Monday, August 11, 2008

Binder Cover Tutorial

Binder Cover Tutorial

Seam allowances are 1/2" unless otherwise noted.
Measurements of your binder may vary.....adjust measurements of pattern accordingly!

The binder I used was a 1 inch Economy Binder
that measured 11.5 inches tall x 22.5 inches (open )

Interface every piece, except lining and accent pieces, with a Fusible Craft Interfacing.
Mark the pieces, with thier name, as you cut them. I use masking tape on the wrong side of the fabric. This helps to make it less confusing.

This pattern is a Copyright of Jana Nielson , Lola...again!!! 2008. It is intended for personal, non-commercial use. You may not make and sell items using this pattern. Thanks!!

You need 4 different fabrics
Fabric 1 (berry looking)-main fabric for body of cover

Fabric 2(flowers)-contrast piece used for pencil pocket, and on outside

Fabric 3(dark brown)- accent used in small quantity

Random lining fabric

Cut everything out and fuse interfacing before you start.

Fabric 1 - Outside of Cover cut 1 @ 13 x 24, Inside Flaps cut 2 @ 10 x 13, Right Flap pocket cut 1 @ 5 x 13, inside of Snap Flap cut 1 @ 5 x 5.

Fabric 2- Pencil Pocket cut 1 @ 5x10, Contrast on Right Flap pocket cut 1 @ 3 x 13, Outside of Snap Flap cut 1 @ 5 x 5, Contrast on Outside cover cut 1 @ 10 x 15.

Fabric 3- accent for Right Flap pocket cut 1 @ 2 x 13, Pencil pocket accent 1 @ 2 x 10, accent for Snap Flap 1 @ 2 x 5, Accent for contrast on outside cover 2 @ 2.5 x 15 and 2 @ 2 x 13.

Random Lining fabric- Inside flaps lining cut 2 @ 10 x 13, Right flap lining cut 1@ 7 x 13, pencil pocket lining cut 1 @ 5 x 10, inside center facing cut 2 @ 2 x 8.

Step 1- layer Pencil pocket piece, Pencil pocket accent, and Pencil pocket lining with right sides together. Stitch edge with accent.

Step 2- Open, fold lining under, and press seam flat. Fold accent piece under 1/2" and press. Lay it on pocket front and top stitch down.

Step 3- Place pencil pocket on the bottom of one of the inside flap pieces and pin in place. Measure over 1.5" and draw a line (I just used pencil). From that line measure over 1 and 1/4" and mark a line. Repeat 2 more times.

Step 4- Stitch down lines to form 4 pencil slots. The rest of the pocket can be left for a calculator, or whatever!

Step 5- Layer inside flap lining with Pencil Pocket flap piece- right sides together. Stitch down the right side. Open, fold under, and press. Edge stitch sewn edge down.

Step 6- Now we're going to work on the right flap pocket. Stitch flap pocket pieces (of fab 1 and fab 2) along long edge, at 1/2". Open and press flat.

Step 7-Take Right flap accent piece and place it along contrast on right flap edge. Sandwich it with the lining RST. Stitch along this edge. Open seam, fold it under, and press.

Step 8- Press raw edge of accent piece under 1/2". Fold it onto pocket and top stitch it down. You can also add stitching along center-ish seam. Pin into place along edge of Inside Flap piece.

Step 9- Sandwich this piece with inside flap lining. Stitch edge opposite pocket at 1/2". Open, fold under, and press.

Step 10- top stitch down this edge.

Step 11- Now both of the inside flaps are completed!!! Now it is on to the Outside contrast piece. Pin the longer accent pieces along long edges of contrast piece. Stitch, then press open. Top stitch along seamed edge.

Step 12- Pin short contrast pieces along short edges. Stitch, open, and press. Top stitch along these seams also. Fold raw edges, of short sides, under 1/2 " and press. Center completed contrast piece onto outside piece and pin in place. Top stitch folded accent pieces onto the Outside cover piece.

Step 13- The Snap Flap. Measure down 1" from edge of Inside Snap Flap piece. Center Magnetic snap washer, and mark with pencil. Cut slits on pencil marks.

Step 14- Stick top of Snap through front of fabric.

Step 15- On back of snap I like to put a piece of thick interfacing (cut slits, and poke it through). Place washer on prongs.

Step 16- Fold prongs over to secure snap.

Step 17- Not pictured. Place accent piece along top of Outside Snap Flap. Stitch along top edge at 1/2". Press accent piece (raw edge) under 1/2" and top stitch it down . Now put inside and outside right sides together. Stitch around edges , leaving a 3 " opening at bottom.

