November 22, 2013
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Have you ever wanted to cover a ring binder or album? As an example, here is a 3-ring
binder that I covered to use as a photo album. (Keep reading for more information about
pages for the binder.)
When I open the binder, you can see how neat the inside looks. I chose a coordinating
fabric for the facings, but you can use more of the outer fabric if you prefer. There is
also a piece of fabric between the binder and the the outer fabric. It conceals the raw
edges at top and bottom. I call this piece a "spine lining," because it lines the cover
behind the spine of the binder. Great name, isn't it?
Notice that the seams joining the outer fabric to the facings are offset to the inside
of the binder cover rather than at the very edge. By moving the seam away from the corner,
I can avoid the lumpy corners that result from two seams intersecting. In my opinion, the
intersection of a fold and a seam gives much smoother results. You may have noticed this
preference in some of my other projects, too.
I created the lettering for the design with my new Tall and Skinny alphabets. You can
read more about the alphabets in my Guide to Tall and Skinny and Stitch Counts for Tall and
Skinny. The alphabets are available as single characters here, and as complete alphabets
(including the complete set of all sizes) here.
The year is stitched in size 140, about 70 mm tall, and the words in size 120, about 60 mm
tall. The text fills the space well without looking heavy. The entire design had 17,470
stitches, which is not a lot for a design that is 171 mm wide by 226 mm high. I chose gold
thread because it coordinates with the highlights on the lining fabric and because it looks very
good on blue fabric.
Now, about those pages. If you search online for "binder photo pages," will find many
options for pages that fit a standard 3-ring binder. If you instead search for "binder cd
pages," you will see inserts that can hold CDs and DVDs. Do you still have floppy disks?
There are binder pages for those, too! Page protectors are wonderful for keeping pages clean
and safe from tearing out of the binder. Why not create a recipe book or collect your childrens'
stories? Why not create your own stories for children or grandchildren?
You can cover a purchased album (such as for stamps, coins, baseball cards, or photos)
rather than a binder. The instructions explain how to measure your binder or album, so you can
use almost anything that can open and close. The only requirement is that you are able to open
the front and back cover at the same time. (You need to do this in order to put the cover onto
the binder, as shown here.)
Click here to download the complete instructions for my Embroidered Binder Cover.