Diy dry erase calendar with ikea frame.

DIY reusable task calendar

by megan
Published: Last Updated on

In addition to running this blog, I also have a podcast, small business blog, and have just started a YouTube channel…so I’ve got a lot going on (in addition to my writing job) and keeping it all focused and organized in my brain can be a real challenge.

Yikes, that was a ton of links in that last paragraph, wasn’t it? This is why I drink so much coffee, folks.

My dream life includes having a rotatable set of dry erase calendars so that I would be able to keep my brain focused and maybe even do something crazy like get ahead of the work that needs to be done…but they are EXPENSIVE. Like, hundreds of dollars expensive. So I did what any sane person does: went to Pinterest to look for a solution.

I love you, Pinterest
I love you, Pinterest

So taking those ideas, I created one of my own. Or should I say, three of my own!

DIY Reusable Dry Erase Calendar
DIY Dry Erase Calendar

The best part of this is how ridiculously easy it is to make! Ready? Let’s get started:

Tools needed for DIY Dry Erase Calendar

First stop: IKEA! I used their Fiskbo 16×20″ picture frames which I believe were $4.99 each (and looking at the picture, I was right!). Remember that you don’t need frames with glass in them, the plastic will do just fine.

DIY Reusable Dry Erase Calendar

Next stop: Hardware store! Now it’s up to you how insane you want to be when it comes to this. I’ve seen folks getting individual chips, but I went for the ombre-type strips to give me an easier time. Note that most strips have 4 swatches on them, and for my calendars I wanted 5 weeks to account for overages, so you should double down just to be sure.

That means if you’re planning to do a quarterly setup like me, you’ll need 105 colors total and remember you’ll need extra swatches to account for the 5th week.

Told you I was nuts. You should’ve seen the stack I walked out of there with.

Now we assemble:

  1. Remove liner plastic face of frame and set aside. Flip over white sheet that comes with each frame…you’ll be gluing your swatches onto this
  2. Additional step: If you’re doing a 5 week calendar, cut one paint chip off of your extra swatches and either tape or glue it to the bottom of an ombre line of chips
  3. Start up your hot glue gun
  4. While it’s warming up, begin to measure and mark where your paint samples should go. You can use a pencil or sharpie if you’re feeling confident
  5. Glue the white paper onto the cardboard backing of frame
  6. Begin to glue down your paint samples, one row at a time, double check to be sure they’re straight and evenly apart.
  7. Use washi tape to create labels for days of the week and month and put them above the ombre strips
  8. Using the Sharpie, write the days of the week and “month” on the washi tape
  9. Remove protective liner from plastic face of frame
  10. Put plastic face of frame back into position
  11. YOU’RE DONE!
DIY Reusable Dry Erase Calendar

Now you’ve got a beautiful blank calendar, so let’s start filling it in!
The plastic face will take dry erase pen very easily, but you might need to press down a smidge to get a bold color. Add the month and the individual dates

DIY Reusable Dry Erase Calendar

If you’ve got a lot of things to focus on, I recommend using the post it flags to keep track of things. I use different colors for different things so that I’m able to quickly assess what I’ve been working on and what still needs to be done.

DIY Reusable Dry Erase Calendar

For important events like trips and such, I use the washi tape to highlight and “block off” those days. You can see that in the original picture with “Ann” and “Rochester.”

Last but not least, hang them! I’d prefer using a horizontal scape but due to space limitations of our current apartment, I had to hang them vertically.

DIY Reusable Dry Erase Calendar

I hang the current month in the middle, the next month above that, and the 3rd month on the bottom (since it’s the farthest away, time-wise, and won’t need as much attention)

Keeping Your DIY Dry Erase Calendar Clean

DIY Dry Erase Calendar

I’ve tried a variety of methods to clean off the dates when it’s time for a new month and here’s what I’ve found works, in order of least effective to most:

  • Plain water
  • “Dry erase cleaner” (aka rubbing alcohol)
  • Writing over the dates then wiping off
  • Clorox Wipes

Save yourself the aggravation and scrubbing, the Clorox wipes took it right off and didn’t damage the plastic.

Voila! Now you have a quarterly plan set up and ready to use. If you decide to make your own DIY dry-erase calendar using these directions, be sure to leave a pic of it in the comments below (and feel free to ask any questions in case something wasn’t clear)

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Joanna October 24, 2016 - 6:45 pm

You are one busy lady! But, I’m glade you had enough time to share this with us. I love this hack. Great job! BTW I found this link on Facebook 🙂

megan October 25, 2016 - 2:57 pm

It’s not me, it’s the coffee 🙂


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