The Holiday Planner – create a removable binder cover with fabric

October 5th, 2011

Let’s stay focused and stress free this Holiday Season with a fun yet functional planning binder. Holly Jolly by Jen Allyson is the perfect fabric to cover some old unused binders to create this holiday binder. I dare you to only make one….

What you need to make binder cover:

  • Your choice of binder (I have tons of used binders laying around the office ready to be covered and up-cycled or you can purchase one)
  • ½ yard fabric for front (I’m using Gray Holly Jolly Damask)
  • ½ yard fabric for back/inside (I’m using Gray Holly Jolly Damask, Lost & Found Basic Shades Slate)
  • 2 fat quarters for inside pockets (I’m using Gray Holly Jolly Damask, Red Holly Jolly Dots)
  • 1 piece of fusible batting & optional lightweight interfacing for pockets
  • Optional: lace, ric rack, ribbon, vinyl, binding

First start by measuring your binder. Open the binder and measure from side to side. I just used my cutting mat. This is a 1.5″ binder and the length measures  21.5″ inches. The width (top to bottom) is 11.75″ inches. So to cut the outside of your cover you will add 1″ inch to both the length and width. For a standard 1.5″ binder you will cut your outside fabric 22.5″ x 12.75″.

You will also cut a 22.5″ x 12.75″ piece of fusible batting. Measure from the edge of the side towards the rings to determine the width of the pockets. I cut mine 12.75″ x 10″, you will need 2 (And you will need to cut 2 of the interfacing). I cut the small pockets 6″ x 10″ (red dot).
Once everything is cut out you will need to fuse the batting to your outside piece using the manufacturer’s directions. Then you can start the fun part of embellishing your front…. I cut a piece of the Red Holly Jolly Dots, pinked the edges, gathered it and sewed it down the front on the right side.

I then added jumbo ric rack to the middle of the ruffle stitched down the middle. Next you will need to finish the pockets for the binder to slip into. Take the small pockets and finish one of the 10″ inch sides.  I just folded it down a quarter inch, pressed then folded again and topstitched. You will layer these small pockets with the larger pockets and baste the edges.=

I measured in 2′ inches from the right side on the left pocket for a pencil/pen holder. This pocket will be closest to the rings to allow for room for the pen or pencil. You will bind one 12.75″ inch edge of the 2 pockets.  

Now let’s put it all together with 4 simple strait seams! Lay out the outside piece right side up (you can see the gray Damask in the middle). Lay the pockets right side down, bound edges in the center, on the outside piece and pin the 12.75″ sides. Sew down these 2 sides. Take it back to your cutting table and measure the whole piece and cut your lining piece (Basic Shades Slate) to fit, pink the short sides of the lining. Layer this lining piece right side down on top of the main piece and pin the long edges.

Again sew 2 simple strait seams along the long sides. Turn the lining right side out.

Now turn the pockets right side out.

Now you can slide your binder inside the pockets.

And there you have a covered binder that is sure to keep you in that Holiday spirit…. Now all you have to do is fill it!

9 Responses to “The Holiday Planner – create a removable binder cover with fabric”

  1. Anna says:

    Love this! I have done a similar cover, but I like how you put in pockets in the inside and made the sleeves really deep to cover the whole binder. Well done!

  2. Priscilla from California says:

    Not to change the subject or anything, but when Mr. Project is finished with your house can he come and do mine? His work is great and fast; is he a contractor by profession?

  3. nicole says:

    Thanks for sharing! I might need to do this for a recipe cover. :)

  4. Cytel Snyder says:

    Great Job Melody, I love the fabric, and the idea. I have so many nakid binders I use for ideas and what not.

  5. [...] Holiday Planner – The Project Girl [...]

  6. tajicat says:

    Great idea! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  7. Lisa Hill says:

    I have been looking for a cook book binder to hold recipes for my niece, but nothing looked right; or they were so expensive. This is the perfect solution! So many of my friends and family have great recipes we are constantly sharing, not to mention all the great recipes we find online. Thank you thank you for sharing this! Now, where will I find a sewing machine? :)

  8. Beetle says:

    Thank you for sharing and I love it and help me idea to covering my naked folders. :( )

  9. Quirkygal says:

    I’ve been using recycled mini 8*5.5″ binders for a while now since they fit perfectly on a spare shelf in the kitchen. They’re kinda of plain, a lot beat up (which is why they were in the trash when I rescued them from work), and not pretty. Thanks for the easy directions on how to spice them up and give them a fun second life.

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