How to Make a Ring Binder

How to Make a Ring Binder
Make your own custom turned edge binders using the steps below. While there are many other binder-making methods and procedures, we feel that this option not only offers you (the user/maker) the most customizable opportunities, but is also easy enough for most home-users to accomplish, as well as relatively inexpensive.

What You Will Need:

Assembling Your Binder:

Step 1 Cut your fabric, vinyl or paper to size.

    a) You will need (1) sheet for the outside cover. This needs to be large enough to cover the entire outside of your binder with 1” to 2" extra on each side to wrap-around. For example if each of your chip board covers are 12” H x 12” W and your spine is 2” W, then you would need one sheet approximately 28” W x 13-1/2” H.

    b) You will need (4) strips to hold your chip board together. (These will not be visible on the completed binder). These should be the same height of your chip board, and about 2-1/2” to 3” wide. Hint: A strong fabric is generally used here to avoid possible tearing and provide flexibility for opening/closing the covers.

    c) You will need (2) sheets for your inside liner. These can be cut to size depending on preference, however, most customers choose to make them about 1/2” smaller on each side that each panel of your binder. For example, if your front cover chip board is 12” x 12”, then you would need two 11-1/2” x 11-1/2” sheets (one for the inside front cover and one for the inside back cover).

Step 2 Center your binder mechanism on the chip board strip meant to be your binder spine. Use a pen or pencil to draw a dot centered through both of the rivet holes and onto the chip board. Use your hole punch or drill to punch holes on both dots. Do the same for the outside cover sheet.

Step 3 Take the (4) strips and apply adhesive to the inside. Use these strips to attach the front cover, spine and back cover together, using one strip on each side. Leave a small gap between each sheet so that the covers can be easily opened and closed.

Step 3 Apply adhesive or glue to the entire outside of your chipboard (front, spine and back). Take the (1) large outside sheet, center, and apply to the glued side of your chip board. Hint: You can use a bone folder or the back of a spoon to smooth the cover over the glue and get rid of air bubbles before drying.

Step 4 Apply adhesive or glue to the inside of your remaining (2) sheets and apply them to the inside of the binder cover to hide the remaining chip board. Again, you may use a bone folder or the back of a spoon to smooth it out.

Step 5 After the glue is dry, use your rivet setter to attach the appropriate rivets to the spine using the steps below.
Rivet Setter Tool



F.A.Q.s

What chip board sizes do I need for my binder?
The chip board size is completely up to you based on the sheet size to be inserted. Below are the most common sizes for round ring mechanisms (which are mounted on the spines) and letter size 8-1/2" W x 11" H sheets.
    1) 1/2" Ring = 9-3/4" Front & Back Covers, 1" Spine
    2) 3/4" Ring = 9-3/4" Front & Back Covers, 1" Spine
    3) 1" Ring = 10" Front & Back Covers, 1-1/2" Spine
    4) 1-1/2" Ring = 10-1/2" Front & Back Cover, 2" Spine
    5) 2" Ring = 11-1/4" Front & Back Covers, 2-1/2" Spine
    6) 2-1/2" Ring = 11-3/4" Front & Back Covers
    7)3" Ring = 12-1/4" Front & Back Covers, 3-3/4" Spine
    8)4" Ring = 13" Front & Back Covers, 4-3/4" Spine
What size rivets do I need?
Rivets are available in a wide variety of sizes from 5/16" to 13/16". We have listed our two most popular sizes (7/16" and 9/16") online. For smaller ring mechanisms from 1/2" through 1" and 2-ring mechanisms, the 7/16" are typically used. For 1-1/2" rings and larger, the 9/16" are typically used. Depending on the overall thickness of your cover materials, however, you may need something different. Call (866)537-2244 to request samples.
What chip board thickness do I need?
Most binders are made using thick chipboard either 90 or 120 point. They can be made thinner or thicker, though, depending on your preference. Call (866)537-2244 to request samples.

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