Here Are Four Ways to Jazz Up That Textbook Binder

Are you sick of your boring old school binder but lack the funds to purchase the cool rainbow binder you've been coveting or the cool unicorn binder your friend has?

  1. 1

    To begin, select your wrapping material. While there are many materials from which to choose, paper is among the simplest and most adaptable Paper covers are simple to create and can be easily replaced when your interests shift, when the seasons change, or for special occasions. Give any of the following a thought:

    • The time-honored paper bag is convenient because it typically costs nothing at the grocery store. To top it all off, it has a decent lifespan. If you start with a simple bag, you'll have more room for drawings and embellishments down the road.
    • Wrapping paper is less sturdy than thick paper bags and more expensive, but the patterns and designs can make your binder look quite fashionable. Keep the scraps from your gift-wrapping sessions, and peruse the after-holiday sales for wrapping paper to score some seriously stylish designs at bargain prices.
    • If you need a printable cover, try searching for "free printable book/binder covers" online. Free, downloadable templates are plentiful; when selecting one for your binder, make sure it is the correct size.
  2. 2

    Get out the iron if the paper or fabric needs it. You don't have to iron paper or fabric, but doing so can improve the appearance of your work. Follow the iron's instructions for the proper heat setting if you need to press fabric. Paper requires a few additional procedures before it can be ironed.

    • Start by using a spray bottle to lightly saturate the crumpled paper with water. Set up an ironing board with a hand towel, lay your paper on top, and then cover it with another hand towel to prevent it from drying out.
    • Keep an eye out for wrinkles as you iron the paper through the towel on a low setting.

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  3. 3

    Trim the packaging to fit. When you open up your binder and lay it flat, the wrapping paper should hang over the sides. Half an inch to an inch of overhang is ideal. Your binder won't be completely concealed if your materials stop short of its borders.

    • Prepare a paper bag for groceries by slicing it lengthwise along one side. Slash the paper in half and lay it out flat. You'll end up with a blank, flat sheet of paper.
    • Simply lay your binder cover-down on a roll of paper (or a piece of fabric), measure out how much material you'll need, and cut.
  4. 4

    If necessary, remove the center strip. One side of the binder may be wider when it is open and flat (typically the left) because of the placement of the rings. Covering the center strip with paper or fabric gives the binder a more polished appearance when opened.

    • You'll need to take measurements of this central strip to ensure that your wrapping paper or ribbon is the correct size. There should be no excess space around this part.
  5. 5

    Start by taping down the middle section. Apply tape or glue to the inside of your binder if you have cut a center strip of paper or fabric.

    • Apply spray adhesive to the reverse of the fabric strip if using fabric, and then press the fabric strip firmly into place.
  6. 6

    Gather the long sides of the packaging together. Then, with the longer sides facing left and right, place your open binder, outside down, on the paper. Ensure that the "front" of any decorative paper or wrappings is facing down toward the table.

    • Make a light crease at the top and bottom of the paper and fold it over the binder. Take apart the binder and fold it in half lengthwise, making sure the folds are secure.
    • Keep in mind that non-paper materials, such as fabric, won't always crease. In regards to fabric, you are free to forego the creasing process if you so choose.
  7. 7

    Start by folding the paper in half along its short sides. Align the creases you just made in the paper with your binder and set it back down on the sheet. Just like before, fold the paper over the binder's short edges and crease it.

    • If you're having trouble keeping your binder's front and back creases together, you might need to attend to them separately.
  8. 8

    Get the binder's cover in place. All that's left to do now is fold the paper in half lengthwise, then in half widthwise, and finally fold the short ends around the binder. The cover of your binder should now fit securely, but not so tightly that it is difficult to open and close. Keeping your cover in place is as simple as securing it.

    • Tape is a great option for paper-based projects. Be cautious not to rip your binder's material when removing tape.
  9. 9

    Fold your binder's fabric cover in half, spray with adhesive, and secure. You shouldn't stress if you tried to use a fabric cover but failed to get a good crease. An adhesive spray can be used to attach the open binder to the fabric's reverse side.

    • The top and bottom should be folded over first, followed by the sides. Start at the binder's center, near the rings, and move outward.
    • If more glue is needed, apply it.
  10. 10

    Complete the binder's interior. Take two sheets of cardstock and cut them to size for the ring binder's inner covers. Apply adhesive spray (or glue the edges) and press firmly over the front edges you've wrapped around.

    • When you open your binder, the result will be a neat and organized page.
  11. 11

    Choose whether or not you'd like to embellish your wrapping paper. Putting the finishing touches on your binder cover is an accomplishment in itself. You are not obligated to stop here; after all, you have a clean slate. Inspirational embellishment tips are provided below.

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