An idea: Rollabind Substitute (?)

I mentioned that I'm developing a Hipster-envy. If ever I do assemble one, I'm leaning towards the Rollabind/Circa set-up since it will allow one to easily pull and put back cards easily compared to other implementations. However, getting myself Rollabind discs and punchers is a long shot since the shipping charges alone would cost so much. So I thought of looking for a substitute that could serve the purpose at the least cost possible.

I guess today I'm in luck. Decided to look for substitute discs while running some errands. Found a 50-cent baby rattle in the Children's Dept. with discs with edges that are just about the same diameter as a standard two-hole punch. Excited, I went back home hoping that with these discs, I could make myself a Circa set-up. I was delighted to see that it does fit! Didn't cost me much -- just a baby rattle and a two-hole punch that's been lying around for some time in the house.

I plan to paint the discs either black or silver as you can see the colors are way off to be considered corporate.

Tomorrow I'm off to look for plain 3"x5" index cards. ;)

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Now, this is truly DIY!! I love it. True creativity!
nay nay

Prodnographer in children's toy department


I think this is outstanding! The creative jump you made from the baby rattle to the hPDA is really pretty impressive. The resulting hipster is actually quite compelling and exemplifies DIY innovation.

Any thoughts on a name yet? [could have some fun with this one]

There may also be a neat opportunity with the presence of the holes within the center of the discs. What kind of function could they serve - could you modify these into a pen slot?

Thanks for sharing the photograph of the product in its current form. If anyone out there is compiling a coffee table book on hipsters, this would make a great cover.



I've been thinking of drilling holes in a couple of circa discs and seeing what I could do - suspend the hPDA or Pocketster so that one can flip the pages around like a Rollodex... but I haven't figured a good way to drill the holes successfully and don't want to waste my good circa rings by messing them up! A pen holder is a good possibility too.

On the larger rings, like the 1" diameter ones, that center space is just wasted real estate begging to be used for something! Does one, in fact, even need the inner part of the ring to be there? What if the rings were completely open, like little donuts? I think a notebook might become a bit unstable with this setup, but if the rings had about 1/6" of plastic inside the actual ring part, that might be enough.

If nothing else, you could put a small carabiner or loop of cord thru the hole to carry the hPDA.

I love the way you think, chiz. Excellent leap of imagination.

Rolla Rolodex


OK, I get the concept.

Rolla/circa rings, drilled in the center with, say, a quarter inch hole.

Metal clothes hangers bent into triangles (2) with a small loop at the apex. Metal hangers (3) in a straight 'axle' configuration with open loops at both ends.

Slip one axle through the drilled rings. Loop the three axles on the triangular legs at the three corners. Stand the whole thing so the rings are on top. Voila, a rolodex made of circa/rolla.

It would work. Just need some strong pliers to do the bending.

You might also be able to modify a toilet paper holder by swapping the center plastic thingy for a thick wire.. Depends on the size of paper you're using in the rings, I guess.


Pin Vise

I did thought of using the holes as a "pen silo" but I'll need a pen with the same diameter as the hole. I tested a pencil and it fit snugly but the length of the pencil made it somehow awkward when it's placed in the silo. I'm afraid that the pen/pencil would get in the way when you flip the pages. Perhaps it's the same reason why the Rollabind/Circa discs are designed with no holes.

In case you really want to drill holes on your discs, you may use a pin vise to drill it:

If you have a scale modeler friend he might have one that you can borrow. An electric drill is overkill due to its higher RPM (rotations per minute), it would just melt the plastic discs. A rotary tool or Dremel with variable RPM setting would also be fine.

Again, I suggest you just borrow one from a friend since these tools don't come cheap.

Drilling holes through Circa Rings : Pen slot

It appears that drilling holes through CircaPDA rings actually works. [link to DIY pen slot]

I used some pretty basic tools to accomplish this: a mini-pen (the kind that is often included with small notebooks) , a Dremel tool with the basic included attachments, 1" rings, and a roll of duct tape.

(I'm pretty proud of that make-shift vice)

I think the 1" rings were important to allow the perforated pages to still glide smoothly around the diameter of the discs. The drawback is the added bulk to the top of the notebook.

Pen in circa rings

Hi. do you get the pen to stay where you put it? When you pick up the notebook and turn it sideways, say, won't the pen fall out?

