Forum: On DIY disc-bound covers (with links)
I made something the other day that y'all might be interested in. It was a stiff cover for a circa/rolla notebook.
It actually started life as one of those brown/gray pressed-paper pieces that's used as packing materials. This one was keeping some refrigerator display stickers flat, and had been shrinkwrapped for years. I tossed the stickers and the wrap and grabbed it, thinking it would be good for a notebook cover. Anyway, you get the same kind of thing on the back of gummed legal pads, but they do come in varying thicknesses.
This particular bit of board was too thick to fit into my 5-lb rolla punch, but I hacked it a little to make it fit. This is the important bit.
Cut the board to the proper size, then take a ruler and Xacto knife and slice partway through the board one half inch from the edge you intend to punch. Peel away the layers of paper until you have something thin enough to fit into the punch with a little bit of room to spare. It takes a little time to do this, since the paper comes away in small pieces and you need a pretty consistent thickness down the entire length. The Xacto is good for trimming away the bits and pieces. Anyway, once you have the strip thin enough (leaving the rest of the board full thickness), move on to the next step.
Now, take your thinnest, most beautiful paper and cut it a little more than twice as big as your cover piece. Carefully glue this onto the board (I used ordinary glue stick so there'd be no bubbles or warping). I made mine so the 'fold' goes over the edge you touch when you're opening the book. Glue the front down first and fold all the edges except the really big flap, trim up the corners at a nice 45 degree angle, and glue those skinny flaps down. Then bring the big flap over and fold the excess under so you have a neat fit. Glue the folded bits to the big flap, then glue the big flap to the board.
When dry, punch. If you haven't left enough room, you'll have to cut the nice paper back off--if you have to, do it on the inside of the cover, where you won't see it much.
Getting the discs in could be dicey--be very gentle so you don't bend the tabs. If you go slow, one side of the smurf at a time, you'll get the discs in without problems.
I made a front and back cover using this method and I am extremely pleased with the stiffness and beauty. Covering the sliced up bit of board with the pretty paper actually adds strength to that area.
I know visualizing this is tough, but if you get a scrap piece of paperboard and try it out, I think you'll see what's going on.