I’m a big fan of those daily calendars where you peel off a page for every day (and can use the backs of past days for To Do Lists and drink coasters) and around this time every year, I find myself with a problem. I get myself a new calendar, tear off the final pages of the old calendar and end up with something that looks like this:

This plastic backing isn’t recyclable. Should I just throw it out? The answer is no because it’s actually hella useful.

Look at the thing! It’s a little mini-easel! OK, it may not be the prettiest but you can put a little construction paper over the old glue spots & the cut out middle if they bother you.

But this handy little stand is a super tool for writers and sellers. For starters, it’s one of the simplest cheats for taking photographs of a variety of items. Just stand books or other awkward items, such as records (aka LPs), calendars, CDs, DVDs, movie cards, mind on card toys especially action figures, etc up easel style and snap your photos without worrying about getting the item at a weird angle or it falling over.

Fine Literature

Even if you don’t have a need for taking photographs, it’s still worth saving this little easel for in person events. Conventions, book signings, speaking engagements, craft fairs, flea markets… I’m speaking from experience when I tell you that pre-made stands are a) expensive and b) hard to find and c) not as versatile and useful as these babies. Use your 2011 backing to prop up a copy of your book while your 2010 backing holds postcards for your website on the other side of the table. And, unlike most of the fancy store bought display easels, these calendar backings fold almost flat which makes it much easier to travel with them. And they are very light while my purchased-from-Staples ones are over-built and awkward to transport.

As soon as you start to think about it, I’ll be amazed if you don’t find lots of uses for this little stand. I’ve been saving them for several years now and I’m always delighted when I kill off an old calendar because I never seem to have enough of them. And if you don’t have a Page-A-Day calendar yourself, it’s worth it to sniff around to see if a co-worker or family member is about to toss theirs and ask if you can have the backing.

What innovative ways have you “recycled” your old daily desktop calendar backings?