On This Day, A DIY Journal

words and images: Catherine Frederick

Over the years, I’ve tried several ways of keeping a daily record of our family life. Funny things our kids would say or do, or just something I didn’t want to forget. Something I’d always want them to remember, no matter how trivial or small.

I tried journals and various notebooks, each one starting off the way I’d intended. Then, before long, I’d forget one day, and then two, then before long an entire month of pages were empty. Trying to remember things and go back to fill in the blanks was an exercise in futility. Mom Fail #57.

I was determined to start the year off right, and so I searched for something I could leave out in the open, so I would see it each evening and stick to my daily task. Something simple. Something that would not be tucked away in a drawer or cabinet in one of my cleaning frenzies.

A few years ago, I found this on Pinterest. Staring me down. Begging me, MAKE ME NOW! It was an easy method. One that met my criteria of “simple.” Just flip to the current date, and at the end of the day jot down something that happened. For example: “Tyler got hit in the head with a golf club.” (Yes, that happened), or, “Mom backed into Dad’s car in the driveway.” Yep, that happened too.

The best part is, the calendar is perpetual, so you simply move to the next line down, year after year. Make one for yourself or give one as a personal, unique gift. Such a simple way to record the best (and worst) moments of your life, from hissy fits to hallelujahs.


  • Berry box
    Farmer’s Coop or Hobby Lobby
  • 12 postcards or 4″ x 6″ photos
  • (180) 4″ x 6″ lined index cards
  • Date stamp
    Hobby Lobby
  • Paper trimmer
    Hobby Lobby or Office Depot
  • Twine for gift giving



1.) Holding the index cards horizontally, cut them in half. I cut through two cards at a time with my paper trimmer.

2.) Stamp the month and date on each card (do not stamp the year). Depending on how picky you are on the “straightness factor” this takes about five minutes per month to accomplish.

3.) Trim postcards/photos to the same width of the cut index cards but about a ½” longer than the index cards. The postcards are used as monthly dividers and need to be taller than the index cards. This was the most difficult part for me. Not because of the cutter, but because it almost killed me to cut vintage postcards. Next time, I’ll purchase ones that have not been used, or I’ll use copies of family photos, etc.

4.) Decide which postcards/photos you want to accompany each month, January through December, and place the selected postcard/photo behind the set of index cards.


Follow me on Pinterest! pinterest.com/catfrederick.

Making this project? Share your photo! Send it to editors@dosouthmagazine.com

Comments are closed.