Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to Make the Timeline Cards

I am not very crafty (the understatement of the week!), but these timeline cards are easy to make.  Here are the steps:

1.  Make of list of the key historical dates you want on your timeline.  These will include events/people that will be "pegs" around which other events can be understood and also a few key people/events that you are studying this term or this year. You might include one or two favorites you have studied in past years, also.  My list (with an * to mark those we are studying this year and a # to mark favorites from previous years):

The Beginning
Sumerian Cuneiform (2500 BC)
Pyramids (2500 BC)
Abraham/Isaac (1900 BC)
*Battle of Jericho (1400 BC) 
Trojan War (1000 BC)
Founding of Rome (753 BC)
Roman Republic (509-27 BC)
Golden Age of Athens (450 BC)
Alexander the Great (356-323 BC)
Julius Caesar (100-44 BC)
The Nativity
The Resurrection (30 AD)
St. Augustine (354-430 AD)
The Fall of Rome (476 AD)
*Coronation of Charlemagne (800 AD)
*Battle of Hastings (1066 AD)
*Gothic Architecture (1100's-1500's AD)
*St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274 AD)
Columbus Discovers America (1492 AD)
Michaelangelo (1475-1564 AD)
*William Shakespeare (1564-1616 AD)
*Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669 AD)
#Johann S. Bach (1685-1750 AD)
*George Washington (1732-1799 AD)
*William Wordsworth (1770-1850 AD)
*Frederic Chopin (1810-1849 AD)
American Civil War (1861-1865 AD)
Queen Victoria (1837-1901 AD)
*Robert Frost (1874-1963 AD)
World War I (1914-1918 AD)
*Georgia O'Keefe (1887-1986 AD)
#Norman Rockwell (1894-1978 AD)
World War II (1939-1945 AD)
*Aaron Copland (1900-1990)
Pope Benedict XVI (1927 AD-present)

2.  Find images you like online and cut and paste them into Word.  Adjust the size to your preference.

3.  On another Word document, using a large font (I used 48), print out the name of the person/event and the corresponding dates.  Center the text.

5.  Trim the pictures to size and cut out the corresponding title.  I used a paper trimmer to keep the edges straight.

6.  Glue both the picture and title onto black cardstock, centering the picture over the title. The purpose of the glue is just to keep things from shifting around while you laminate, so you only need a little bit.

7.  Trim the edges of the cardstock so there is a nice, narrow border around the image and title.

8.  Laminate.

8.  Trim the laminated edges.

There you have it!  Awesome timeline cards.  

To display, use a black 2" ribbon as the "line" of the timeline.  The distance between cards isn't important as long as they are in chronological order.  I used a bunch of regular tape to adhere the cards to the ribbon, but velcro dots would probably be sturdier.  If any of my cards fall down over time, I'll replace the tape with velcro dots.  So far, they are staying put!


  1. Those are some of the nicest timeline cards I've ever seen, Caroline... thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  2. Thanks for the detailed info, Caroline. This is just fabulous! How many yards is your timeline? did you use grosgrain ribbon?

    I was thinking how I might merge the timeline that is used the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd with this, so the main ribbon would be blue....just thinking aloud.

  3. Jennifer, my timeline is about 15 yds. long. It goes around three walls in our "school area", which is a room about 15'x 10'. I used a spool of black ribbon I got in the Walmart ribbon aisle. It's smoothish, not grossgrain, but you could use whatever dark color and texture you wanted. I thought the tape would adhere more easily and firmly to smoother ribbon, which is why I didn't use grossgrain. If you attach your cards with the velcro, probably either kind of ribbon would work. Or you could even staple them. I attached the cards so the ribbon in the middle (see the picture in the Atmosphere post). It would be possible to merge any timeline with this one, just don't forget that the idea is to have "pegs" on the timeline, not so much everything you have ever studied. At the end of this year, I'll probably take down a few cards that were specific to our studies this year and leave up the main pegs--Birth of Christ, Pyramids, Fall of Rome, etc.