December 2013 Free Giveaway

Illustration of a dodecahedron shaped calendar with November 2014 facing and two pencils on a desktop.

The Dodecagon 2014 Calendar Blueprints

by Rick Datta (Rik online)

I have to give my brother credit for finding a pattern for a dodecahedron—a three dimensional Platonic polyhedron shape made from 12 pentagons. This shape seems like a natural for a 3D calendar; 12 months, twelve sides, it’s easier to build on than to try pronouncing “dodecahedron” after a few egg nogs.

You will need the following items to realize your 2014 calendar, in addition to access to a printer and medium to card stock paper:

  1. A straight-edge. This is needed for cutting all the straight edges of your print. It doesn’t have to be a metal ruler, because measuring isn’t important (I’ve done that for you), but you can usually find one in the stationery section of grocery stores for less than a Happy Meal.

  2. A utility blade. Olfa makes a reasonably priced one, as does the Xacto Company. You should already have one; it’s probably in the kitchen, in the second shelf next to the toaster.

  3. A cutting board. I like to use the self-healing type of cutting board because after making several cuts, the groove left in non self-healing boards will lead your knife astray in the future. If you have a few unused pieces of cardboard waiting for recycling, you might try using them instead of a cutting board. The important point is not to perform the cutting on the good dining room table with the heirloom tablecloth.

  4. Some sort of adhesive. You can use tape, paper glue, rubber cement, or a glue stick. The good news is you probably have some already after wrapping gifts.


Thumnail view of the Xara file Download and open the zip archive for this month’s Giveaway, and load the Xara file. The instructions on each page are listed below, and you have your choice of color or black and white dodecagon calendars. Thumbnail view of the file is seen here.

You probably don’t need formal steps to make the calendar, but were I to write steps, these are what they might look like (and they are also included in the Xara file):

  1. The dotted lines indicate where the flap must be cut away from the pentagon shape.

  2. Fold the flaps inwards (to be on the inside of the dodecahedron).

  3. Start the gluing process by making the January part of the shape first. This will give you enough room to start the gluing process.

  4. Then when you start gluing the December end of the shape, leave the November pentagon to last. This gives you enough room to be able to slide in a thin blade to push up on the flaps, which are on the inside now and push against your hand on the outside.

  5. It’s best to close the November pentagon last. A thin flat knife (not too sharp, a butter knife would work here) can be used to close the last few flaps through a slit.

This construction project does require a little patience (so turn off the Bing Crosby music), but I think you’ll find the result extremely satisfying once you’ve made the calendar. And a spare copy might make a nice hanging ornament, especially if you’re an accountant.

To me, the project made me feel like a child again. You know, back when all you had were simple things, and you learned how to make things using your hands and your ingenuity.

Be sure to keep a highlighter next to your finished calendar, so you can mark important events such as Guy Fawkes Day, the First Quarter moon in July, the International “Talk Like a Pirate” Day, and of course, my birthday.

Superfluous Warning: Always take great care when using sharp things, such as cutting knives, your wit, and your tongue.

Discussion and support for this tutorial can be found on in the XaraXone forum Go on over and show us your snow.

All Contents Copyright © 2013 Rick Datta. All Rights Reserved. These files and any associated materials may not be redistributed without permission.

Rik Datta

Rik Datta (Rik online), TalkGraphics Moderator and member since 2009, says that he has learned the most from other members. Although Rik doesn’t use Xara Designer directly in his job—but rather for personal pleasure, he has used the world’s fastest drawing program to help visualize concepts, flowcharts, and other training collateral material for his 9 to 5 tasks.

Instinctively curious about how the work of others is produced, Rik has quickly become a valued resource on TG for logo design and a slick, sometimes reflective material rendering that has become instantly recognizable by fellow members.

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