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We love a big wall calendar at our house, so I decided to make one this weekend. I used my kids’ watercolors — little tubes of gouache (pronounced gwash) — and oversize sheets of paper. If you haven’t tried gouache before, don’t be intimidated. It’s basically opaque watercolor, and it’s really easy to work with. Find instructions below.

paint on plate watercolor calendar

Watercolor Calendar How-to:

1) Use a shallow plate or pie pan as a palette. Fill it with a thin mix of paint and water (approx 1 inch of paint squeezed from the tube and 1/4 cup water). Use a paint brush or spoon to mix and dissolve the paint in the water.

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2) For the squares, instead of a brush, use a household sponge. I cut one into a 2 1/2 inch shape that was just right for us. But depending on your paper, you could go bigger or smaller.

sponges and scissors watercolor calendar

3) Dip your sponge flat into in the watercolor and set it lightly on the paper. Experiment on a sample paper first to see if you need to press the sponge down or tap it to get the coverage you prefer. Once you’re happy with your technique use the real paper.

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4) Continue dipping the sponge into the paint every 4th square or so — or whenever you feel like the sponge needs more color. Tip: I kept the calendar app on my phone next to me while I worked so I could reference which day of the week each month started and ended on.

watercolor calendar

5) Let the calendars lay flat to dry for a few hours, then use your favorite pen or marker to fill them in.

watercolor calendar

Extra bonus: with tube paints, it’s easy to mix up a custom color if you have a unique one in mind — maybe the perfect shade of chartreuse to match your curtains.

watercolor calendar

The project was super simple and I think they turned out great. Now we have plenty of room to pencil in a year’s worth of adventures.

P.S. — Fun Fact: French calendars have weeks that begin on Monday and end on Sunday, but I used the traditional American format for our calendar.