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Making a Single-Page Calendar

By Wendy Williams  ·  November 2nd, 2009

Calendars make great gifts for Christmas, so I thought that this month I would do a tutorial showing how to make them. Rather than go through all the stages of making the calendar itself, I have provided a download so that you just need to add your own photographs. I will also show you how to add edge effects to your photographs so that they blend into the calendar background and will go into how to change the colour of the text.

  1. First you need to download the calendar templates (The 2012 templates can be found on Wendy’s blog). Inside the folder you will see two other folders, one contains the US versions and the other the UK ones. Here in the UK we use a different paper size and also our calendar tends to start on a Monday whereas the US one starts on a Sunday.

  2. Open up the folder that best matches your country, open “Calendar Template 1″ and do Select>All then Edit>Copy.

  3. Now create a new file: File>New>Blank File. For US papers, choose Width of 11 inches, Height of 8.5 inches, 300 ppi resolution with a White background; for the UK, choose A4 (Width, 29.7 cm, Height 21 cm).

  4. Then do Edit>Paste.

  5. Now select a photograph that is suitable for your calendar and open it in Elements. Choose Select>All, then Edit>Copy, and once you have done that then go back to your new calendar file and do Edit>Paste to copy the photograph into your calendar.

  6. Then go to the Layers Palette and drag the photo layer below the calendar layer.

  7. Select the Lasso tool (L) and make a rough selection a little larger than you want the final image to be. This will make it easier for us to do the edge effect.

  8. Then do Select>Inverse, followed by Edit>Delete

  9. Next we are going soften the edge of our selection and we are going to do this using a mask.

    Choose Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels. We just want use the mask, so click OK and then click OK again.

  10. Go to the Layers Palette, drag the adjustment layer beneath the “Photo” layer and then group the “Photo” layer with the Levels adjustment layer. To do that just go to the Layers Palette again, click on the “Photo” layer and then choose Layer>Group with Previous. Your Layers Palette should now look something like this:

  11. We are now going to use the mask to soften the edge of the cut-out. So select a suitable brush, I choose one of the watercolour brushes from the Natural Brushes 2 set and I increased its size to 300 pixels.

  12. Go to the Layers Palette and click on the white area of the mask, then make sure that your foreground colour is set to black and paint on your image. Just do a small area and use short brush strokes, you will see that where you paint the photo is erased.

  13. The great thing about using a mask is that painting on it in black doesn’t really erase the image it simply hides it. So if you paint away too much you can simply change your foreground colour to white and paint the area back in again.

  14. Continue to do that to finish off the top edge and then along the bottom edge of the “Photo” layerw.

  15. Then move on to the sides and do both of those too. Don’t forget that you can rotate your brush to soften the effect and if you do too much then just change your colour to white and paint some in.

  16. Take some time at this stage and experiment until you get a nice effect. Once you have done that then it finishes off the first of our calendars

  17. For the next calendar go back to the calendar Template folder and select “Template 2,” then create a new file, add the template to the file, add a suitable photograph and drag it below the “calendar” layer.

  18. To do that you can use the same steps that you used for the previous template. (See Steps 1 to 6 at the start of the tutorial)

  19. For this calendar I am not going to do an edge effect, but instead will use the Move tool to resize the image to fill the whole template.

  20. To do that select the Move tool (V) and then click on the “Photo” layer, when the bounding box comes up move your cursor into one corner, click down and drag the cursor out until the image fills the template.

  21. Now that looks OK but the lower part of the text is not very visible so we will need to fix that.

    Create a new layer–Layer>New>Layer–and make sure that it is above the “calendar” layer. Go to the Layers Palette and Ctrl-Click (Mac: Command-Click) on the calendar layer then choose a suitable colour for your text. I chose white as I though this would make the text much more visible.

  22. Next I chose a hard paint brush and with the white I painted over the lower half of the text. A tip here is to hide the selection whilst you are painting as that makes it much easier to see what you are doing.

