Thursday, December 19, 2013

Binder Re-Cover Tutorial- as promised!

I can't even believe I have a moment to sit here and write this down- and so soon after last nights post!

I made this little recipe binder as part of a wedding gift for my brother and my new sister-in-law.  I sent out a request to all family members to send me some of their favorite recipes to add to this collection.  My goal was to give a gift that would allow them to add to the book as they went.

Added bonus:  I have yet to finish their big wedding gift (quilt guilt!) so it was nice to have something to gift on the day of their wedding.

This project was surprisingly simple and it delivered a great finished product, in my opinion.


 // Binder of choice to re-cover // I chose a mini 9x11 two-ring binder that I found at Marshall's for    $6.99
         Bonus:  this one included 5x7 recipe card pockets and page dividers as well.

// two sheets of craft paper large enough to cover the opened dimensions of the binder - in this case 22"
 I purchased wrapping sheets from Paper Source - Floral paper by Rifle Paper Co // Gold Lattice

// Elmer's spray adhesive

// ModPodge Matte

// ruler, exacto knife, scissors, sponge application brush for ModPodge, Gold Sharpie Paint Pen

[measure and cut]

measure your open binder on a flat surface.
add one inch on each side and cut your exterior paper as shown below.  this will be all one piece for the outside of the binder.

[spray adhesive & miter corners]

// spray //

lay your measured & cut exterior paper on a large piece of cardboard or an old towel and lightly spray the inside (white side on this particular paper) with the spray adhesive.

*be sure to use something underneath the paper for the overspray of glue or spray outside. 

take the newly sprayed paper and lay glue side UP on your work surface.  place the binder centered on the paper-  leaving a 1" border to fold over along the edges.  

gently press the front of the binder using your fingers to smooth any bubbles or wrinkles.  I found that the Elmer's glue was forgiving enough for me to adjust my placement more than once.  

// miter //

using your exacto-knife cut a small square from each corner.  take your cut close to the corner of the binder but leaving a tiny lip - this way you wont see any of the ugly paper you are trying to cover once you fold over your edges.

repeat square cut on all four corners.

fold over the side edge on the front and back as shown below. press to smooth on both edges.

with the binder still lying open and flat on your work surface,  press the top edge over the binder.  use scissors cut an angle- creating a nice mitered finish.  repeat for bottom edge.

// note // on this particular binder it was necessary for me to cut a wedge out of the top & bottom folds to go around the hardware.  I did this freehand using my exacto-knife.  I later covered the gaps by piecing in some of the inside paper with spray adhesive.


[cut inside paper to size and glue]

// cut // 

measure your interior paper to fit your binder.  i made mine about 1/3 of an inch smaller than the size of my binder, this way the nice edge from the front paper would still show.

I ended up with two matching squares- one for each side.  leaving a gap in the center for the hardware.

// spray // 

spray both sheets with adhesive-  working one side at a time.  lay the paper centered on the binder and press flat.  this time I used a ruler to help get rid of bubbles.  

look at those lovely edges!!

Now- for the majority of us- this project is complete!!  

But alas, I was giving this binder as a gift and as a recipe book it would likely be around spills and splatters in the kitchen.  I decided to make this a little moisture resistant and there were still a few touch-ups to finish.

[filling in the gaps]

I took some leftover paper from my interior piece and cut small wedges to fill in the spaces above and below the hardware.  I didn't want any of the ugly green showing through.  I simply eyeballed some squares, did a dry-run test fit, and then added some spray adhesive to the back of the paper.  This ended up being a super simple fix.

 Can you even tell??


I was very hesitant to take this next step- for fear of ruining my hard work.  However, I knew I needed to make this book a little more durable for its intended purpose in the kitchen.  Using a small craft sponge brush I applied a thin coat of Modpodge Matte to the entire binder-  inside and out.  I had some slight disappointment after the first coat created some bubbles under my nice, smooth paper.  But- when the glue dried, the bubbles were no more

I applied a second coat and sighed at the reappearing bubbles once more.

After a few hours the book was dry and the bubbles were gone.  And I was in LOVE!

For the final steps I took a gold sharpie paint pen and wrote on the cover & back binder of the book.

on the back binder I just wrote "recipes".

I filled the cards with family recipes passed along by family members from all over.  She definitely ended up with more cards than I had spaces for.  Lots of love for yummy foods in this family!

I loved giving something that was handmade and also had some sentiment behind it.  

I hope she has as much fun making the recipes as I did making this binder!


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