Don’t toss out old calendars. We’re almost into the new year, and you’ve probably replaced your outdated calendar with a new one.
If you haven’t yet thrown your old one away, there are plenty of ways to reuse it. I save mine to do crafts. My niece hangs her favourite calendar pictures on her closet door. I help her practise writing her numbers in the squares, and we have even used them to play interesting games. Here are some ways in which you could put old calendars to use.
Dated? Definitely not!
* Cut out glossy calendar sheets with lovely pictures and use them to line the walls and base of your book shelves.
* They could be taped on the door of your room as posters or on the wall against your study table.
* They make excellent covers for your dictionary and atlas.
* The colourful sheets could be turned into conical party caps or unique carry bags.
‘Number lag gaya’!
If your calendar has large, bold numbers in squares or rectangles, cut them out neatly.
Sort out sturdy wedding cards and invitations that are printed just on one side and paste them in such a way so that the printed sides are stuck together. Now paste the numbers cut out from the calendar sheets on to the thick cardboard and cut them out. You can use these cards as tokens. If you need numbers beyond 31, you can either combine single digits for higher numbers or very simply write them using colourful sketch pens. Your friendly neighbourhood doctor and dentist will be very happy to use these tokens, and so will the people watching footwear at temples and mosques. People managing cycle stands, parking lots, libraries, malls and such places will find them very useful. Aunts, uncles, cousins and family friends who play ‘Housie’ will be very pleased to accept them as a gift from you.
* Some of you may have date sheet calendars or table calendars which come fixed on large cardboard bases. Remove the nail or the large staple from the board and tape the surface evenly. Wrap it around firmly with a used gift wrap sheet and tape it. Cut out the silhouettes of your favourite pictures from invitations or birthday cards and paste them randomly on the board. Stick two or three bunches of post-it papers of different sizes amongst the pictures. You could line the border of the pad using the linear designs on the cards to give it a touch of creativity. Your little notepad is ready to be put up near the doorbell, kitchen, telephone, fridge, bedside table, medicine cabinet, study table and anywhere else you need to note down information or leave notes.
*Pictures in a table calendar are usually thematic. They could be cut and stored in neat paper packets for they may come handy for the next project at school.
* Some invitation cards may have picture on one side and plain paper on the reverse. They can be into little rectangles or circles and used as customised visiting cards, or gift tags.
* If the cards are large they can be folded and taped neatly on two sides and be used to store CDs without sleeves.
Bring out old and new pamphlets and cut them out in such a way that they are all of an equal size.
* Learn to roll perfect cones from pamphlets and when they reach a considerable number, give them to your chaat vendor who will put them to good use.
* Pamphlets could be cut into square sheets of paper which are ideal for practising paper craft like origami.
* Give away the rectangular pieces of paper to a nearby temple. Devotees could take home kumkum and vibhuthi wrapped in these papers.
* If the papers are too small for any of the above uses, they could be shredded and used to pack or store glass and terracotta curios.
* Shredded paper can also prove handy to wipe oil spills and greasy surfaces, clean.
If you have a Xerox shop near your house, you may have noticed that the supplies come in large covers which are plasticised on one side and plain on the other. A shop that does brisk business is likely to use five or six such packets a day. The shop keeper may not have the time to recycle the wrappers, so collect them from him and use them to wrap large books or line kitchen shelves as one side of the wrapper is water-resistant.
* These wrappers can also be used to make wonderful kites.
* They can be wiped clean and used by your mother to dry pulses, pat nippattus, obbattus and akki/ ragi rottis or murukkus and chaklis.
* They also make excellent chart paper and can double up as a base for handmade posters and notices.
* If there is a car rental office nearby, give them the sheets, for they need to make placards to receive guests at the railways station and airport.
* These sheets can also be used to write out addresses and names to be pasted on air baggage.
* They also make strong water-resistant covers and envelopes. They can prove useful when double packing and couriering larger items.
* Since most paper craft involves the use of gum, you can economise and prepare a gum using maida. Boil a little water, add a tablespoon of the maida (refined flour) and a pinch of asafoetida. Stir the contents till it reaches consistency of glue. The asafoetida in the glue will protect your work of art from insects in future!