Have hack in mind, but no punch!

So, I think I've figured out a couple things I want to do, but it all has to wait until I can get a punch. So very sad!

In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out what to use for cover stock. I'm going to need something in the letter-sized range -- just a bit larger. It needs to be sturdy to support writing without a table-top. Does anyone have any great ideas for cover stock?

Syndicate content

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Sara's punch substitution diy

Check this out. Sara provided some nice instructions for using scissors and an ordinary single hole punch to substitute for a circa/rollabind punch. So you can hack away now!:)

Oh, that would get me into trouble...

I'm such a nit-picker about how things look (you know, just a wee bit of OCD here...haha) that I would spend FAR too long punching pages to use. I have my own printed pages I will be needing to use. And the pages will change fairly frequently. I have two forms I use on a daily basis, plus project pages, so all that hand-punching would just take way too long. Especially since I'm using letter size here. I can't justify the cost of buying pre-punched paper when I can get reams of printer paper for just a couple bucks.

At this point I'm just trying to keep myself distracted by planning out the details until I can get the punch. ;-)


Well, goodness knows, I can respect a touch of OCD!

You could create a

You could create a template... then you only need to be UBER precise once. The hard part is done after than and only requires your hole punch to fit inside the template. If you make it out of a heavy material - even using a drill - it should hold up for a long time. :)

I also have a touch of OCD... but it tends to show itself in DIY Projects... I encounter a problem and I NEED to find a solution I can do at home LOL.

my artwork | my blog

Yeah, I did think about

Yeah, I did think about this, but I know myself too well. I am already putting in 16+ hours a day working most days, and I don't want to spend a lot of time hand-punching pages. I'll get the desktop punch, just not quite yet. *G* In the amount of time it would take me to get a template built out and perfected and get into the habit of using it well, I'll probably be ready to buy a punch. It may be a good thing that I can't buy it locally, or I'd already have blown the money.

Call your local print

Call your local print shop... we have TONS of cover stock in our shop or that we can order. Chances are they have a 12 by 18 or larger piece that they could cut down for you. If you ask for a sample, it is usually free - heck I would hook you up but yer not from here.

Always call your local print shops... we have amazing resources and love to help people out~!

my artwork | my blog

One of the things I'm

One of the things I'm curious about is plastic stocks. This thing will have to hold up to a lot of moving around and such, so I want it to be pretty tough. Do print shops carry plastics for use as covers? And are some thick enough to be moderately sturdy as backing? (I don't need totally stiff, just something sturdier than, say, my slot pockets...hehe.)

We have various card stocks

We have various card stocks - some are glossy coated and some arent. I like 'em for covers since I can print on the glossy side and they are very sturdy.

We do have plastic 'report' covers that are pretty resistant. I have a few mispunched ones that I will be turning into covers for my next notebook. :) I recommend calling and asking - cant hurt. We mainly print blueprints but have TONS of other fun stuff here :)

my artwork | my blog

Translucent Cutting boards

You might hit up your local Bed Bath & Beyond. I got a set up 4 cutting boards for $5. They aren't super stiff but it's the stiffest plastic I've seen availible. Warning though, when you do get the punch, these are a bit of a pain. It took some definite muscle and patience to get all the way through the plastic.

Funny that you should reply

Funny that you should reply to this now. I just got my punch today. Yay! I have the one item I wanted to figure out made and in use in my planner. But I am still trying to find plastic stock for covers, and having no luck. The few local print shops I contacted either don't use any plastics for cover stock, or use pre-cut stock that comes in letter size pieces. I'm actually looking for something larger. Like, poster board, only plastic, and ideally plastic of different colors or tinted transparents. Thick enough for cover stock, but thin enough to punch. Surely this isn't too much to ask. *G* This is my next big hunt.

I'll check BB&B, but I've had zero luck with print shops or hobby/craft supply stores.

I'm editing photos to post. Have to blur out client info from them. :-)

OffLead Blog - Dogs and other of life's joys.

Plastic sheets


You need to check on the internet and at your nearest plastic manufacturer for Rigid Vinyl, either .015 or .020. It comes in transparent as well as some opaque colors, I think, in sheets that are roughly 2 feet by 3 feet or thereabouts. You can get gloss and matte finish, generally. The gloss will show scuffs after a while, but the matte will be a 'frosted' sort of finish in the transparent.

You can also get sheets of PVC, but it's more brittle. Vinyl is more flexible, but wears better.

Fair warning, the .020 will take just about all of your strength to punch, especially if you're doing all 12 holes at once.

I have some smaller sheets, about 9x15, of the frosted transparent .020. I use it for covers for my kids' art, among other things. If you want a couple of those, we can arrange a deal. :)


How rigid is this? I am

How rigid is this? I am actually trying to find, well, the same type of plastic that is used by Rollabind and Levenger for plastic cover stock. I can't tell for sure, but the photos I saw after searching for rigid vinyl seemed like stuff that was quite a bit more rigid than what I'm after. (I'll be thrilled to be corrected on this...haha.)

I'm sure what I want is available online, and I'm just not searching with the right words.

OffLead Blog - Dogs and other of life's joys.



Rigid vinyl is the stuff you see as regular report covers in the stores--but that's thinner stock.

The thicker stuff *is* flexible, it's not like metal. It will roll up into a tube about 4 or 5 inches in diameter if you tape it down. When you bend it, it gets white in the fold. When it fatigues after being bent too many times, it tears, but it won't shatter.

