Pinterest put into Practice: a DIY Birthday Calendar


I have 5 questions for you  today.

For the last 2 questions, I don’t know the answers and I am hoping you will let me in on your secrets !

Here we go – Have you seen this pin?

No – you think you have, but you haven’t …

Maybe you saw something similar – but not this one. I know  – because this birthday calendar has just been made  – DIY  – and never been pinned before (YOU, off course are very welcome to be the first to pin it  !).

You are on PInterest, right?

Yes, I knew that.

Are you addicted to it?  Sort of??  TIny bit??

Ok – knew the answer to that one too.

But, for the next question – I  am wondering about your answer  ….. are you  a practicing or a passive Pinner?  A what….?

Passive – you love pinning. The end. That is where things stay – never make a recipe, never try the 10 health tips, never mix your own modge podge. Just adore you boards and feel like you accomplished a lot after a day of productive pinning (ME).

Practising – you geniunely look for things that apply, you actually go back and make them ! (MY SISTER).

My sister and I, from 2 continents, pinned the same pin (a different version of the one above, but we had a few opinions on it) – both thought it was a cute idea though. Chatting one late night on Skype about our total aversion to traditional birthday calendars where there is never enough space, and you forget in any case to turn the pages, so you don’t see the next month’s entries and then you may as well not have one to begin with. But this in-your-face, on-the-wall version that grows with your circle of friends and family is just perfect.

On her visit to Korea,we talked about  how she could finish off her ‘Orla Kiely -inspired’ study room at home.

We remembered this pin again and agreed this would be the perfect finishing touch to fill the empty spot on the wall. We rushed off to the Korean market, Dongdaemun, and gathered supplies.

She had some of the beautiful wallpaper left – enough to cover a plank – so no need to spend on expensive wood or paint.

Easier than painting the header, we bought some wooden letters that she could place on top of the plank – no need to attach to the wall.

Here is a picture from below so you can get the perspective of the letters and how thick the plank should be.

The trickiest thing to find is the round wooden “chips” as I call them ,but with enough determination you can find anything ! DO remember to have them punch in the tiny holes for you – most people are willing to do that….but you will pull all your hair out if you have to punch 200 chips both ends with a hole to attach them to one another (unless you have only 5 friends with birthdays – then go, ahead – it’s okay to attempt this at home !)

The “months”‘ were added an additional chip that was painted gray for a nice contrasting color to the white and to blend in with the color scheme.

Instead, she decided to just take a plank, cover it with some leftover Orla Kiely wallpaper and make it broad enough to have a safe ledge for the wooden letters to rest on.

Stencils were used for the MONTHS, but a Sharpie did just fine for the DAYS – especially if you have to keep on adding as your friends get added to you board… for that reason your own handwriting is best, because you don’t want to have 180 chips in one font and color and then you run out of stencils….or add over the years and then you have to get out a paintbrush every time. No, keep it simple and keep them the same. Just write on them – easy !

And that is basically Birthday Board in a nutshell !

A picture paints a thousand words ! I love how it came out. (that must have something to do with the fact that I had to throw in my ideas and inspiration of the how we will tweak the original, where to find things and  …….- ok, enough credit for me ! She really did it.) I am the pinner and planner, she is the implementer.

But to be fair to the person who came up with the idea of this birthday board in the first instance – here is the credit that is due to Lolly Jane. There you can find the whole tutorial on the exact how-to’s.

So, my questions again:

1. Have you seen this pin?

2. Are you on Pinterest?

3. Are you semi addicted ?

4. Are you a PRACTISING (*)   or a PASSIVE (**)   pinner? – I’m curious tell me?

5.  If you are “practising” – Tell me what you have done that you have seen on Pinterest? What have you actually taken off your Board and put into your LIFE ???

6. This is not a question –  If you are a “passive” pinner – oh, just go ahead and pin this !! You will never make it, but I know you will love looking at it as if you plan to make it !!  You can be sure to soon see it on my PInterest boards here.

Happy PINNING everybody and happy DIY if you can’t wait to finally be that person who does not miss a Birthday !   (I know Facebook reminds you – but put your friends on your REAL wall, not just your facebook wall !)




16 responses to Pinterest put into Practice: a DIY Birthday Calendar

  • Brenda says:


  • Grethe says:

    Thanks for all the credit – still wouldn’t have thought of it if it wasn’t for you…..ideas, supplies and inspiration. Can’t believe it took me 8 months to finally to it, but loved making it and love seeing AND USING it every day 🙂

  • Lolly Jane says:

    Thanks for the shout out 😉 We appreciate that.

    This is pretty darn cute! Great job, sisters! XO

  • Varada says:

    Lovely! Bookmarked for making it soon 🙂

  • Great tutorial! I have to admit I’m a gawker, I love peeking in from the safety of my home…it’s like pinterst was made for me 🙂 But I am getting better at actually doing the things I pin…still voting for the check mark button on pinterest 😉

  • brigitte says:

    I pin a lot bcs i’m stuck at home w/ tendinitis on both ankles. I have not started on a project yet (still unpacking those 740 boxes from the last move) but I do intend to start quilting again after I make space. I will make a composite of different ideas i found on Pinterest. I finally found the perfect Eagle for my son’s quilt and nice tulips for my little Dutch girl (Lauren)
    I love the birthday idea, not sure i will make it though!

    • Ilze says:

      You poor thing Brigitte !! Quilting sounds like a great option for being home though !! Hong Kong homes don’t have enough wall space to put these things up – so I have an excuse too – and I am sure you have same in Paris !!!!

  • elli says:

    ilze these things give me panic attacks!!!! want to be like you but can’t 😉 love your creativity.

  • Sabine says:

    17 April… just in case still missing 😉
    Love this Ilze! I am so much looking forward to work less. Have a huge Martha Steward Craft book that makes me think of you! And now with Christmas coming… would love to stay home, drinking tea, crafting, baking and cooking. Keep on posting. Want to be there when we celebrate your blog getting bigger.

  • Carye says:

    Curious on what size of jump rings you used between each different person’s birthday…any chance you’d be willing to share that information? I have all my supplies to make my own version but I’m missing that key part with no luck of a craft store near me to compare. Thanks! 🙂

  • Grethe says:

    Carye. Sure, no problem….the diameter of the rings I bought is 8mm. Anything up to 1 cm would be fine (I think) depending on the size of your wooden chips of course (my chips are 3cm). Smaller than that you’ll struggle to open them. Good luck! Let us know how your calendar came out…

  • Patricia says:

    Just curious where you finally found the wood chips and when you say have “them” put holes in them for you, who is “them?” Will they do that at, say, Home Depot?

    • Ilze says:

      Hi Patricia – I found it at the Fabric & Accessory market in Korea – at Dongdaemun, but I think in the UK or US places like Hobbycraft, Michaels or any craftstore might be a better bet than a big handystore or market. I asked the guy who supplied them to make holes in them, but a store might not be so willing. It is not a big deal to drill these holes yourself – no muscle required like hard walls….just very time consuming !!

  • Shannan says:

    Can you tell me where you purchased the wooden chips?

    • Ilze says:

      HI Shannan – I just replied to Patricia. Same answer applies. Sorry – I have been away from my blog for a very long time due to internet access where I was…. but happy to be back and hopefully you also find them !!

      • Shannan says:

        I did find them – thanks. I found mine at Michaels and I had to put the holes in them myself (with my hubby’s help)It really didn’t take too much time – he did just under 100 pieces in about an hr. The hardest part for me was finding the S hooks. But my boards are turning out great – thank you so much for the tutorial.

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