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The Personalized Under-$40 Gift I’m Getting My Family This Year

I used to believe that there were two kinds of people in the world: those who have calendars hung in their kitchen and those who don’t. Like many other lessons I’m learning about motherhood, I didn’t really get that as your kids get older with more activities, you need a physical calendar, so now we are pro-calendar. And listen, it’s gifting season, I like personal gifts so obviously you know where this is headed. A cute calendar with my kids’ faces all over it. Enter Artifact Uprising. We’ve, of course, worked with them in the past (here and here for reference) so when they reached out to partner with us again for a new product launch, it was an easy “yes.” Their products are good (for real their photo books are top-notch with pretty linen covers) and made in the US, their site is easy to use, and I’m always extremely happy with what comes in the mail.

They recently just released a new customizable calendar. thus the reason we are here today. Obviously, this would be a great gift for someone else, but since I actually really needed one, I made one for our family this year (and it’s $39, super affordable for how cute it is).

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So, their new calendar…like all of their products, it was super easy to put together right on their site. When you start, it literally walks you through every step you need upfront so you know what you’re getting into…it’s pretty much tech-dummy proof and hard to mess up. What’s great is you can start by picking the month you want your calendar to begin with, for instance, if it’s a gift for someone and you want them to start with January, you’ve got that option. If it’s a gift to yourself and you want the fun to start RIGHT NOW, select “December”…and so on and so forth. From there, it’s really just deciding what photos go on what month (and you have 6 photo layouts to choose from), and if you want to write anything at the top of each month’s page.

Here’s what I did:

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This isn’t your standard glossy flip calendar, folks. It’s super thick modern matte paper, so it’s perfect to write on (special dates, things to remember, etc.). The photo section is perforated, so at the end of each month, you can neatly tear off the photos and keep them for scrapbooks/frame them. THIS IS GENIUS AND MORE COMPANIES SHOULD DO IT. Personalized calendars can be so sad once the month is up. Like…you’re just throwing away people’s faces because keeping a calendar from…three years ago is really just hoarding and I promise, no one is going to go back and look at it (wait, I actually would).

HOT TIP: Decide on your images before building the calendar to make the process so much faster. You should probably look through the formats to figure out how many pictures you want for each month, but that way it’s a quick drag, drop, crop and write once you get on the site. I picked photos straight from my camera roll on my phone (then AirDropped them on my computer and easily uploaded them to the site).

In addition to being a full-time photo hoarder, I’m also a journaler, so on my calendar, instead of doing professional beautiful family photo after perfectly curated family photo, I treated it more like a journal with the bigger moments of each month, i.e. what happened in June (school’s out, go to mountain house, i.e. the best summer of our lives), what was going on in October (pumpkin picking, Birdie’s birthday).

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I used the text field on each month to add notes relating to the photos I picked, mostly for the kids to read and remember last year but also get excited for what’s to come this year.

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A lot of these photos came straight from my iPhone, which is where most of your photos are going to be taken throughout the year. But the calendar’s design is really crisp and modern, so it all looks good even if you think your photos aren’t bright. Once you drag and drop your photos where you want them, you just click on the image in place and crop it to your liking (so no need to have Photoshop or another editing tool to get the photo just the right size).

It comes with a matte black steel hanger (each calendar page has little punctured holes so the pages are easy to put on and take off) and measures 19.5″ x 9.5″ so it’s a unique wide landscape size (looks great over a desk, above an entryway table, I’d say even in a kitchen).

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While I still have to have a digital calendar for my work schedule, we have joined the ranks of a family calendar and hopefully with the text and photos that indicate the year before, the kids will get excited to see what is potentially coming up (i.e. birthdays, holidays) or see how much they’ve changed in a year.

To make your own (for yourself or as a gift), Artifact Uprising is offering 20% off their site with code EHD20 through December 19, so that can apply to the new Modern Wall Calendar, or any of their other great personalized photo gifts like their books, photo holders, frames, and holiday cards. Keep in mind that there are some cut-off dates to get things printed and delivered in time for Christmas. Order by December 15 for USPS and December 19 for FedEx 2-Day shipping; more specifics on that here: (FYI, it’s one coupon code per person and doesn’t apply to shipping, bundle deals or Artifact Uprising’s Wedding Design Services.)

Let us know if you have any questions about the calendar (or even just Artifact Uprising products in general since we’ve tried a few) in the comments. Happy to answer them all.

*photography by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

**This post is in partnership with Artifact Uprising but all words and thoughts are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help support us. 

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4 years ago

Thanks for sharing! It looks like a lovely product.

Re: hording old calendars… I recently was sorting through old records and found some calendars from 10 years ago. It WAS so fun to look back at the activities and other hand written notations/ doodles on there. Things crossed out, each kid’s activity highlighted with different colors, phone numbers and directions to places ….what a (beautiful) mess!! Our family uses google calendar now to coordinate our 5 schedules. It is so efficient and clean, but I kind of miss the paper ones 🙂

4 years ago

I love personalized calendars! My mom requests one every year for Christmas. This is a lovely version.

Jordan G
4 years ago

Ok that is a pretty calendar! I need one!

Erin Frost
4 years ago

I did family calendars for 5 years, the grandparents loved them. Well, I thought they did, but after your MIL texts, I am not really sure. Anyway, I grew to hate it. Collecting/begging photos from family, then hours spent uploading everything, reformatting photos from not-so-photogenic family members, explaining what a jpeg or pixel is over and over, and all during the busiest time of the year. The process left me a hollowed out shell.

4 years ago
Reply to  Erin Frost

A hollowed our shell. Ha! I actually lol’d at that comment.

4 years ago
Reply to  Erin Frost

lol me too although im sorry it felt that way! i gift my mom a planner every year and when i was on a budget/trying to gift mindfully i decided to make her one. i found a new notebook at my reuse (for 60 cents!) and worked for a couple of hours on filling in dates. it was so wonderful to take the time to put in that love and effort. she loved it and i love seeing her use it! it felt more intentional so maybe you could make it a family project?? kids love projects/making stuff/taking photos!
i never photographed her planner but mine shown here:

4 years ago

Loving your hair in this pic Emily!

This idea is cute!! I only have one child and finally did a family calendar and it’s the best!! Right now it’s a dry erase board, a modern one, but still this would be great too!!

4 years ago

Love Artifact Uprising! I was just telling my sister about it for gifts, so the coupon code is perfect!

I love this calendar. The perforated photos are brilliant.

I actually hoard calendars, because I like to look back and see what I planned and did. It’s so fun to see what my life looked like based on the things I wrote on my calendar. I use digital now, but I do have calendars from 15-20 years ago tucked away, and I have referred back to them (especially when I was pregnant and my kiddo was little).