There are other plastic materials. PVC, like I said, is more brittle and might break into shards if you drop your notebook. There are others besides these, but you really need to talk to a plastic expert about the properties you want and the thickness you require before you're going to get a good answer about what to buy. Look in the yellow pages or the internet for a plastic manufacturer that handles sheets of plastic. Talk to the sales guy about what you want and see if he can tell you what a good material would be.

The rigid vinyl works great for me in smaller books, very flat and stiff. In my larger books of kid art it shows its flexibility, curving around cereal art and lumpy shapes in a forgiving, non-cardboard-like way.

One thing to consider--you might try getting a strong but flexible material to punch, then attach it to something very rigid (like the backerboard from a clipboard). This is what Levenger does with its leather covers--a plastic card to punch that's flexible and durable, stitched down to the piece that has the leather covering. You should be able to skeeve a clipboard back or buy a piece of matte board or something--even foam core. Then your only challenge is to attach that to your plastic punch-strip. There are hundreds of ways to do that so it will stay.


Yeah, I've already been

Yeah, I've already been thinking about some of this. I want to do some fabric covers, and have been pondering the different methods. I've been considering the method you describe, trying to figure out the best ways to affix the material to a plastic punch strip.

I also would like to try to make a fabric "cover page" (different idea, not in combination with the above). So, as some people have used really nice papers as cover pages in combination with the plastic covers, I thought about using fabric. I'd need to sew it up sort of like a very small pillow without the stuffing, so it was right-side fabric both front and back. The only problem would be whether or not the punch could punch through the fabric (and whether or not doing this very often would ruin the punch...hehe), and then unraveling at the smurf-sites.

OffLead Blog - Dogs and other of life's joys.



Don't sew. Glue.

Glue the fabric down to whatever substrate you choose, then you won't have trouble with any unraveling. The punching is likely to work better, too, though honestly I think it will be too thick to go into a punch. I think you'd be better off punching your substrate, then gluing the fabric on and finishing the fabric hole with an xacto knife.

You could also use *two* substrates to get the nice finished edge. So, take two thin pieces of pressboard, say, that will fit in the punch barely. Punch, then glue a piece of fabric to one side of each board, lapping the ends around the edges of the board so all the edges are covered. Cut the fabric around the punches so you can see the entire hole. Glue the two pieces of board together so the holes and edges line up. Carefully insert onto your rings.

The alternative would be NOT to punch your substrate and sandwich another piece of material between the halves--the longer the better for glue adhesion and strength. This extra piece of material would get your punch and would probably be made of a flexible plastic.

Anyway, it would all be quite thick and probably durable, too. It would be a nicer version of the Staples Rolla notebooks, done up in your own style.


This is all good thinking,

This is all good thinking, except that I want to basically make a fabric cover page, as opposed to a fabric cover. (I'm thinking of doing both, but for different applications.) For the cover page model, I would have a clear or frosted plastic cover, punched. But I want to see if I can create a fabric cover page, that goes inside the plastic cover. I'm thinking crisp thin cottons, mostly. Oh, sure, some pretty velvet or something would be cool (though too thick for a punch, as you said), but my first thought was of some pretty cotton calico patterns I have stashed. Also, as someone who does not quilt, I'm forever looking for an excuse to buy fat quarters. It's so hard to turn down those lovely little low priced pieces of pretty fabrics.

If I'm using lightweight cotton, I think that it wouldn't be too awfully bulky, though I'm not sure it would fit into a punch, now that I'm thinking about it. Hrmm...the thought here is to have the fabric cover page act like a paper cover page...in other words, not stiff like it would be if I were to glue it to a cover stock material. There's no reason for this other than that's just the way I want it. *G*

I shall have to continue pondering this idea. I'm just not sure how accurate I could be with an exacto knife. (Or rather, I know full well how inaccurate I would be...hehe...even with a template.)

OffLead Blog - Dogs and other of life's joys.

DIY Fabric covers

I hope you will be able to post pictures. I am excited to see the result!



Got the fix for a fabric cover page too. I used to do origami with fabric.

What you have to do is stiffen the fabric. There are several ways to do this, but the one I was using is a liquid glue-like stuff called "Stiffy". Basically you soak the fabric in the stiffy, which is the consistency of white glue, then you hang it up to dry (after removing the excess drippy stuff). After dried, iron the stuff, then you should be able to punch it like paper. If you can't punch it, you can still x-acto it. I used to make my origami squares in this way, then use the squares to make boxes--containers--from the stiffened fabric.

Works great.

Of course, you could fuse two fabrics together with some sort of interfacing, or you could just slide a piece of fabric into a page protector. Anyway, it's not tough. Just don't get the stiffy wet, because it will lose its shape and possibly get sticky again.

Mod-podge would also work, but it leaves the fabric too floppy to take a good fold.




I still have a few squares of stiffened fabric from my old origami days. One is a piece of ordinary cotton--black with gold speckles. It wasn't a fat quarter, but it was that type of cotton.

Anyway, I stuck it in my punch and it punches pretty well. I put 10 punches in it, but it would have taken 12 if the piece had been that big. You'd have to clean up the mushroom stems with an xacto, but the caps punched out just dandy. I was able to snap the fabric into the rings of a notebook just like a good stiff piece of paper, and it came out unscathed.

Not sure how well the punches would hold up over time--you might want one of levenger's reinforcing strips if your first piece starts to get raggedy with use.


Try fabric or quilting

Try fabric or quilting stores. They sell sheets of transparent or translucent plastic of the sort you're looking for. Quilters and such use them to make templates.

(I use them to do things like make splash shields around lapidary trim saws.)

Thanks. I'll check out some

Thanks. I'll check out some fabric stores this week. The craft stores have been a bust. *G*

OffLead Blog - Dogs and other of life's joys.