  23. To do that just press Ctrl-H (Mac: Command-H), and, although you will no longer be able to see the selection, it is still is there. When you paint the new colour will only appear within the selection.

  24. Once you have finished you can then deselect in the normal way (Select>Deselect), and that finishes off our second template.

  25. Finally, I couldn’t resist playing around with once more with a favourite photograph of mine. To this I added a scrapbook paper and a few scrapbooking elements to make a different effect.

There are lots more things you can do with the templates, try using different edge effect, use different colours even add scrapbook items or clip art to your calendar. They make great presents for your family and friends so have fun and most of all do remember to experiment and enjoy.


8 Replies to Making a Single-Page Calendar:

  1. Patricia Lee

    April 10, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    I’ve been looking for a single-page calendar for a while and this one seemed to suit my needs exactly.

    However, I only get to step number 4 (Edith>Paste) on page 1 and run into a “dead end.” When I paste the template into the new blank file in PSE, instead of months and dates, I get black boxes where ever there is supposed to be text.

    Very discouraging.

    Any suggestions?

  2. Wendy

    April 26, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Hi Patricia ..

    I am so sorry that you have had problems. I am afraid that when people post queries here then there isn’t any notification so I don’t see the query unless I come across it by accident.

    Lets see if I can help you …

    I just downloaded the zip file and it appears to be OK with all the months and days intact. Try downloading it again and if you are still having the same problem then just post a message on the forum and I will talk you through it :)


  3. Elizabeth

    May 30, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    The same exact thing happens to me. I am doing this on a Mac. Was there any result from Patricia’s query?

    When I view the download in Preview (what automatically opens to view a *.png file), it looks fine. The problem occurs only with the Paste operation into the PSE file.

  4. Elizabeth

    May 30, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Never mind, I have found the answer for myself! You need to use PSE8 to open the downloaded *.png file, not something else like Preview. Wendy, you might consider specifying that in the steps above so others don’t have this same problem in the future. I bet a lot of folks have something other than PSE set as the automatic app for *.png files.

  5. Elizabeth

    May 30, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    I do have a comment, though, that I think step 10 must now be out of date. In PSE 8, there is no command on the Layer menu that says “Group with Previous”. Instead, it looks like when you create the layer you have to choose the option “Use previous layer to create clipping mask” . . . is that right? If you don’t do that when you create the adjustment layer, is there any way to fix it later, or do you just have to delete the layer and start again with a new adjustment layer, this time clicking the correct option?

  6. Elizabeth

    May 30, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    I am giving up in step 12 in great frustration.

    I could use a pointer to where one makes “sure that your foreground colour is set to black”, since I don’t know where to set that and it’s not anyplace obvious to me.

    Also, as per instructions, I clicked on the white part of the mask layer in the Layers palette, and I can see that something is changing on that tiny square when I click & drag over the image, but nothing is happening in the image as I’m looking at it, so I have no idea where my marks are actually falling. I tried rearranging the layers in case I had them in the wrong order (see previous comment about step 10 being out of date), but nothing seems to make a difference, and I can’t get the cursor to turn into a brush.

    This is a very disappointing experience–I’m a new subscriber to PS Elements, and this is the first tutorial I’ve tried to do.

  7. Elizabeth

    June 1, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Okay, with the help of Wendy & Mike on the forum at, I have corrected my misunderstanding of how the change from PSE 6 to PSE 8 was carried out for creating clipping masks.

    For others who follow along behind me, if you are using PSE 8, you should do the following in place of step 10 above:

    Go to the Layers Palette and drag the newly created adjustment layer to just below the photo layer and do Layer>Create Clipping Mask.

    The order of the files in the Layer Palette should now be as follows:

    An empty white background layer
    The adjustment layer
    The photo layer with an arrow pointing downwards to the adjustment layer
    … and the calendar layer on top.

  8. Gene

    December 3, 2012 at 7:46 am

    I must be doing something wrong. I want to make a single page 2013 calendar and I find your templates for every year except next year. Please tell me where I can download your 2013 template.

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