Let me share what I’ve been playing with today, because I think it’s really nifty. Paige Balcer of Shutter Sisters shared this set of Photoshop templates that can be used to make a small photo calendar. The resulting pages are the perfect size to fit inside a CD jewel case for display. Alternately, a colorful binder clip or magnet clip can work. Ooh, and I just thought of this – remember the padding compound from a few years ago? That would be a great way to make a calendar with tear-off pages!
Anywho, I downloaded the templates, because Paint Shop Pro can read Photoshop .psd files, and inserted some of my favorite photos from this year into the appropriate months. A January 2010 photo was inserted into the January 2011 calendar, February 2010 photo into February 2011 calendar, and so on. I haven’t done November and December yet, since it’s not really possible without a time machine… What I did instead, though, was search Shutter Sisters for last year’s calendar (found it here) and made a November and December for 2010 from my 2009 photos. Now I can use my calendar two days from now, instead of two months from now, which is so much better for those of us who are instant-gratification-inclined…
The great thing about this is its versatility. I imagine there will be a number of ways to go with this, if you want to turn it into a Christmas gift-giving opportunity… Kid drawings for a desk calendar for Daddy? Pictures of the kids for the grandparents? I’m definitely going to explore this a bit.
Now, let me share one little thing that I found helpful. Each calendar template is a single image with two layers. The bottom layer is white with the calendar on it, and the top layer is transparent with a photo-size blue rectangle in it. The rectangle is meant as a way to guide your placement of your photo, and then the layer is supposed to be deleted.
I have a way of accurately placing photos that’s a tiny bit more foolproof, and guarantees that your images will always be perfectly aligned, and all pages will be consistent – not a pixel out of place. I know most people probably don’t care about that, but I am strangely perfectionist about this one thing. Don’t ask me why.
I opened one of the template files, and applied the following steps:
- Select the layer called “Photo.”
- Use the Magic Wand tool with match mode set to opacity to select the blue rectangle.
- Select the layer called “Calendar”
- Press the delete key to remove the white portion under the blue rectangle and reveal a transparent section in the Calendar layer.
- Drag the Calendar layer above the Photo layer.
- Select the Photo layer and rename it “Instructions.”
- Insert a new transparent layer in between Instructions and Calendar and name it “Photo.”
(I didn’t do these steps by hand for every month – I recorded them to a script and just ran the script for each template.)
The image above shows the difference between the original layers and my layers.
Now inserting a photo is as simple as resizing it slightly larger than the instructions call for, and plopping it down on the Photo layer. There is no need to delete the blue rectangle because the photo will be blocking it. Plus, the calendar on top now acts as a frame and the photo can never extend beyond its boundaries. Depending on how much larger than the opening the photo is, you can move the image around for optimal placement within the frame.
I hope that makes as much sense to you as it does to me – sometimes these things are hard to articulate! If my explanation is gobbledeygook, just ask and I will try to clarify 🙂
I don’t know if you’ll see this Paige, but thank you for the templates. As soon as I get more printer ink I’ll be hanging up my calendar – love it!