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Sew Your Own Pocket Chart Calendar from a $1 Target Pocket Chart

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A Heart For Home: Sew Your Own Pocket Chart Calendar from a $1 Target Pocket Chart

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sew Your Own Pocket Chart Calendar from a $1 Target Pocket Chart

Update: I made this calendar from a pocket chart I purchased in the Target dollar section at the end of the summer in 2011. I have not been to Target yet this year to see if they are selling these exact pocket charts, but others have said they have purchased them in 2012. We still use our pocket chart calendar and love it!

Last week we snagged some great deals in the Target dollar section. Along with some other fun additions to our homeschool stash we bought 4 small pocket charts for $1 each.

I had thoughts of putting two charts together to make a pocket chart calendar, but when I opened up the packages I realized that a smaller version pocket chart calendar would be completely possible using only one pocket chart. Even better!

I discovered that the 8 rows on these pocket charts would be ideal for a calendar since the top row can hold the name of the month, the second row the days of the week and the remaining 6 rows the dates. 

This way you never have to share a spot for an overlap week like this example:

I think that would be a little confusing for younger kids.

While I could have simply typed up and printed the calendar cards I decided that I'd rather have individual pockets for each of the cards to keep the calendar more organized.

I first measured and figured out how wide each day could be to fit seven days across the width of the pocket chart. Then I created a set of calendar cards according to these measurements. You can find the entire set which includes months, days and dates in our Free Printables section.

Once I printed and laminated the calendar cards I decided to use them as guides for where I should sew the columns onto the pocket chart.

I started with the bottom row and placed 7 cards side by side in the vinyl pocket. Then I went back and double checked to make sure they were spaced evenly. Once I was satisfied I pulled out my trusty Sharpie (fine tip works best for this) and made two small marks between the cards, one at the top of the vinyl pocket and one at the bottom. You can see my marks in the picture below.

Update: Erin used a dry erase marker and was able to wipe it right off when she was finished--great idea!

Next I simply repeated this process across the entire row and the next 6 rows (make sure to leave the very top row alone as this will be the row for the name of the month).

Once I had all my marks made I stuck a piece of masking tape a tiny distance to the right of the first column marks running from the top of the second row to the end of the last row. This masking tape is going to act as a guide while sewing the column pockets on the pocket chart.

To sew the column, I simply used a straight stitch set at the longest stitch length. For me that's a 5. I started at the bottom of the pocket chart (so I wasn't going against the vinyl pockets) and made sure to start and back stitch on the nylon (blue) part of the chart rather than the vinyl pocket.

My marks weren't all perfect so I simply adjusted while I was stitching through the nylon so that once I got to the next strip of vinyl I was on the Sharpie marks I had made earlier.

At the end of the column I sewed another half inch or so and back stitched several stitches. Here's what the top of the columns should look like.

Once I had completed the first column I removed the masking tape from the bottom up (so you're going with the pockets, not against them). Then I repeated the process (using the same masking tape) with the rest of the columns.

After the last column I cut all the loose threads from the beginning and ending of each column and slid in my calendar cards.

Pretty good for a $1 pocket chart and about 15 minutes of sewing! It definitely works for me!

In case you'd like to make your own calendar cards: I made mine in Microsoft Publisher and made a table that was 5 columns by 4 rows (in the landscape orientation). Each column is 1.9 inches wide (9.5 inches total) and each row is 2 inches high (8 inches total). You'll need two pages of these tables to make one set of calendar cards including days of the week.

Carisa @ 1+1+1=1 has started making mini versions of her Calendar Creations to fit these calendars. Check out all of her free sets here. (Be sure to print the mini versions.)
If you have any questions about making your own I'm happy to help. Also, let me know if you make one of these pocket chart calendars. I'd love to have your feedback.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great idea, Allyson, and I can see a lot of possibilities for schooling with this. Thanks for the tip!

July 21, 2011 at 6:58 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

What a great idea!! It never occurred to me to "personalize" a pocket chart. I will have to remember this. Thanks for sharing!

July 22, 2011 at 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

thank you so much for this pocket chart idea and the printables!!! I had picked up the chart from Target, but not exactly sure as to how to use it in our homeschool, I had been looking at pocket calendars and they are so expensive and out of our range right now! What a wonderful alternative thank you for blessing me with this post!!!

July 26, 2011 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I had an old pocket chart and am using it for my mountain math. I measured and sewed each row differently to fit all the cards. I can move it after we use it every morning. It works fantastic.

July 29, 2011 at 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this! A week ago, my vision was to create a pocket calendar out of a huge sheet of fabric and an unused clear shower curtain. Needless to say, I am so grateful to have run across this post and saved myself the grief of running shower curtain strips through my sewing machine and creating all of the calendar pieces. My schedule is already overextened with projects. I just ran to Target and picked up my $1 pocket chart! This will save me days of measurements, sewing, frustration, etc. Thank you!!

August 22, 2011 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

I wish I had a sewing machine! I'm a new teacher and I did the same thing on a Target pocket chart to create my classroom job chart, only I used tape to separate into squares. Hmmm maybe I will find someone at church willing to sew for me!

August 27, 2011 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger Carisa said...

I have "shrunk" down our Calendar Connections cards to fit this chart and have a link to your tutorial on all of the new files ;-) Thanks for sharing a great idea!

September 21, 2011 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

I just made ours a few days ago and it was so easy! Thank you for the tutorial!!

By the way, I used an expo marker to make my dots on the clear parts and it comes right off when you're done!

You can see ours here:

October 17, 2011 at 11:09 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Thanks for the clear instructions - was starting from scratch when I found our tutorial - I have one of these charts around - yay!

March 13, 2012 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

I have one of these charts and considered doing this exact thing. Thanks to you, I don't have to spend as much brain power figuring out how. :)

May 26, 2012 at 12:57 AM  
Blogger Dr. Harland said...

Just so you know, I found these at Target just last week (end of July 2012). And I was soooo happy to see this tutorial on how to make it into a calendar. I can do this..Thanks for your free printable! :)


August 6, 2012 at 11:34 PM  

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