Step 18- Clip all 4 corners (not just the top two like I did here). Turn right side out. Press opening to the inside.

Step 19- Center Snap flap onto one of the short ends of Outside Cover. Place it about 1 and 1/2 inches from raw edge. Stitch along edge .

Step 20- Flip snap flap back, and pin it out of the way!

Step 21- The ultimate sandwich....the end is near!!! Lay the Outside cover face up. Place Flap pocket piece (face down with raw edge on outside edge) on the end with the snap flap. Place pencil pocket flap ( face down with raw edge on outside edge). Pin in place. Take inside center facings and pin along center top and bottom. Stitch around entire sandwich at a scant 1/2".

Step 22- Turn it right side out and press all seams!!! Now you have to figure out where to put the other piece of your snap. Fold cover in half, matching short ends. Fold snap flap over and mark where the center of snap hits opposite side of cover. Put washer over mark, mark and cut the slits (only through the outside layer of fabric...not through inside flap). Poke posts of bottom of snap through the holes, place washer on the back and fold posts over.

You're DONE!!!! Stuff your binder into the cover. The fit is usually a little tight, but stuff it in anyway!!!

Now fill your binder full of goodies and enjoy!


Hey It's Di said...

I'm still thinking I can only accomplish a job like this with lots of glue. It is very fancy though:)

Busty LaRue said...

That is so cute! I love it!

Faith said...

Very cute. I also really enjoyed your bread making tutorial complete with step by step pictures. Just what I need. I'm going to try that one this winter...or maybe fall :-)

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Wow what a project! Just in time for back to school. Nice Job. Really well done.

Melanie said...

Nice tutorial...but, it looks complicated!

Adrienne said...

You are so talented! Love it ... added to the ever growing longer to-sew list ;-)

Rebecca said...

Congrats on making Craftzine!!!!

Busty LaRue said...

Hey, thanks for your help on the phone this afternoon with this! It turned out really great. Great tutorial! Super easy, too, once I got past that one little snag. :)

everything Carrie Me! said...

Okay, I really don't need this item, but of course now I have to make this!! =) Very nice tutorial, thanks for sharing.

Sunny Tuesday said...

This is such a great idea!

Amylouwho said...

Awesome! I just bought some of that fabric. SO cute.

This is a much nicer version of the tacky padded fabric and icky lace covered binders I remember making in the early 80s.

Amylouwho said...

and I like your "I Belong" button. Where did you get that? I need it for my blog.

Celia said...

This is amazing and I really have to give it a try!

Anonymous said...

I thought about making one of these a while ago, but I didn't imagine there would be so many steps :)
Thank you for the detailed instructions and the pictures. I8'm sure they'll help a lot when I get the courage to try this.

jenn said...

I love it, it is a way to buy the cheaper binders and give the kiddos something special. I think I would like to even embroider their first inital on it.. So nice to share, great instructions!!

Geek+Nerd said...

This is great! My friend Betty gave me a cookbook in a 3-ring binder that she compiled herself entirely filled with maple recipes. (I'm maple obsessed!) It's such a special gift - but it's in a kinda ugly recycled binder. I think I'll have to give it the makeover it deserves with this tute. Thank you!

Beth said...

I'm trying to reach you to request permission to link to your tutorial (and share a photo) for our upcoming Handmade Holidays on the Sew,Mama,Sew! blog. I couldn't find your contact information (though it is early!). Would you mind emailing so I can give you the details? We love your project and would like to share it with our readers.

Thank you!

T's Creations said...

Very nice tutorial with good images and details. Thanks! :)
I hereby challenge you to make it with a zipper all around the three open sides. :)

storybeader said...

great idea - esp. for us project-oriernted gals that need a place to put all our paperwork! Thanks for the tutorial!

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Me! said...

super creative idea! Thanks for sharing

gaohui said...


Casey said...

I love this, I'm definitely going to make one to hold all my crafty ideas and patterns! I always buy the cheap ones too, or recycle old ones, so they're never pretty. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hello! I used your pattern to make binder covers for homemade cookbooks for my family this Christmas, and they were a big hit. Thank you for sharing this!

Casey said...

I finally made one as a gift! I added plastic pages and dividers and turned it into a recipe book for my mom. It turned out great! Thank you so much for the tutorial. You can see mine at, I've linked back to you!

nyhet said...

really nice! i like the fabrics you used for it!

rubberduckiemom said...

I wanted to say thank you for this project. It has saved my procrastinating tail. My husband and I are making a book of story books for the three grands. It has been very simple and easy to make. I will send you photos of the finished project when I am completely done.

Thanks again!