Levenger Circa hack - using 2 reinforcement strips when you don't have a Circa punch.

I have placed a demo of using 2 reinforcement strips in place of a Circa punch for those times when you don't have a punch handy. Photos and instructions are in my blog below. I would have posted it directly on DIY Planner, except I could not figure out how to upload multiple photos.


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New product idea


OK, Ryan. This is a new product idea for you.

Get you a self-adhesive tab, the kind you can put paper labels into. Look at how the tab adheres to the paper, and how they've kept the adhesive flaps from sticking to one another with the folded or split pieces of waxed paper.

Make a 'hole' strip that adheres to paper the same way. Sell it cheap, in boxes of a bunch.

You guys already offer page protectors in your various sizes, right?


I was thinking almost the same thing

But my idea was to not have a fold-over tab, but more like a Post-It note. Adhesive on half the tab (where the holes aren't punched), and you stick it to one side of the piece of paper. But from there, I have two thoughts. I'm thinking this would be useful for pages you don't want to punch, so it ought to be removable. And then my second thought would be that sometimes, it's just faster, and more convenient to add a page by adding something like this (in a meeting, on an airplane, etc) than dragging a hole punch around. Maybe both? How well would a Post-it-type adhesive work, though?

This was a really creative idea, for sure!


questions about the punch

I noticed the open punch in one of the pictures, and it looks like the top cutters are die cast in one piece with the lid - is that right? I have read in a number of places that the portable punch cannot handle card stock - is that because the cutters are not strong enough, does not have enough leverage, or is the gap for the paper so thin, that card won't slide in? And can anyone tell me if the desktop punch has steel cutters?

desktop punch

I have a Rollabind desktop punch, and it is heavy duty metal. I was able to punch plastic pocket slash jacket to make my own pocket divider. I had to push down rather hard to make this work, but I did it.


Thanks for the repl, Kenny.

Thanks for the repl, Kenny. I have been undecided about which punch to get. Seing Jennifer's ( claspingwalnut on Flickr)picture of the portable Levenger punch made me think it looked a nice, sturdy design, but Jennifer Yoon's picture of teh open punch made me think the dies don't look like they would stand up to much regular use, especially punching card. I am half sold on the desktop punch - when I can afford it. Five pounds of weight would add substantially to the shipping cost too.

I thought portable punch was metal?

I could've sworn that the portable punch from both Rollabind and Levenger was metal. Should probably get clarification from someone who has one, or Ryan.

No matter what the portable punch is made of, I'd say unless you need a hole-punch you can carry with you go for the desktop punch. If you *do* need a portable punch, check on getting the portable and the desktop. It would be worth it.


Portable Punch


I've had a Rollabind portable (they call it Personal) punch for 5 or 6 years. The guide is plastic and the casing for the punch part is plastic. The part that actually does the punching is metal. I've used it quite a bit with no probems.

I just did a little comparison with the punch and half-a-pound of butter. DH and I both think the punch is heavier. ;-)

Edited to add:
I just looked at jyoon's pictures. The part of the open punch where the die is, is metal, it's painted.

Someone asked about card stock: I've punched 110 pound card stock, 1 sheet at a time, with no problem. Have also punched heavier paper covers like the copy dept of Office Max, etc use when they do spiral or coil binding for you, with no problem. I've even punched the poly file folders, but wouldn't recommend a steady diet of that.

Thanks/ebay punch

Thanks all, for your replies. Preference is certainly for the desktop punch, as I would be using it for all my punching needs, it is just so expensive, and with five pounds weight, the cost of shipping would be as much as the punch, plus duty. They do sell them over here, but at £60 for just the punch, plus shipping, it would work out nearly $140! Unless I can get a really cheap one on ebay,where the seller is willing to ship to the UK, I'm probably stuck with such a high price either way. The portable was just a cheaper alternative to consider, not for portability, but not sure it would stand up to full-time use. Like shris I would be making a number of dedicated small books. I will be experimenting with a book version of my 'linear poor-man's Rolodex', which just uses a £1.50 two-hole punch, and similar to what Sarah did for Rollabind rings. Will let you know how it goes.

On the topic of Rollabind desktop punch, there is another one on ebay, though not the best bargain I've seen. LINK

yes on cardstock

I only recently got a portable Rollabind punch, so I can't speak on the durability. However, I've routinely punched two pages of cardstock since I got it. I also punched some reasonably thick plastic. Both without great effort. I'm happy so far.

A Punch Hack and a Cover Hack

I can suggest another alternative for a very portable punch that works well with index cards for a Circa Hipster PDA. You can purchase a Rolodex Business Card Punch at most places like Staples for about $7. As long as you have a previously punched card to work off, you can easily line up the holes on a index card. The holes are admittedly larger than the Circa/Rollabind holes, but it works in a pinch and they stay on fine with paper the thickness of index cards.

Another idea for covers when you make your own Circa Hipster PDA is to purchase Oxford Durable Poly A-Z Card Guides at Wal-Mart or Staples for about $2,50 and just trim off the letter table. I was able to punch these with a Rollabind PS 500 personal punch without too much difficulty.

Punch question

I've been experimenting with my own forms and a Circa junior notebook and noticed the pages I punch myself don't "flip" easily. They sortof grab the rings when I turn pages, rather than moving smoothly like the pre-printed pages from Levenger. Has anyone else encountered this? Suggestions? It's a minor, picky problem but it bugs me!

Paper weight?

Is your paper the same weight as the Levenger paper? I don't know, but I would guess that that might have something to do with it.



Someone else posted a while back that the home-punches don't punch holes the same size as the prepunched holes. That is, your home-punched sheets end up with smaller holes.

Also the matte metallic discs are kind of 'grabby' by comparison with the smooth solid colors because they have a slightly rougher finish.

So, if you've got metallic, you might try a shiny disc instead (black, blue, red, white...or the Rollabind pastels or translucents..). That might do enough. If it doesn't, then you might want to go back on your punched holes and make them a little bigger (scootch the page a hair to one side and re-punch, or try an X-acto knife).


Thanks for the tips! I

Thanks for the tips! I swapped out the silver rings I was using for some spare black ones, trimmed out the punched holes a bit to make them bigger, and I'm a happy camper!