Also, if you remove the pen and open and close the notebook a few times, flip around the pages, etc., will the asymmetrical holes you've drilled still line up with one another?

I could see doing this maneuver on a long notebook (longer than the pen) then deliberately misaligning the two end rings so the pen *can't* fall out..

Does it fit that tightly that friction keeps it from falling out?


Methods for keeping pen within discs.

>Does it fit that tightly that friction keeps it from falling out?

Actually, yes. I was pretty surprised by this too.

The friction is great enough to keep it in right now. This is in a large part due to the clip cut-out in the first hole. However, it's likely this will change over time.

Adhering the cap within the rings would be the optimal solution if it becomes a problem. I'll update the photo set as the design changes.

The holes line up without the pen since they were all drilled at the center. The exception is the hole with the clip notch (you just need to line the clip up to the inset when inserting the pen.)

That's a really clever idea for using the rotation of the discs to lock and unlock a pen in a longer notebook.


Let's circafy the world!

Right on, Ryan. That's awesome.

I was wondering, what if:
- the pen and holes were both shaped more like a rounded triangle, say?
- the pen had no clip
- the pen had a flange at the top to keep it from falling down into the rings?
- the pen had a different texture like lightly scored metal, or even was made of a different material to improve friction?



Very creative!

You might need to gently sand the plastic in order for the paint to stick... scuff it up a bit to get it a surface to grab on to. Nothing worse that peeling paint.

my artwork

Paint Primer

Yes, Sara. I may even coat it with a layer of primer to make sure that paint would stick. Chipping paint, I imagine, is worse than the candy colors the rattle discs have. =)


There is a paint advertised to cover plastic, such as outdoor furniture that should work

Pretty, pretty!

Myself, I like the pretty colors that your rings came in. But then, I like shiny things, too...





I read on a scrapbooking page somewhere that using a sharpie permanent marker on rolla discs is very good for coloring them. Someone suggested buying only the transparent discs, since sharpies now come in oodles of fashion colors, including metallics.. :)

You might want to do this operation wearing gloves. :)

Of course you'd want to test this on your baby rattle to make sure the sharpie wouldn't melt the discs. Some plastics don't like that kind of solvent.

Likewise, if you're frequently around solvents with your hipster, the sharpie might not be a good plan. Rubbing alcohol will cause the black marker to run a little. It's actually a deep purple color when diluted in this way (so sayeth the woman who tried to get sharpie out of a 2-year-old's shirt just yesterday). Well, if you're around that much solvent with your hipster, your pen on paper markings would be in danger anyway...

As far as pen-holders go, I think I'd still rather attach mine to the open end of the pages via some kind of loop. I know you can slide a pen through a spiral binding and it's not too inconvenient, but the rolla/circa has much more dimension. Difficult to get the item to stay in there neatly unless you made some kind of drawstring sleeve for it out of fabric or plastic. And if you're using a hanger/rolodex concept as a stand, you wouldn't have to remove the pen if it's on the open side of the pages.


what a clever idea

What a clever lateral use for a rattle!

I couldn't help but notice that the disks are a very similar shape to a large plastic washer, like those used in industrial plumbing.

Perhaps there's something appropriate in the washer section at my local hardware store. I'm intrigued now so I'll have to investigate. :)

If you just wanted standard holes on each card you could use the older-style round shower-curtain rings that open like a carabiner, eg


Please do keep us posted you find some. I'm also interested in those washers. ;)

"Baby Rattle" Hipster Pics

My "Baby Rattle" Hipster is coming along nicely. Here are some quick pics. Will post better pics in the gallery once I complete the whole kit.


Seems I may not even have to paint the rings since the neon colors blended well with the black vinyl cover I used. =D

Had a meeting earlier today and used my Classic binder. While it's functional, I like how the Hipster feels in my hand -- very sturdy and portable. Looks like I might ditch my Classic in favor of my Hipster! >_<


Do you have a special punch that connects the holes to the edge of the paper? (sorry I'm kind of slow these days.. hehe)

my artwork

Regular Puncher

Nope. Just a regular two-hole puncher. I just make a 4mm slot using a hobby knife.

rollabind templates

I have seen lots of interest on here lately about rollabind. The above link has some templates for calendars, exercise logs, and journal pages. It has the border on the punch side to accomodate the hole punch.


Great link - cute and fun templates!! This should liven up my planner!

Thank you!!
nay nay