Circa notebook covers?

I just ordered 400 disks from MC2 Office to put together a whole bunch of Circa notebooks. What has everyone who builds their own notebooks use for covers? I stopped at Staples tonight and looked at the comb binding supplies, but the covers are no where near as heavy as the Levenger covers I have.

Cardboard? Heavy card stock?

Thanks for your help and suggestions.


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cover stock and....

I frequently use what may be commonly called "cover stock" paper. It's stiff, and thick, and holds together well. I primarily use it for short-use books and for archiving. I recently discovered, however, something that may not be available in the US. These are plastic slip binders or report covers. The plastic is very similar to what Levenger uses, but a tad thinner. They come in A4 size, and have this hinged piece of plastic that grips the pages, and holds them in the binder. I, of course, cut that part off. If I'm careful in my cuting, I can get two A5-sized notebooks from one of these, so, while they cost over a dollar in US funds, the fact I can make two books makes them not so expensive. Next time I buy one, I will try to take a photo to show what I'm talking about. :-) Or maybe a few, to show the process.



Greta minds, eh? I do the same just so that I had some A4 folders. They work well even though they are not as thick as Levenger covers but as I use them at my desk they're fine. I get them from Smiths.

Plastic manufacturer


If you live in or near a big city, you can hunt up a plastic manufacturer and see if they offer sheet goods for sale.

A nice heavy cover would be made of Rigid Vinyl in .020" thickness. That's as big as will fit in a circa/rolla punch, so it's a tough thing to punch, but it makes great covers. Very heavy. It comes in transparent, translucent, and opaque colors. It usually comes in big sheets, but the place near me will cut it down to whatever size you need. I'm running out of my 9x15, so I might need to buy more soon.

Another thing you can do is get heavy cardstock from your local print shop. Depending on what it is, you can glue two thicknesses together at right angles and end up with a very stiff, nice, opaque cover. And this kind of cardstock comes in patterns and colors, so you can get fancy with it too.

You can also order the scrapbooking covers from Rollabind--they're plain brown, but you can glue down a piece of (thin) decorative paper to cover that up, and they're prepunched.


I still have some

"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)

How about using cheap

How about using cheap plastic placemats? You can find some fun looking ones too.

That's what I use all the

That's what I use all the time. I get them at the dollar store, or as a Christmas present, if like me you are unlucky.

"It's better to be a pirate than to join the Navy." -- Steve Jobs

GREAT idea!

I never thought of that! Placemats would so much fun!!!!!!!!

"To fly, we must have resistance."

Or flexible cutting boards?

Those thin flexible sheets sold for use as cutting boards in the kitchen? I've seen them in colors too. I like the placemat idea. You can find a wide variety available in most stores.


"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." Albert Einstein and Buckaroo Banzai

That's what I use

3 flexible cutting boards for $1 at the local dollar store.

Wow! Thanks

Wow, Thanks! You guys have given me some great ideas. I am going to be purchasing some covers off of Ygor, but I may have to hack something together from the dollar store just to see how that works out.

The funny part is I was looking at the flex cutting boards I have from Ikea tonight while I was making dinner and wondering if they would work! Glad I am not nuts!

Thanks again, you guys and gals rock.


You may want to try those

You may want to try those plastic folders, or plastic notebook covers (such as those from Five Star). Pair it with a stiff cardboard, and you can be in business.

free black plastic covers

We just started saving the black plastic covers left over from the Itoya Art Portfolios we use for our Leather Presentation Books. I started using them for my circa covers. If you tell me what size/s you need I would be happy to make a few for you when I get a chance. I can punch them and round the corners to 1/4 inch radius. Just cover the shipping via FedEx.
PM me with the details if you are interested.


Report Covers

This may have already been mentioned, but I use Office Depot's letter-size unpunched black Poly Report Covers (item #531-800). They come in packs of 25 and are "15-mil" weight (thin enough to fit in a punch, but thick enough to not be too flimsy). Much less expensive than a similar size pack of circa or rolla covers, but thinner books will tend to sag when stored upright.

Office Depot's clear covers (item #531-824) are thinner (8-mil) and come in packs of 100.


shitajiki and cut up dvd cases as circa covers

Some of my most interesting covers have come from the DVD covers of boxed Sci-fi sets. I've made some out of the cardboard LOTR covers, and cardboard Farscape covers. But the best were from the plastic DS9 cases. In preparation for a move we were purging, and decided to save just TONS of space by putting all our DVDs in simple sleeves and then in storage boxes. What used to take shelves and shelves and shelves now take up three boxes. (yes, we have way too many box sets) As we were about to toss the cases, it dawned on me that some of them would make perfect notebook covers.

Also, some of my anime came with 'shitajiki', or pencil boards. Those make cool notebook covers too.

pics at flickr

My next one's I'll laminate them first though, even the plastic ones. They've gotten pretty scratched up getting tossed in and out of my bags.

For just plain storage, I've used the press board two prong binders, like these and just cut off the part that had the prongs. Utilitarian, but still come in nice colors. I've got a bunch of old ones that I just keep re-using. These juuuust fit in my Rolla punch. The cardboard DVD cases take a bit of finagling to get punched.