found an OK Circa cover material

I've been messing with a couple things that involving Circa notebooks that involve different size covers, and I didn't want to mangle any of the ones I have. So I've been on a search for a good cover material to make my own. I found one today that is a passable replacement.

OfficeMax is the only place I've seen these, and unfortunately not on their website. Just in store in the Columbus, Ohio area. It is the "Clear View" presentation covers. 25 covers to a pack. They are 8 3/4" x 11 1/4". They have rounded corners on the top and bottom right side. They were just under $17.

They are a bit thinner and more flimsy that Levenger's cover material. I wouldn't use these covers for a notebook meant to be a planner or carried with you. They would make a horrible writing surface. It would probably be OK if you were using it in a zip folio or Circa jacket.

The main reasons I wanted these was to try making 4x6" notebooks and top-bound Junior size notebooks. Pictures to follow on flickr in the near future.


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Comb Binding Supplies

I found the same stuff at Staples, Office Max, and Best Buy.

I've used it for a couple classic sized planners, like you mentioned ok but not rigid enough.

Poly Card Guides

Until I find a better source, I believe the best cover materials for smaller notebooks is the Esselte Oxford Poly Card Guides. They come in 3x5, 4x6 and 5x8.

Good, heavy, transluscent plastic and it comes in 5 colors !
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

brilliant, ygor!

I'd never thought of using those, ygor. Great suggestion. I ran out on my lunch hour and got two sets (not that I was excited or anything).

I should buy stock in Esselte Oxford

"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)


Just picked up a set of 3x5s at my local Big Lots for $1.00 usd.

let the fun begin :D

my artwork | my blog

Flexible Cutting Mats

This weekend I picked up 2 flexible cutting mats for about $3.00 USD from Wal-Mart's kitchen supplies section. They are clear and 12 x 15 inches. I cut one of them down to the size I wanted (4x6 for a walkaround notebook)and they were very easy to punch. They seem to be a bit thicker than the Poly card guides Ygor mentioned and I can make bigger and/or custom-sized notebooks if need be (and I also prefer clear covers so my home to-do list is always visible). The packaging says they are made by Arrow Plastic Mfg Co. Item # 00725

Rigid Vinyl


These folks sell the plastic I use for my covers. There's no minimum order and they'll ship via UPS. They will ship international, but the minimum charge is nasty, IMHO. International folks should be able to find a local supplier cheaper.

The stuff office supply places stock in their bundles of 20+ are probably .010 rigid vinyl for their flexible report covers. I use .015 and .020 for my covers. The .020 is the thickest I have and I wouldn't want anything thicker--it wouldn't punch. This is seriously tough stuff.

They have it in clear, transparent colors, and opaque colors, and you can choose transparent or translucent on the clear sheets. They'll custom-cut, too.

On their website, these folks advertise that they sell to hobbyists and the like as well as industrial customers, so they really do mean no minimum order.

If you want tough covers, order the .020 thickness. You might want to get a corner rounder because it will stab you.


Punching at the limit

The .020 is the thickest I have and I wouldn't want anything thicker--it wouldn't punch.

What is the maximum thickness that could be punched with a Rollabind desktop punch? I checked the box that mine came in and it says, rather vaguely, "punches up to 8 sheets of paper".

About .030


I can get two thicknesses of .015 into the punch easily, and jam in a .015 and a .020 with difficulty. So I'm thinking .035 is the thickest material you'd squeeze into a punch.

I wouldn't want to punch 11 or 12 holes into a rigid vinyl that thick--I'd never get it to go through even jumping up and down on the punch. I punched three holes through a .015 and a .020 at the same time and the punch didn't want to let go when I was done. It also made the two pieces stick together a bit, and jamming them both into the unit put scuffs on the plastic. But the holes punched fairly cleanly and three holes wasn't that hard to punch.

I asked for a price from that particular company yesterday, and a 21"x51" sheet of clear transparent .015 is about $13.50 uncut, and .020 is almost $16. Having them cut the sheet into smaller pieces costs a minimum of $15 and depends on how many cuts you want. With shipping charges of $9 at a minimum, it wouldn't be cheap. But if you get a bunch of them done at once or we put together a group order it wouldn't be that bad. The stuff is expensive because oil is expensive right now. It was cheaper when I bought mine about 3-5 years ago.