Need cover DIY ideas or somewhere cheap to buy

I want to get some tips on making my own cover. I just want something very durable and will not come off. Currently I have a paper with illustration board glued to make it sturdy.

Since I have to reprint my sheets, what stock of paper are recommended 75lbs?

Syndicate content

Comment viewing options

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

What system?

I guess it depends on the system you are using. Is it disc bound or ringbound? Or maybe another system? That makes the cover somewhat different.

I am making a disc bound organizer at this moment. It's 15 cm x 15 cm so it's not that big. I found the M.I.L.K. cards to be the perfect size. That will make it possible for me to change the cover for another card if I feel like it.

I cut translucent covers (from I binder I was't using anymore) to the right size so I can put the card behind it.
If the cover is very stiff (like thick cardboard) I guess it will not be easy to put it in the discs.

For a ringbound cover it will be different. You need the ringsystem and the tools to attach it. Best is to cover the cardboard with the bookcloth or wathever you're using and then attaching the ringsystem. That is what I found to give the best result. It's a pain to attach bookcloth neatly when the ringsystem is already attached.

You will have to make sure you pay attention to the hinge. Otherwise the binder will not open properly.

I have the levenger system,

I have the levenger system, I just want to find material thats very durable to use as a covers. Anyone else got ideas?

Cleanliness is next to ideal world

If by Levenger you mean

If by Levenger you mean Circa disc bound, you could make covers with thick card for the back to give the book regidity, and attach a strip of plastic to the binding edge which allows repeated moving. The plastic does not have to be very thick. I have used a strip of plastic from blister packs, or an off-cut from something I laminated (if you sandwich the lamination with nice paper, you can colour match the strip. I stitched the strip between two pieces of thinnish card, which I also glued (the stitching is only through the binding edge, as the plastic does not glue well). You can then cover the card as you like, The front can be much thinner, as it back does the work of stiffening the book. I'll try to do a photo in the next few days and post it on Flickr. In fact, it is not unlike the way the Levenger foldovers are made, only using thinner plastic, which is quite adequate and punches well.

Ohhh email me the picture on

Ohhh email me the picture on how you do it

[Use the contact tab. ygor the yadmin]

Cleanliness is next to ideal world

What size ?

For smaller sizes, these are great:
Oxford® Index Card Guides
They come in 3x5, 4x6, and 5x8
Good, thick plastic that is easy to cut down to size.
"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)

plastic covers or book covers???

Do you mean the plastic covers you punch that act as covers for your pages or, do you mean something like a book cover to cover up all that stuff?

If you mean the plastic covers, just PM me and I will make some for you. We use leftover black plastic covers from the Itoya Art Portfolios.

If you mean a book cover, I am working on a do-it-yourself kinda post teaching how to make a custom leather cover for whatever size book you want. From there I hope to build on those skills to include making a leather binder for 3X5 or 4X6 cards.


I just want something sturdy

I just want something sturdy because my covers are paper and they are wearing down, so I need something more sturdy, I don't want to spend the money thought someone has a DIY for this.

Cleanliness is next to ideal world

Report covers

I don't know if you can get them in the US, but here in Krakow, we have these A4 report covers/binders. You slip the loose A4 sheets into them, and slide a little clip over them, and they are held in place. I take one, and cut it into four pieces, and make two A5 notebooks out of them. They are like the covers from Levenger, only a tad thinner, and usually ribbed, or textured in some way. They are really cheap--a buck or so in USD (at least before the dollar tanked). I'm sure you can find something similar where you are.


I had the same thought

Last time I went to the office supply store I looked at these kinds of folders, thinking "cover material". Most were way too flimsy to be useful, and the ones that were thick enough came in packs of 6-10 for $20.00. I didn't need that many covers. :)

I use is a thick paper and

I use a thick paper and illustration board but it gets unglued rather fast, and the hole punches wear out easily. I just want thick plastic I can make hole punches or something similar. I should take a trip to home depot see what they can offer me.

