Sunday, December 6, 2009

Altered Binder

I just realized the last blog entry was over a month ago.  I know it is a little late in the game but if you're looking for a unique and personal Christmas gift you may want to check this out.  I got this idea from Amy Mowbry but I can't find her blog anywhere so I guess she dropped off the blogging radar.  Her tut was wonderful and I recall she had even photoshopped captions on her photos.  Here's my best shot:

Start with a old, ugly or just plain boring 3-ring notebook/binder.

Begin removing the vinyl covering by cutting an X  ever so gently - especially if you want to deviate and somehow use the raw chipboard instead of covering with paper or fabric...

You'll be left with the spine still encased and 2 floppy sides.

This is one of the trickier parts.  You are going to have to tenaciously seperate the chipboard spine from the vinyl covering.  It sounds easier than it is.  Its not hard though.  You're just going to have to finesse it and put a little teeth in it at the same time. Begin by cutting away your floppy sides...

Then you're going to want to take your exacto knife and cut as close as possible to the little posts on the front and back sides.

This is where you just have to put a little muscle in it and just pull it away.  I'm always afraid I'm going to tear something up here but I never have. 

Then you will be left with bare naked chipboard.  Ahh...a blank canvas!!!

Next you are going to want to use something to bind it back together with.  You could get all fancy and actually use bookbinding tape.  But I'd suggest a cheaper...ahem...less expensive route and use double sided carpet tape purchased from the hardware store.  Eyeball the length needed.  Peel off one side of the carpet tape and attach it to half of the spine. 

Use another piece of chipboard (the other side or if you're good just eyeball the spacing) so that the cover folds properly.  This is a tough part for me.  I always seem to get mine caddy-whompus and one side wants to lay down more than the other.  This is also about where the 80/20 rule kicks in with me and you can tell in the next few pictures.  Remember there are NO mistakes in art.   That's what I keep telling myself anyway. 

It should look pretty much like this.. See that little space between the spine and cover?

Now cut a little notch out of the tape so that your tape will lay flat.

Repeat for the back cover.  Then cut a length of fabric (you could use paper although I think fabric is a little more durable), remove the 2nd side of the carpet tape and adhere the fabric to cover the spine.

Cut a little slit down towards the middle of the spine so that you can work that fabric in.  See where I'm gettin' REAL "whatever-ish"?!?  Keep at will all work out just fine and the altered-binder police aren't going to come and cart you off.

There you have it.  I just folded the overlapping edge and put a little more double sided tape in there to hold it.  Just do the best you can.  It is the inside of the binder for crying out loud.  Do not worry about the raw edge/selvages either.  We're gonna address that later.

Now, trace and cut out a piece of coordinating scrapbook paper, cardstock or I guess you could even use some different kind of fabric here.

I glued it down with this Perfect Paper adhesive because I had it on hand.  Use what you like.  I've heard a lot of people like Tombo mono adhesive and also Zip Dry paper glue.  The stuff I used was just so-so... 


When you've glued the front and back covers down, run a bead of Aileen's Tacky Glue down the seam where the fabric and paper meet. 

You are going to cover it with ribbon and for some reason I don't have a very good photo showing that.

You may want to dress up the inside with some coordinating papers.  I cut the navy inside cover a little smaller just for interest.  And I always ink/grunge up my edges with ink.  Keeps things from looking too perfect.

These page protectors were in there and had some writing on them so I used some paper scraps and made it "artistic" (sorry about the sideways photos...not sure what's up with this blogging editor)

Use some alphabet stamps to personalize

And Voila...there you have it.

Tomorrow I will try to post how I alter clipboards.  They make great gifts too.


Confessions of a Homeschooler said...

That would be a great cover to store the annual calendars I give out! I give the calendars as gifts, then each year they cut out the pages and put them in a binder to keep, so they have a scrapbook of the year. Thanks!

Krista said...

Wow - that is so clever - I might even be able to pull that one off! I like your idea too, Confessions of a Homeschooler!