This isn’t a long one.

I was struggling with an interesting idea for Valentines Day. Something more than chocolates and flowers and a card. Something creative, something at least a bit different.

After some brainstorming, I decided a customized calendar was in order.

It turns out the Costco Photo Center not only has a pretty decent print service (and is close to home), but it offers some other things you can create with you own pictures, like mouse mats, coffee cups and calendars.

The first thing to do was search through my photo collection to arrive at a photo set that seemed appropriate.

Then I had to upload those photos to Costco. Here I hit one of the negatives with the service: You can only upload 12 pictures at a time and you have to browse for each. I’d really have preferred some sort of drag & drop or group select for pictures to upload. I ended up with something like 72 pictures I thought I might use (yes, it was excessive) and uploading those 12 at a time was a pain.

Next you get to create your calendar. You can choose some basic styles then start dropping pictures on the calendar. You get to choose the front page pic and the text on the front page. For each month you can pick one or several pictures in different configurations. A feature I really like was being able to drop pictures on particular dates and add captions, like a kids’ picture on their birthday. Very nice.

Just for fun, I also picked a day or two extra each month and dropped other pictures in, like National Grandparents Day (which is real!) and Hug Your Sister Day and things like that.

You can choose from either 8.5×11 inch or a large 11×17, which turns out to be pretty darn big.

Because I came to my idea a bit later than I should have, I ordered the expedited delivery.

It came on time and the quality was very good for the size of pictures being printed.

This would be a great idea for Christmas gifts also. The price was also pretty darned reasonable even compared to a calendar filled with puppies with huge eyes or your favorite wrestling stars, though probably not in the same calendar.

Time Spent:

  • 1 hr idea
  • 2 hr selecting source photos
  • :45 upload
  • 1 hr design
  • :15 order

Cost: Less than $20 for the calendar (expedited shipping extra)

Categories: Make


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