Cleanliness is next to ideal world

cover ideas

Lots of things work as covers.

- nice pictures from heavy-weight plastic coated calendars.

- thin mouse mats.
Free promotional mousemats are the right price. ;)

- vinyl/plastic placemats

- linoleum (or vinyl flooring) tile remnant from a flooring shop. (This might be too thick to use)
You could have a marble-look or floorboard-look planner

- for something more exotic, those mats used to roll sushi. The mats are made of tiny sticks or reeds sewn together in rows. It would look nice either as a cover or sewn onto a card cover

- etc, etc

Also, if you covers are wearing down then you could simply put something on the edges to protect them. Craft shops and especially scrapbooking shops have lots of types of heavy weight coloured stickytape, which is useful for binding and protecting the exposed edges of covers.

Lamination is another possibility

Heavy paper or light card stock laminated works as well.
"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)

DIY Cover Ideas

Laminated scrapbook paper (or any other laminated paper) works well for both covers and tabs.

I recently bought a 3M Thermal Laminator at Costco for about $20. It came with about 100 laminating pouches in various sizes.

How do you like the laminator?

I saw it yesterday at BJS and debated long and hard and decided I didn't need it and wasn't sure it work for $20 - is it any good? I may go pick one up - great for saving some of my kids projects and perhaps other ideas.

laminator is great

The laminator works well. I've laminated a couple dozen items and have not encountered any problems.

Another plastic source

Hi Horus,

I've tapped another source of good flexible plastic for a variety of projects: 3-ring binders that you no longer want. You can use an Exacto knife to cut out any size or shape of plastic that you need from the binder covers. The material is both sturdy and flexible... AND it's available in a wide variety of (binder) colors. You can also use the plastic from the "pockets" inside some binders' covers. It's pretty nice stuff to work with too!

GBC Clear Rigid Cover too thick

Just wanted to pass on the fact that I bought the GBC Brand Clear Rigid cover to punch and it is just a tad too thick to get in the punch. So, that one can be crossed off the list!

When I need an inexpensive,

When I need an inexpensive, stiff plastic I go to a fabric or crafts store and buy something called Quilter's template plastic. Last time I bought it, I paid about $1.25 for a big sheet. I cut it to size as needed, for example to put something firm between a check and its carbon. Its easy to cut, and, I imagine, to punch.

Plastic Sheets for Circa cover

Just FYI, I made a circa cover using .030" thick plastic (PETG) sheets from my local art supply store. The plastic is nice and thick, but I have to warn you, it got stuck in the circa punch until I really pressed hard on the punch and pushed hard in different spots of the punch handle. (For a while there, I thought I had ruined the very expensive punch in an attempt to make a less expensive cover!) I used a cheap walmart trimmer to cut the 9x12 sheets to be the same size as the Levenger cover and a corner punch to round the corners. I would definitely recommended the corner punch, because .030" thick plastic is pretty stiff and a sharp corner could possibly hurt.

I'm pleased with the way the cover turned out. I'd like to be able to find the same plastic with a frosted side so it would look more like a Levenger cover.

DIY Covers cheap

I am going to be making my own planner this weekend so here are some ideas I came up with:

Chipboard (it's what journals are made out of)

An old hardcover book that's the right size. Just rip out the pages and re-cover. Can be purchased at a garage sale for .25.

An old hardcover children's storybook (like the Little Golden books) that you can also re-cover.

If mine comes out decent, I'll post pictures.

I LOVE this site!!!!


GREAT idea. I may use that one myself.

Where do you get chipboard, please ?

I can find no retail source for it and all the online sources charge at least one removable body part for shipping.
"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)

cover kits


Scrapbooking stores or craft stores have 'cover kits' that are essentially chipboard cut to specific sizes (12x12, 8.5x11, 6x6). I found them at Hobby Lobby.


I still have some Rollabind covers to sell

Link: For sale: Rollabind cover material
"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)