DIY rolla/circa punching


Shris mentioned something in a previous THREAD that got me experimenting tonight with my new Circa notebook.

If you have a Rollabind or Circa notebook, a hole punch (the old fashioned one at a time kind), and a scissors... you can pretty much "DIY Smurf" anything.

I tried a couple different pieces of paper. Index cards, standard copy paper and scrap paper all worked~!

The only thing I see as a "problem" (actually more of a visual flaw rather than a functional one) is that the full circle hole allows more movement of the pages. Keeping the holes approximately 1/8th away from the paper edge is ideal. Closer results in more movement.

I simply took a piece of the Circa paper from my notebook and marked the center of the smurf to help me guide my "diy smurfs"... THIS link will take you to a more precise measurement of the Circa/Rollabind spacing.

I hope this helps someone out there who isn't ready to splurge on the punch. I plan on keeping my weekly hpda cards in my Circamagine and so far... I'm loving it~!

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After I posted that earlier comment, I went looking on the net for half-circle punches. I didn't find any after a brief look, that would have been ideal.

But there are other shapes that might work better than a circle. For example, a spade (like from a deck of cards) or a square. I found both those shapes in various places, though I'm not sure how big they are.

Getting the hole further from the edge of the paper will help to lock it in better, to a point.



Would you mind posting pictures of where you punch the smurfs? I decided to chop up my Classic planning pages from my Franklin planner into my Circa notebook. Good thing I only did a couple pages. It looks OK, but it was time consuming and doesn't look very nice compared to pre-punched pages.


How about making yourself a template?

I'd use plastic -- the lid off a cool whip type container if that's big enough, or sacrifice some storage container.

Lay a commercially punched page on top, and use a sharpie to show where the page starts & ends, and outline the holes.

Then punch the plastic so your round holes go maybe a smidge further into the page than the commerical ones, slice narrow slits from the edge into the round holes, and voila!

To use, binder clip the template onto a few pages (my one hole punch will do 8 sheets of 20# wt paper at a time easily) and start punching & cutting.

DIY Circa/Rolla Punching Tutorial

So its not really a tutorial but I took pictures of the step by step process ... mostly.


Please don't hesitate to ask questions :D It's working for me... pages are holding up just fine and I can flip around to the three different sections. Until my punch arrives, I will using this technique :o)

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This wasn't here when I started writing my reply -- sorry!

I still think the idea of making a template to somewhat 'automate' the process would save you a lot of time (and possibly wasted paper/effort) if you plan to do a lot of punching.


Since I have a punch on its way I'm not too worried about a long-term fix...

BUT ... taking a piece of heavier card stock and doing a "Master Guide" wouldn't be difficult at all... same process to help quicken the process. :o)

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thanks Sara!

This tutorial is great... I figured out what I was doing wrong. The link you posted showed the smurfs as being one inch apart. I made the centers of the smurfs the centers of the holes when I punched them and then cut the slits. Each smurf was a little farther down the page than it should have been doing it my way. I think I'm just going to see if I can get that deal on the punch from Wilde Ideas and not worry about it. Too bad my new notebook isn't here yet.


DIY punch tutorial

Excellent tutorial, Sara! And the hack is great. Looking forward to trying it myself...


You're a Goddess...

Fantastic tutorial, Sara. I have a Staples Rolla to play with, but hadn't thought to try a DIY punching solution to do more with it. Thanks!!!


She sure is!

Sara is extremely helpful. She's my hero!


dumb idea?

This may be a dumb idea, but after looking at your flickr photos, I had a weird thought.... What if you took scotch(R) tape, and covered have of the holes you punched, before you cut the slots. Would that do any good? weird thought, I know, but I was thinking of like putting half the tape on one side, folding it over to the other, so that the two edges basically met. I have no idea if this would work, or what width to use, but in my mind, at least, it looked good. ;-)



I think that is definate possible hack... however I have a bad history with folding tape... (long story involving a woven duct tape purse)...

I say give it a try and let everyone know :D

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This hack is not going to do

This hack is not going to do Circa or Rollabind sales any good! When this is further refined, all we'll need to buy from Circa or Rollabind would be the discs!

Not necessarily

It all comes down to how tight you are with money -- either because you have to be, or because of innate frugality.

There will always be those who value having 'perfect' smurfs and top notch paper enough to pay for them. Or who value their time too highly to go the paper-cutter and punching (and corner rounding?) route.

Innately Frugal...

Yes, far more polite than some of the words my ex-partner used to describe me. :D

I admit to owning a corner

I admit to owning a corner trimmer to round off my papers.

I also admit to owning three paper cutters (long story how I came to own three), and of course, the wonderful Circa desktop punch.

Those three items allow multiple pages at a time - 5 on the trimmer, 3 on the paper cutters and 8 on the desktop punch.

But it looks to me like the DIY punch only allows one sheet to be cut at a time. Multiple that by 8 smurfs per page ... yes, Levenger may very well find their punch sales increasing soon.

Not being sarcastic about this, but the time spent on this DIY could be spent on some money-making projects to let you earn some money towards paying for the punch.

