Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tutorial: Fabric-Covered Binder


I do not claim to be an organizational guru. Rate me on a scale from 1 to 10, and my organizing skills are about a 5. But I do know a good idea when I see one. I also like things to look pretty. And the piles of coupons that were cluttering my house before I did this project were not pretty.

A couple of years ago, my sister created a fabric-covered cookbook for my mom. It was amazing, because everything my sister does is perfection. I loved it so much that I made one too. The only problem: it cost about $25-30 to make. Maybe I'm a cheapo (well, ok, I am a cheapo) but when I recently wanted to make a binder to store coupons, that was too much.  

And, yes, I made this binder for my coupons. I just started couponing... that's a whole different post!

Back to the tutorial...

2-inch binder
Large piece of fabric cut to 19"x51"
Small piece of contrasting fabric for pocket approx. 11"x7" (optional)
Tacky glue (this kind dries clear, definitely a must)
Scrapbooking paper (12"x12")
Page protectors
Divider stickers (optional)

Center the binder on the fabric, top to bottom, and left to right. Line up the left side of the fabric with the binder rings. You want the fabric to slide under the rings as far as it can. Under the fabric, put a line of glue in the binder fold. Slide it back in.

 On the other side, pull the fabric tight over the rings, and mark where it meets up with the fabric on the other side. Trim it to size.

Cut three slits about an inch long at the binder rings along the edge. You want the fabric to go under the clip, so you don't see any of the binder. Do a test run, and then glue it down.

Once you have the binder covered, trim your excess fabric. First, remove the fabric on the inside. Use the binder as a guide, and cut along the edge. Then, create slits at the folds and trim that to 1/2". You should have what is pictured above. Now the fun part starts...

 Fold the small flaps up and glue, then repeat.

Put a line of glue along the binder edges and secure the inside fabric.

Make a small fold along the flap edge and glue down. Put more glue along that inside edge and fold down the corners like you're wrapping a gift. Put more glue along those inside edges and fold the whole thing up.

Do this on all the sides, and you're done.

If you want to add a pocket, fold the bottom edge 1/2" and glue. Then repeat on the sides. Add a line of glue around the edge and stick it on. As long as you don't put a ton of stuff in it, it holds!

To make dividers, take large 12"x12" scrapbooking paper and fold it in thirds.  I added a file label, but you could also use paper or write directly on your dividers.

Cover the back of the page in a glue stick, making sure you cover the corners and edges. Glue it all together. Trim the dividers about 1/8" so they're the same size as your binder.

Line the divider up with the rings and punch holes. (Or use a 3-hole punch if you have one.)

I used page protectors for all the coupons. The dividers are labeled: Circulars, Loose Coupons, Restaurant Deals and Store Coupons.

I'm sure there are ways to improve upon my techniques, but the best part about this project is its simplicity. And it's pretty inexpensive, maybe $12 total?

I hope you try it out. If you do, please post a comment here or on my facebook page!
I would be happy to make one for those of you who are less crafty. Just send me a message if you're interested!

Update: I no longer do "coupons," but I still use my binder for family papers and organization. 

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