How to Design a DIY Family Birthday Calendar Board

DIY Family Calendar Board

My kids are always eager to get their hands on any project that I’m doing. Not all of my projects are kid-safe, but this one is! I come from a very large family of 9 siblings and a ton of nieces and nephews! And let me tell you, it’s very hard keeping track of everyone’s birthdays. So my kids and I decided to make a DIY family birthday calendar board for my parents. No more belated birthdays! It’s very easy to make and doesn’t cost a lot. Here are the 10 simple steps to make this calendar:

  1. Rip 4x4 into Thin Slices to Drill Round Disc
  2. Drill Round Discs with a Hole Saw Bit
  3. Sand the Discs 
  4. Mark and Drill Small Holes in the Discs
  5. Sand the Family Calendar Board
  6. Stain the Birthday Calendar Board
  7. Print and Trace Over the Text Template
  8. Paint the Letters with a Small Brush
  9. Pre-Drill and Screw in the Cup Hooks
  10. Finish by Applying Polyurethane 

Instead of buying the discs, I decided to make them myself and have the kids sand the rough edges. Since they are young and eager to help, I’m in! It was a lot of fun for them to sand the discs and my parents loved it! They attached this DIY family calendar board on the wall in their living room. Since they live in another state, we also sent them pictures and videos on how we were working on it. That made it even more special.

You also might be interested in my other wall decor projects that I’ve done. Reclaimed Wood Frame Sign, Wooden Kitchen Sign and Wall Decor with Shelves.

How to Make A DIY Family Birthday Calendar Board

Download Printable PDF

Family Birthday Calendar Text PDF

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This PDF download includes an 11×17 template of Family Birthday text with months.

Family Birthday Calendar Board

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Material List

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page as well as links in “tools for this project” and “material list” sections are affiliate links. 


Step 1 – Rip 4x4 into Thin Slices to Drill Round Disc

I started with making the round discs first so that kids could take their time sanding the rough edges. Take a 4×4 board and using a table saw rip 1/4″ thick slices of wood. Cut as many as you need, depending on how many family members you have and how many discs you need to make. Have in mind that it’s a good idea to make few extras; in case there will be a new addition to the family in the future.

ripping a 4x4 board to make discs for DIY Family Calendar Board

Step 2 – Drill Round Discs with a Hole Saw Bit

Next, using the 1 3/4″ Hole Saw Bit, drill the discs as close to each other as you can as not to waste any material. For this exercise, you need to make sure to remove the drill bit from the center. You don’t want the hole in the middle of the disc. I didn’t have a drill press at the time so I used an old precision drill guide to cut the discs. If you have the drill press I’m sure it will work much better.

using a hole saw big to make discs for DIY Family Calendar Board

Step 3 – Sand the Discs 

As I was drilling the discs I was handing them out for sanding. Drilling disc with an old precision drill guide was not the best experience but it got the job done. Most of the discs needed a little sanding to get rid of those rough edges. They didn’t turn out perfectly round after sanding, but grandparents didn’t mind.

kids are sanding the discs for DIY Family Calendar Board
boys are sanding the discs for DIY Family Calendar Board
girl sanding wood discs for DIY Family Calendar Board

Step 4 – Mark and Drill Small Holes in the Discs

After sending all of the discs, I marked a straight line on the backside of the disc so that I could drill small holes on top and bottom evenly. These small holes will be used to insert a wire and connect multiple discs to each other.

drawing a line on the disc for DIY Family Calendar Board
drilling a hole on the wood disc for DIY Family Calendar Board

Step 5 – Sand the Family Calendar Board

Cut out the main board from oak wood, which doesn’t have those undesired knobs. Mine was 24” by 8”, you can make this smaller or larder slightly, depending on the area of your wall. The next step is to sand the oak board to make it nice and smooth. I used P320 sandpaper making sure all of the sides were sanded as well.

sanding the DIY Family Calendar Board

Step 6 – Stain the DIY Birthday Calendar Board

After sanding the birthday calendar board, brush off any dust, and apply a coat of pre-stain. Then after pre-stain apply a coat of Dark Walnut stain. Using a cloth rag, wipe off the stain dry. At this point, since you have the stain container open, stain all of the discs. I used long needle-nose pliers to grab the disc and dip it inside the stain container. Then wipe it off with a rag.

staining the DIY Family Calendar Board
wiping off stain from DIY Family Calendar Board
staining the discs for the DIY Family Calendar Board

Step 7 – Print and Trace Over the Text Template

If you have good handwriting you could probably skip this step. But since I don’t, I printed a template on two of 11x17 sheets of paper. On the backside of the template, using kid’s sidewalk chalk, I colored it throughout making sure all the text was colored in. Then I flipped it and placed it on the board. Then I traced over the text with a pencil making sure the template did not move while tracing the text. This basically transfers the text to the board. If you’d like you can make your own design or write your last name on there, to make it more personal.

placing text template over DIY Family Calendar Board
applying chalk on the back of the template
tracing the text template for DIY Family Calendar Board

Step 8 – Paint the Letters with a Small Brush

Now using a small paintbrush, color in the text. I used a small brush to color in the word family and then I used an Oil Based Paint Sharpie to write the word birthdays. Also, I used the sharpie to write the 12-month abbreviations and everyone’s names on the discs.

painting the text of the DIY Family Calendar Board
painting the text of the DIY Family Calendar Board

Step 9 – Pre-Drill and Screw in the Cup Hooks

Pre-drill the holes directly under each month so that it would be easier to screw in the hooks. Then screw in the 3/4″ cup hooks.

drilling holes for the cup hooks DIY Family Calendar Board
screwing in cup hooks on DIY Family Calendar Board

Step 10 – Finish by Applying Polyurethane

The last step is to apply matte polyurethane to protect the board. I didn’t use polyurethane on the discs. To attach the discs together I used a thin wire that I cut into little sections. You’re done with this DIY family birthday calendar board.

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