DIY: Calendar Journal

January 4th, 2011

Last month I saw this diy calendar journal and knew I had to make one of my own. A calendar journal includes a card for each day of the year. Everyday you write down the year and one thing you did that day. So, next year when I’m writing my calendar journal entry on January 4, 2012 (assuming I keep this up) I’ll be reminded of what I did today. It will be especially satisfying once I have 5 or 10 years of entries on each card! What a simple and easy way to keep track of what I’ve been doing with my life. It will be nice to challenge myself to do something worth writing down each day—even if it’s something small like baking cookies or taking the dogs to the park.

I wasn’t completely smitten with the aesthetics of design*sponge’s calendar. If I’m going to use something daily for 10+ years I want it to look especially lovely! So I filled an adorable vintage recipe box with 3″x5″ index cards. I spent about an hour with my date stamp and ink pad stamping a card for each day of the year (front and back since my recipe box wasn’t deep enough for 365 cards). Now I just have to make sure I remember to write something everyday!

calendar journal diy


  1. What a unique concept! How much fun to look back five years to see what you’ve done. I don’t know if I have the memory or patience to do it, but what a great challenge!

  2. I am totally in love with this idea. I just showed this to my husband and he wants us to do one! Now I just need to find the perfect box :)

  3. Wit & Whistle

    I searched “vintage recipe box” on and found a lot of great options! : )

  4. what a great idea- i really love that recipe box too!

  5. becca

    thanks for sharing this, amanda! :) i agree that i loved the idea on design*sponge but not so much the look. thanks for the etsy idea for recipe boxes! i’m definitely going to be doing this one!
    btw, happy new year!

  6. I really want to do this. But I’d definitely need to go buy a date stamp then search for cute vintage boxes. :)

  7. I bought the exact same recipe box at a thrift store a few years ago. It’s full of someone else’s recipes and every once in awhile I try one out.

  8. Wit & Whistle

    Becca – Happy New Year to you too!

    Abigail – That is so cool! Mine was empty when I got it—boring!

  9. That is such a good idea, but like Rebecca, I’m not sure if I would have the patience to make one! Maybe for 2012…

  10. Heather HS

    Just saw this from another blog…. Reminds me of a movie that is coming out this summer called “One Day,” starring Anne Hathaway. It’s the story of a friendship over 20 years, told by looking at one day each year.

  11. This is a really neat idea. It would make a wonderful wedding present or baby show gift! I’m inspired~

  12. Rachel

    I loved this idea so much, I made one for myself! It’s not nearly as cute as your’s, but I’m a poor college student working with a low budge. Oh well, it’s still wicked cool. I can’t wait until next year when I come back to the date I started, and be able to start reading back into the past. :]

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • wit & whistle

      Awesome Rachel! I’m still keeping up with mine almost 8 months later. It will be nice next year when I’m not just writing on blank cards!

  13. I found plain wooden boxes on Etsy that you can decorate yourself. You can buy them in bulk or single boxes for only $6! If you buy three they’re only $5 a piece.

  14. I’m totally into making boxes and like this idea so much. Thank you for sharing this with us. Best wishes from Janine , germany. (found your entrance trough “this is also fun”)

  15. Great idea! Keeping up al memories in one box! I came here by “this is also fun”

  16. I saw the same website with more a less the same reaction: can be done better if i need it for x-years.
    Made a box with a lit for the cards. Funny to see someone at the other end of the world did the same!

  17. cristine

    Looks lovely!
    DId you add photos to this vintage recipe box?

  18. I found this via Pinterest. I just put together a box (using the same vintage recipe box!) for a friend’s wedding. I thought it would be great on one’s 10th anniversary to look back and see what you did in your first year of marriage. Word of the wise (or foolish), definitely use both sides of the note card, because 365 note cards truly do not fit in the box!

  19. Marilyn Nimmo

    Just found this via Pinterest–definitely gonna do a form of this–love it!

  20. Abi

    What did you use to separate the months?

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      I just used brown cards like the one pictured above with the month printed in the center.

  21. Is it possible with this date stamp like the one from Amazon stamp only days or only months? For example – just “Jan 1″ and set the year to “empty” ? Thanks in advance.

  22. What a brilliant idea, it’s a few days into the year, but I really want to start my own journal.

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      You still have plenty of time! It’s easy enough to go back and fill in a few days if you miss them. :)

  23. This is a really cool way to journal! I love recipe cards and recipe boxes, which you don’t see as much anymore. Very inspiring!

  24. Kim

    Thank you! I love this! Posted this on my little blog

  25. oh my gosh!
    i love this!
    in a pretty
    little box!
    wonderous to

  26. dinny

    found this post today via helloFriend. That vintage box…. my mom still has that exact box. Her’s is jammed packed full of recipes! I really like the idea of a card for many years much better than what I started last year ( a month on a page for 1 year). I was really bad at that last year.

  27. Wow this a great idea. I think i wanna do it also.

  28. Jess

    Just found this today Via Pinterest. I think that I am going to make one for myself and one for each of my kids. It will be crazy to see how they (and their Handwriting) change(s) over the years.

  29. Nett

    Had to click through from Pinterest…my mother has that same recipe box! :). Wonderful idea, sadly I have a tough time remembering to journal.

  30. I found this via your ’12 by 2012′ recap post and I simply love this idea and the gorgeous box you chose for your calendar. This would make a lovely gift for friends who like journalling (and even for those who don’t!).

  31. Linh

    I’m in love with your blog <3
    & I MUST do this!

  32. Thank you for the inspiration! I will start mine in February 2012… :)

  33. I just saw this post on Pinterest and realized immediately that my mother used to have that exact recipe box! She had little dividers and would keep her weekly chore schedule along with birth dates and addresses. I haven’t thought about that box in 20 years!

  34. I’m so excited to see this! I also saw it on Pinterest and what is great is that this is my last year of using the 5-Year Journal which is no longer in print! I didn’t know what I would do so I’ll do this! Thank you!!!!!

  35. Ilona

    Wow, this looks so awesome! I will definitely have to do this in 2013.

  36. Hey Amanda I finally got around to making a calendar journal for myself. Thanks for the inspiration. I also mentioned your website on my blog today when I posted about my own calendar journal. You have so many awesome ideas. Thank you!!!

  37. I have been using this 5 year journal from Tamara Shopshin ( It is really just to jot a few thoughts down a day – I am starting my 3rd year (though many days have been skipped) and love looking back on what I was doing the same day in the previous year.

    My husband bought me this journal as a gift from Malprops in Asheville.

  38. melina

    I really like the idea, but I don’t wish to use cards and have a bulky container, regardless of how small, so I am going to do the same thing with a lovely book. I’ll just get one big enough to have 365 pages and then I’ll write one thing I do on each page as I go through the year; and then I can most likely use this diary for many, many years by the time it takes me to fill up each page! Very little preparation required!
    Thanks for the idea!!!

  39. Paula

    I truly love this idea. Believe it or not, I even have that very same vintage box. Have had it as a recipe box since getting married 45 years ago. Does that make me vintage too? ☺ Thanks for the idea.

  40. pauline

    I have the same vintage recipe box that I received with recipes at one of my wedding showers almost 40 years ago.

  41. Linda

    I have a recipe box just like this that I purchased at Woolworth’s Dimestore in the 60′s. I’m still using it. It is retro now, but mod bad then.

  42. jessica

    I need to know where I can get a box like this…I would love to have something very similar to this.

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      Just search ebay and/or etsy for “vintage recipe box” and you’ll probably find something similar. :)

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