Personalise, print, organise: create your own photo calendar

Collate your best memories from throughout the year and print a personalised calendar for your home or to send as a gift to a loved one.
A woman holds a printed calendar page as it emerges from a Canon PIXMA printer.

As the nights draw in and we spend more time inside, it's the perfect opportunity to review your year in pictures while preparing for the 12 months ahead. What better way to get organised than with a personalised calendar featuring all of your favourite family moments?

A homemade calendar printed from your Canon PIXMA printer is a fantastic opportunity to rediscover the treasure trove of family moments captured on your phone or camera, finding the perfect pictures to reflect each month. Or maybe you could select images from places you've visited, matching the mood and destination to the season?

Based in the southwest of the UK, photographer, influencer and new mum Rafaella Ponce has amassed an Instagram following of 19.6k, sharing her life with her husband and child, and other creative content. She also runs an influencer marketing app which helps brands and influencers connect with one another.

Here, she turns her hand to crafting, showing how creating your own calendar filled with beautiful memories from the year can be a fun and simple activity: all you need is a printer and a bit of creativity.

1. Get set up for your creative calendar project

A woman loading paper into a printer, which is positioned on a desk next to a pack of Canon paper and a laptop.

Rafaella really enjoys getting creative and is always looking for inspiration. "I love all things crafty," she says. " Scrapbooking is my thing. It's been a while, obviously, with having a baby, but I love it."

Minimal kit is required to make your calendar, so it's the perfect activity for a relaxing crafting afternoon at home. Alongside a Canon PIXMA printer, such as the wireless Canon PIXMA TS7450 Series that Rafaella used, you'll need photo paper that is sturdy enough to be pinned or displayed.

Canon Matte Photo Paper MP-101 is ideal for papercraft and produces high-quality, vivid photographs with a matte finish. Glossy paper, such as Canon Plus Glossy II PP-201, also works well, enhancing bright colours and providing the perfect finish for digital photographs. Both types of paper can be written on, so you can circle dates or jot down things to remember. Rafaella opted to use Plus Glossy paper to add a beautiful premium sheen to her calendar.

2. Choose your images

A woman holding a calendar page for October showing a pregnant woman holding a pumpkin next to her bump.

Finding inspiration for each month shouldn't be hard. Start with photos of loved ones that you can use for the months of their birthdays, and a Christmas family portrait for December, and work from there.

Whether you're including a candlelit portrait snapped at a child's birthday party, a happy summer holiday scene, an action shot of the family dog running through autumn leaves, or a favourite local landscape covered in snow, personalising your calendar with seasonal images of your most cherished moments is at the heart of this craft project.

"I was pregnant this time last year, and I did a shoot with my little bump and a pumpkin," explains Rafaella. "It was nice to print that photo for October because it reminds me of that moment and how time flies – my baby is now almost a year old.

"For me, it's all about the memories that you can create with your photos. So for every month, I would choose a photo that brings back the good memories I had during that time.

"If you go to my Instagram, you'll see that I really like using natural light and I don't like too much going on in the photo," she says. "I think less is more. Choose your images carefully, include a lot of natural light and declutter backgrounds."

3. Prepare your photos for printing

A woman sitting on a sofa with an infant, using the Canon Easy-PhotoPrint Editor app on her phone to edit a photo calendar.

"You can play around with the Canon Easy-PhotoPrint Editor app either on your computer or on your phone," says Rafaella, who used the app for her calendar template.

It's important to prepare your images before printing. Many photo editing applications will give you the option to select the image file type and quality when exporting, and Rafaella advises exporting in as high a quality as you can. "If you do that, when you print it, you'll see a better quality image," she says.

If exporting your images as JPEGs, select the highest quality possible. You could also consider exporting them as PNG files, as these file types lose less quality when compressed, often resulting in better-looking pictures. If you shoot your photos in RAW format, this allows for the highest quality possible and the most flexibility in post-production, when using image editing software such as Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP).

Remember, images may appear differently when printed to how they look on screen, so try some test prints to get an idea of how the final calendar images will look.

Rafaella used the Canon Easy-PhotoPrint Editor app, which features a selection of calendar templates. You can import your images straight into the templates or use them as inspiration for your own designs.

4. Get imaginative with your template

A woman sitting at her laptop, adjusting family photos on a photo calendar using Canon Easy-PhotoPrint Editor.

The Canon Easy-PhotoPrint Editor app makes it possible to add additional text, stamps and frames to your calendar, or apply creative filters to your images. As well as the templates on the app, there are a variety of calendar options on Creative Park, from advent calendars and birthday countdowns to 3D calendars and calendar stickers.

Depending on your crafting abilities, you could have a go at creating your own calendar template from scratch, but Rafaella selected the Classic One Month template from the Canon Easy-PhotoPrint Editor app, which gives you the option to add a photo to each month's page. Choose the correct paper size for your printer, import your photos, and play around with creative filters, stamps and frames to add your own style. You can even change the font and colour of the text to really make the calendar your own.

There are also a range of calendar options on the free Creative Park app, Canon's collection of free papercraft materials. Just pick a calendar template, select the size you wish to print and download the file. Grab some scissors, glue, a pencil, a ballpoint pen, toothpicks and tweezers and prepare to cut, fold, glue and assemble your calendar.

5. Print and display

A woman smiles as she holds her newly-printed calendar page.

You can connect directly to the Canon PIXMA TS7450 Series printer from either a computer or smartphone. The printer ink cartridges are also simple to install and change.

A woman holds an infant on a kitchen surface. A photo calendar is mounted on the cupboard behind her.

The hub of the home is often the kitchen, so you could display your personalised calendar on a wall-mounted cupboard to ensure you never forget important events.

Once everything is ready, it's time to start printing. The affordable and simple-to-use Canon PIXMA TS7450 Series printer has a great range of options making it ideal for both work and play. You can quickly copy and scan multiple sheets for work and also use it as a creative companion for activities with children. Canon's wide range of creative media includes magnetic photo paper so you could even stick your printed calendar straight onto your fridge.

6. Gift your creations

A woman carrying an infant, hanging a framed photo calendar on the wall beside a number of other framed photos and pictures.

A personalised calendar filled with special memories would make an excellent birthday present for grandparents or close friends.

When filled with joyful, shared memories, a personalised calendar can be a thoughtful gift for friends or family members. Alongside her own calendar, Rafaella also created a framed calendar print featuring a photo from her sister's wedding.

"My sister got married in August and my daughter carried the rings, so we have a photo of us with my sister and brother-in-law," she says. "I used some of the background designs from the app and it looked really nice. I'll post it to my sister and she's going to love it.

"For me, it's all about the memories you can encapsulate in your photos. Everything is digital nowadays but I think that we miss out on the 'touch' part. It's definitely a gift that I would love to receive. It makes your memories tangible."

Written by Lorna Dockerill

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