Maybe Levenger will consider a scheme to allow the punches to be paid by installments. Ryan - are you reading this?

oh, really?

Didn't somebody post here a few months ago, about finding some baby toy that served well in this capacity? I know I saw a photo of some toy just recently that would work... reminded me of the post here some time back...

However, to be honest, by the time you kill yourself punching holes, taping, snipping the slots, etc a few times, I think Lavenger might find punch sales on the increase! ;-)


This is a test

Just want to see if ANYTHING I post is going to be sequestered or not.

Sheesh. What is it about my posts that gets them snarfed by the spam filter so often? It's giving me a complex.

Or maybe I'm missing an obvious career change.

Consider it a privilege...

I do not know enough about the spam filters to say why it catches so many of your posts. However, what I do know is as a moderator I have the privilege of rescuing you... which is always a pleasure. :)

How sweet!

I have always relied on the kindness of strangers. ;)


You could probably be making THOUSANDS of DOLLARS as a spammer right now, or at least enough to support your paper pr0n habit! :D But then poor Sardonios wouldn't have anything to do...
6 <- my cockatiel typed this right before I hit Post

Too true!

But I fear I do not have a great enough supply of exclamation marks to pursue that profession.

You have a talented but cryptic cockatiel. My cat frequently types, too, but her messages look more like ko;ok;so e3eww3e2ewpe

Levenger/Rollabind sales

I'd be extremely curious to see what has happened to Levenger or Rollabinds sales in the last month or two - if this site has influenced them at all. I don't think it would be worth the time or effort to create a whole notebook with nothing more than discs, a hole punch, scissors and paper. WAY too time consuming. I love the idea of taking an existing notebook and added pages as I need. I plan on using extra notebooks for archival, and at least one to hold my blank sheets & forms that I don't need quite yet.



There is something really nice about knowing that I can utilize my circa notebook in various ways without having to set it to the side before the punch and stuff arrives...

If I hadn't lucked out and won that auction... who knows how long I'd have to wait >.<

At least this way I know I love the system and I didn't make a judgement error :D

Kenny-have you tried adding stuff to your notebook?

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adding stuff to Circa notebook

I ordered a punch from Wilde Ideas this weekend so of course I don't have that yet. Still waiting on the order from Levenger. So right now all I have is the Rollabind notebook from Staples and sample pack from Ryan.

I have added more pages from my Rollabind book to the Circa notebook. Also, I discovered that my printer prints rather nicely on the Rollabind pages if I use the 1-up Classic size, but only prints on one side of the paper. If I try printing on the other side, it tears the smurfs to shreds!

I did try your hack on a couple pages from my Classic size Franklin planner. It works great. The only problem is having the DIY Circa punches next to the already existing Classic hole punches makes a mess of the page. I'll have to post pictures, it'll probably send everyone who likes keeping their planner nice looking running for cover!

There really isn't anything I can think of that I really need soon beyond note pages, calendar pages (which I did manage to get printed out) and what I've already got. I think I'm just going to wait until my hole punch gets here to go wild putting all kinds of new stuff in my planner.

Oh, did I mention I ordered 1" rings from Levenger? I'm going to have all kinds of space to add new stuff :-) I can't wait.


got Rollabind punch

I got my Rollabind punch today. This morning actually. The shipping label said it was 5 pounds. I thought that seemed a little high for a hole punch, until I picked it up. This thing is a brick! I see why you wouldn't want to carry one of these around. It is solid metal and probably weighs more than my laptop!

I brought my letter sized Circa notebook with me to work and hole-punched a couple pages to put them in. I'm not sure what weight paper is in the printer here at the office, but the hole-punch worked out great. The page turns fine. I don't think it would hold up well to being moved around multiple times...

Normal printer paper should be OK for things like shopping lists, weekly todo items, and other various short-lived bits of info. But I'm thinking anything I need to use on a frequent basis (monthly calendar pages maybe?) will likely have to be on heavier, higher quality paper.



Simple put a thin strip of packing tape (the heavy duty clear stuff) on the edge and fold over to the other side... then repunch your papers. I've done this a couple times and it helps a lot already :o)

ps... does your rollabind punch say rollabind on it? mine is neked... no writing or labels.

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Rollabind RollaPunch TM

Thanks for the tip!

The punch came in a box that says Rollabind all over it. It is the PBS1000 punch. On the punch itself there is a logo on the top part of the punch that says "RollaPunch TM" On the bottom it has a "Made in Taiwan" sticker and the plastic base says "Protected by Pat No. 5,553,959



Could mine be a fake? or maybe an older model?

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fake Rollabind punch? not likely

I'd guess the older model. I can't imagine someone faking something like that. If yours is anything like mine (I got the desktop punch) it is well built and heavy. Is there any kind of serial number of any sort on it? Maybe you could call Rollabind or some place that sells them and ask?

I remember reading another company, I think it was Karl Products, developed the technology before Rollabind. Maybe it is one of those?

I'd say if you got a well built punch for a good price that makes the right size and shape of Smurf, keep it and don't worry.