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How to Create a Custom Calendar in iPhoto


A great way to show off the best of your photography and to create personal gifts for others is to produce a calendar of your work. This makes for a fantastic personalised present for friends and relatives alike.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to quickly and easily create a calendar from your photos.

Getting Started

For this tutorial you will need:

  • Your best photographs
  • A Mac running OS X
  • iPhoto

For the purposes of this tutorial, I will be using the latest version of iPhoto running on OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

If you are running an earlier version of OS X, the outline and principles of the tutorial will be the same with the exception of some of the detail in the iPhoto app itself.

Tip: This tutorial assumes that you already use iPhoto to manage your photographs. If you do not, you should import your chosen photographs to iPhoto first.


iPhoto is one app, in Apple’s iLife suite of productivity and creation apps, that allows to not only to manage but to be creative with your photography.

In this tutorial, I will be using iPhoto to show you how I create my own custom calendar that features my choice of photographs, birthdays, anniversaries and special events.

Step 1. Create Your Calendar

Creating a new calendar
Creating a new calendar

Open the iPhoto app and Navigate to File > New Calendar to create the basis of your customised calendar.

Step 2. Choose a Style for the Calendar

Choose a style for the calendar project
Choose a style for the calendar project

You will then be presented with a carousel of calendar styles. Click the left and right arrows to rotate the carousel, alternatively use the drop down menu at the top. The available styles are:

  • Picture Calendar
  • Big Date
  • Coloured Paper
  • Modern Lines
  • Classic
  • Travel
  • Vintage
  • Formal
  • Kids, and
  • Seasons

You may see that the calendar style examples already use some of your photos to give you a sense of how the finished article may look. Don’t worry, though, as these photo suggestions can be changed later on.

When you have found a style that you like, click the Create button.

Step 3. Define Calendar Options

Choosing calendar options
Choosing calendar options

In the dialogue window that is presented you will be able to select:

  • The starting month and year for your calendar
  • The duration of your calendar, any number of months between 12 and 24
  • National holidays for your chosen country
  • Events and appointments from selected calendars from the Calendar app (formerly iCal)
  • Birthdays taken from the contact card information in Contacts app

When you are happy with the selections made, click OK.

Tip: If you make a mistake or, later, wish to change the settings, you may do so by clicking on the Options icon and then the Calendar Settings… button to reveal the dialogue box once more.

Step 4. Define the Layout

Customising the layout of calendar photos
Customising the layout of calendar photos

With your calendar laid out, in iPhoto, in front of you, select any picture then click the Layout icon at the bottom righthand side of the iPhoto app.

The Layout option will allow you to choose to display any number of photos up to seven. The template layout options as to how you’d like the photos laid out will be displayed below.

For pages that use a background, you can select from a number of colour options if you wish to change the default background colour.

Step 5. Select Your Options

Changing photo options
Changing photo options

The Options icon allows you to define Effect for specific photos. Click on the photo you wish to change before selecting Options.

This is handy if you wish to change the photo to Black and White, Sepia or Antique effect.

Step 6. Select Your Photos

Selecting photos for your calendar
Selecting photos for your calendar

The Photos icon allows you to review the pool of photos that you have available for your calendar. You may not be using them all, indeed you may not wish to, but it’s a useful place to review them.

If you wish to add more photos from other Events or Albums, you may do so by seeking out the photography that you wish to use and dragging it to the name of your calendar project in the lefthand navigation pane of iPhoto.

Step 7. Customising the Calendar Days

Adding special events on the calendar
Adding special events on the calendar

Click the page, for any given month, to select it and scroll down so that you are looking at the month view.

If, when you created your calendar project, you selected events from any of your Calendar (formerly iCal) calendars then you will see those events or birthdays displayed on your calender project.

You may add or edit information by clicking on any day to reveal the Inspector. This is where you can add, edit or remove text along with changing the font style, colour and size. This can be particularly useful for highlighting important events–such as my birtday!

Step 8. Add the Finishing Touches

How to remove the Apple logo
How to remove the Apple logo

Be sure to check that all photos appear how you want them before ordering your calendar.

By default, all calendars are printed with an Apple logo  on the back. If you wish to remove this, navigate to Options > Calendar Settings and then deselect the tick in the Include Apple logo on back of calendak option.

Ordering Your Calendar

Got an Apple ID?  Of course you have!  Ordering a calendar is easy!
Got an Apple ID? Of course you have! Ordering a calendar is easy!

When you are ready to purchase the calendar that you have created, click on the Buy Calendar icon in the centre of bottom section of the iPhoto window.

A summary of the details of your calendar, and the pricing, will be shown. You may change the quantity, if required. This is useful if you have created a calendar as a present for family or friends.

When you wish to commit to your purchased, click on the blue Checkout button. You’ll need to confirm the payment method associated with your Apple ID before your project is uploaded to Apple.

You’ll be able to watch a progress bar of your calendar being uploaded and you will receive a confirmation of your order via email.


Delivery is normally pretty quick. In my experience, my orders have been despatched in anything up to five business days with delivery being a few days after that.

All of my deliveries have been made by UPS and all have arrived in perfect condition. It may be that Apple uses a different carrier in your locality, though, so I can not guarantee it will be UPS.

End of Year

In this tutorial I have shown you how to create, from scratch, a calendar of your own photos using Apple’s iPhoto application. I have shown you how to customise the photos and customise the pages and the layout of your calendar before placing an order for the delivery of the finished, printed result.

Calendars created with iPhoto make an excellent present for friends and family, alike.

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