All you have to do is type “dates” in the search bar on Etsy and you will find a gazillion Etsy Stores selling some sort of version of this. Some don’t even print it but instead send you an electronic file. When I see something cute, I make it a personal challenge to make it myself . . . and so I did! I created a DIY Important Dates Artwork craft and the results are fantastic!
You pick the dates that are important to you and then add why underneath. Keep it simple, keep it clean. It gives a subway art feel and really frames nicely. I loved the way this turned out so much that I want you to be able to make one too! So I am adding templates in Microsoft Word that you can edit to make your own. Just decide on how many important dates you will need: 4, 5 or 6 of them.
Not a computer wiz? No problem, I’ve included screen shots on what to click on to make this artwork your very own original!
I purchased 8.5 x 11 textured, off-white cardstock from Hobby Lobby for literally like 30 cents (it was on sale). I also purchased the 11 x 14 navy blue mat (with an 8 x 10 opening) and the 11 x 14 wood frame from Hobby Lobby too. The mat was $2.99 and the frame was $5.99. So are you doing the math? I made this, frame and all for less than $10! Woohoo! Of course, you will need access to a color printer as well. It can be a home printer or one of those fancy office printers. Either will work. Oh, and you must have Microsoft Word.
So let’s get started!
Choose the number of dates template that suits your individual need:
Open your word document and personalize your dates!
First, click on the first set of numbers. An invisible box will surround the numbers (with white boxes around the edges). A “Word Art” box will appear as well. Click on “Edit Text” to type in the numbers of your date. Pay attention that there are spaces between the number sets. Keep these spaces there! This is where the little heart goes. Just highlight the first 2 numbers. Once a shaded box covers just those numbers, type in your numbers. Repeat with the other 2 sets of numbers. Repeat all of this for the remainder of the dates. Note: your hearts may be off-center now. Don’t worry, you will be able to fix that later.
Next, highlight the “Name & Saying”. It should now appear in a shaded box. Type in what you want to (a name or saying). This may make the words longer and they may then cover the squiggly design in the front and back of the words. Don’t worry about that, you can fix it later. See the purple arrow in the upper right corner? Choose the font color you want to match your decor. Right now it is a Colonial Red color. Repeat this with the rest of the “Name or Saying” in your design.
Now it’s time to fix the squigglies. Just click on the squiggly and an invisible box covers it. Although you can’t see it in the picture above, if you move your cursor over the center of that invisible box, your cursor should change into a 4 arrow design. This means you can move it. Hold down your cursor over the squiggly and move it to where it is just to the right or left of the name or saying. Do this to both sides. Make sure you have the 4 arrow cursor or you will only be changing the size of the squiggly. You don’t want to change the size so be careful. Also, you will see the Word Art box open and this is where you can also change the color of the squiggly. Again, it is currently a Colonial Red Color. To change the color, click on the paint bucket & paintbrush icon. A color palette will open that will allow you to choose your own color.
Ok, time to fix the hearts. Depending on which numbers you use, the hearts may become uncentered (all letters and numbers are slightly different width sizes). To fix this, you click on the heart and you will see 4 little white boxes. Move your cursor over this and again your cursor should change shape into a 4 arrow design. Move your heart where you need to. Repeat with the remainder of the hearts. The hearts are a Navy Blue color. You can change the color of your heart by using the tool bar located at the bottom of your screen (see purple arrow). Click on the paint bucket and a color drop box will open. Choose the color you want. If you change the color, be sure to change the color of the other hearts to match.
I should add that if you change the “name and saying” color, you should change the color of “Day” at the bottom. To do this, use your cursor to highlight “Day”. Then just click on the font color icon in the upper right hand corner. Pick the same color you used for “name and saying”. Now check out your handy work. Is it spaced out evenly? Like the colors? Like the fonts? You certainly can change the fonts if you want. Get those creative juices flowing!
Load your textured cardstock into the printer (be sure the texture side is where it prints on). Print it. Center your cardstock in your mat. Frame it. Hang it. Pat yourself on your back because you just made the cutest Important Dates Original Artwork!
Would be a great gift to a friend with an established family. What I mean by “established” is that they aren’t expecting more kids. Of course, we weren’t expecting more and well, 12.5 years after our only child was born…we had our 2nd and last child, lol! Yes, same mom and dad, yes, both are our kids and no, we are not the grandparents (answering all questions that strangers ask with their eyes and body language when they see all of together, lol)!
Just do children’s birth dates and names for a single mom or dad.
Make one with just the grandkiddos’ birth dates for the grandparents.
This would make a great gift for a friend starting their own business. Pick important dates like: the day they were inspired to own their own business, the day they got their first business loan, the day they sold their first product, the day they reached 20 employees, etc.