The new year is often a time for getting rid of old or outdated items around the house and calendars from the previous year certainly fit this list. Since they no longer serve their intended purpose and just seem like wasted paper, we’ve decided to turn our calendars into an art project. Instead of tossing them away, why not recycle them to create a new piece of artwork?

There are a ton of ways to use old calendars, like customizing that boring folder or notebook cover, wrapping a plain candle votive, or as paper for wrapping gifts. But for this Art Challenge, we want you to take and re-purpose them into artwork. So go grab those calendars off the wall in your office or kitchen and put them to creative use.

We (not surprisingly) had a few 2018 Fazzino calendars hanging up. So we used those to get us started. Use whatever you have available. Even combining images from many different types of  calendars could make for a ton of fun outcomes.

Pop art drawing of New York City cityscape within a big red apple - 2018 Fazzino calendar Back of Charles Fazzino's pop art calendar for 2018

Ideas for Using Old Calendars

Here are just a few of the ways you could use old calendars to find artistic inspiration:

  • As a starting point: Cut out your favorite images from the calendar and glue them down to a board. Use them as inspiration to get started with your piece. You can then draw, paint, add objects and more to complete your piece.
  • Make puzzle art: Cut out all the images you want to use in the artwork, outline them on paper or foam board, then have your friends or family try and find and paste the images on the correct place on the board.
  • Create a full collage: Cut out the images and collage them together into one single art piece.
  • Use it as a pattern or background: Use the images as your background for additional collaging, painting, or sculpting.
  • Build a stage: Create a backdrop or setting where you can use the images to create new scenes. Once you have the stage set, you can cut out the images and paste them down. We’re going to try this one using our Fazzino calendars, Let’s jump in…Give it a try along with us!

Supplies You Will Need

  • Quality pair of scissors
  • 1 piece of foam board
  • Felt
  • Glue sticks
  • Binder clips
  • Chalk

Grey paper board, brown and black felt, scissors and glue stick supplies on a white table

Step 1

Our stage will be a living room with two windows, a vintage television, and a framed piece of artwork on the wall. We start by drawing the window with chalk on the black felt and then cut out the center part to make the window. Repeat for the second window. It’s okay if they are not perfectly matching.

A piece of black felt on a grey paper board with chalk drawings to mark out a window Black felt being cut with scissors to create a window frame

 

Step 2

Create the television by folding the felt in half and cutting circular edges. Cut out the legs. Then rough draw out the television screen.

A vintage television cut out of brown felt on a grey paper board

Step 3

Arrange the pieces on the paper board. The television and picture frame can be affixed now. Use the binder clips to hold the window frame in place. This will make it much easier when working with the images to be able to get them underneath.

 

Two black felt windows, a television and blank black felt box on grey paper board

 

Step 4

Start cutting. While you are cutting and pulling images, you can start thinking about the composition of the piece. Maybe you want to create a theme for each box (we decided to use the artwork to feature portraits), or maybe you want it to just be a mish mosh of imagery.

Images cut out from an old calendar scattered on an art board for collaging

Step 5

Experiment with layers. As you start to glue down pieces, consider what is in the background and what is in the foreground. You can make it realistic or play around with the perspective. Since images are cut out, you can place certain portions of the image above or below other images in the collage.

A close up of images from an old calendar that are overlapped to create perspective

A close up of a collage from using old calendars where the images are layered

Images from an old calendar arranged and collaged on art board

Images from an old calendar arrange to create a new art project

Images from an old calendar to create a new art collage

 

A Few Tips

Consider prearranging the collage to see how it looks before you commit to gluing it down. This way you can easily make changes and tailor it so it’s just the way you want it. You can see in the before and after example below how things were adjusted.

An arrangement of images from old calendars being used for collaging

Images from an old calendar used to create an art themed frame

If things aren’t sticking so well, or you want to flatten the images, use books as weights. You can put a piece of paper down between to ensure you don’t get any glue remnants on your nice art books.

A stack of books on top of collage art work to help keep the images flat

 

You don’t have to fill in all the gaps like we did (it’s just in our nature to). You can use some of the earlier ideas to use the images as a starting off point for the frames to draw or paint anything you want. See where the inspiration takes you.

Images from old calendars used to create artwork in a living room themed collage

We want to see how you turn your calendars into a new work of art. Use any of the ideas above or create your own. Share your creation on Instagram using #FazzinoArtChallenge!

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