for the first date block.
After making sure everything was aligned properly, I saved the file and clicked the printer icon in the left corner to send it to print. Make sure the print is set up at 100% – choosing “reduce to fit” or any other setting will cause the Print & Cut to fail.
I repeated this process for the other date block, and then twice more for the day of the week boxes.
Once I had everything printed, I went back and opened the Date Block file and set up the cutting settings so that the outside of the box cut and the inside lines would score. It isn’t a true score – I selected the lines I wanted and then chose a dashed pattern from the Line Menu.
I placed the corresponding printed sheet on my Silhouette mat, making sure to have the little registration mark square in the upper left corner to match the screen. After adjusting my cut settings for the paper stock, I sent it to cut.
I weeded that sheet and then repeated this process until I had both date cubes and both day of the week boxes cut and weeded.
I used double stick tape on the flaps of the boxes, and carefully attached the pieces together. You need to go slowly and I usually pre-bend all the scores before trying to actually adhere them. The boxes all need to be pretty straight and true or they will not stack neatly.
Once they are assembled, it’s just a flick of the box to update daily.
If you’d like to make your own paper box perpetual box calendar, just click the link below to download the Silhouette Studio files set up for Print & Cut. These are for personal use only. If you do make this project, please tag me on Instagram so I can see it!