Ways to Decorate a 3-Ring Binder

3-ring binders are some of the most useful – and most neglected – organization tools in existence. Of course, if you scrapbook, collect photos or recipes, or engage in other creative pursuits around the house, then you probably already know how useful a good 3-ring binder can be.

For some, the most fun part of these types of projects is the decorating, and the creativity this allows. In that vein, if you are making a new recipe book, photo album or other 3-ring binder project, here are some fun ideas for ways to decorate your binder.

3-Ring Binders with Presentation Windows

If your 3-ring binder has a clear plastic presentation window on the front, it opens up the possibility of including loose items in your creative binder cover, but this approach also restricts you if you’d prefer more texture. Of course, you always have the spine of your 3-ring binder to work with when it comes to texture.

If you have a presentation window, though, your cover can include sequins, glitter, leaves, feathers… the opportunities to customize your 3-ring binder are endless. As for the spine of your binder, you can spell out your title with plastic gemstones or glitter and glue, use textured paints, glue on beads or decorate the spine in whichever way most suits your project and your creative impulses.

Covering your Entire 3-ring Binder

If you are looking to cover your entire binder for a cohesive look, paper and fabric are probably your two primary options, but you can also get a bit more creative. Either can work quite well, and open up a world of choices for the overall look of your project.

For paper 3-ring binder covers:your primary concern should be the weight and strength of the paper you use. Use something too thin and your cover is likely to rip. Go with something too thick and you’ll have a hard time getting good, attractive folds.

Since you also need paper that comes in much larger sheets than standard, consider using a paper that’s not really paper at all: contact paper or wallpaper.

Both of these choices are designed to be sturdy enough to withstand the use and abuse your binder may take, and both are easy to apply. With contact paper, the self-adhesive will likely work well, while wallpaper will respond well to tape or glue and folding.

In either situation, fold your covering material as you would a book cover for a schoolbook. If you never did this in school, you should be able to find instructions online quite easily.

For fabric 3-ring binder covers:look for a fabric with very little stretch. Upholstery fits the bill here, and is also quite sturdy. Flannel also works well, and certain weights of denim make excellent covers. Fleece, on the other hand, should be a secondary choice, as it is easily stretched and will be difficult to seat appropriately.

To affix the fabric to your binder, you can use a few different methods. For a stiff upholstery fabric you may be able to follow the school book cover pattern as you would with wallpaper, replacing the glue or tape with stitches. For softer fabrics like flannel, combine stitching with a small amount of fabric glue at the inner corners and along the spine.

Be Creative with Your 3-Ring Bonder Cover

More important than how you choose to decorate your binder is the purpose behind the project: fun and creativity. If you keep those things in mind, your 3-ring binder project is sure to be a success.