February 3, 2011

Binder Cover for my Home Management Binder

So if you have been following, Denise and I joined up with A Bowl Full of Lemons 21 Day Organizational Challenge.  Well, if that wasn't enough, we signed on for a weekly challenge!  Our first challenge was to develop a Home Management Binder.  Well, I have been dabbling with this for weeks now and I guess this is the PERFECT time to finish it up.  

So first, I got my binder, and my tabs, and all the fixing that I wanted.  Then I went to re designing all the pages to fit my personality and taste.  I wanted them all to go together.  After I did all that my binder just didn't scream....I AM SO AWESOME...LOOK AT ALL THE WORK THAT WAS PUT INTO ME!  I was devastated.  It was missing something.  So I jumped on the computer, pulled up our blog, and BEHOLD...Denise's post.  Really...did y'all see that binder.  I just want the binder sitting on my counter forget all the stuff inside.  So I decided to get a better looking binder.  They have some seriously cute ones out there and you definitely pay for it believe me.  So being a FABRIC girl, I decided to  make it a cover using the same colors I had used when designing all the pages.  So smart, I know.  HA HA.  Anyways, here is my finished product...the outside at least.  I'm not completely ready to show you the inner workings yet. 

I know you all have some fabric out there that you just LOVE LOVE LOVE and this is the perfect way to use it.  Also, I thought it would be a great idea to recover all the binders in the office that are oddly colored and mismatched with the same fabric that goes with the room to make it all look oh so snazzy! 

Here we go...all you need is this...

Fabric (I choose 4 different prints, but I like to be difficult)
Sewing Machine
Thread, needle, pins (the usual)
Binder (any size will do, you measure from that)
Any notions (rick-rack, ribbon, etc)


Before you begin, make sure all your fabric pieces are ironed and clean.  It makes a world of difference. 

1.        Open up your binder and lay it on a piece of newspaper, or paper that is a bit larger than it.

2.       Trace around the entire binder marking where the spine is.
3.       Now draw a seam allowance around that (I used 1 inch just in case of mistake, I make a lot of those)
4.       Then cut out your pattern.
5.       Next cut out one piece of fabric to match the pattern.  This will be the outside of the binder. I sewed a few pieces together to make the one piece so that it added a little more, but I'm just off my rocker sometimes!

6.       Then fold the pattern in half and cut 2 pieces from the same fabric or different fabric for contrast.  This will be the inside of the binder.

7.       Next cut out your pocket pieces.  I actually cut 2 more pieces the same size as in step 6, then folded it down to give the pocket extra strength.  However, if you are limited with fabric you can just cut one piece, then fold it in top from top to bottom and cut in half.  The picture will make more sense.  If you choose to go the second route, you need to make the top edge of the pocket pretty by folding it under then under again and hemming.  I folded it in half and ran a stitch on the top like a hem.

8.       Now comes the fun part…I measured 1 inch in from the inside of the inside binder pieces.  Then I ironed it under so that the right side of the fabric has a nice edge. 

9.       Now take your pocket, right side up, and pin it to the inside binder piece with outside edges even.  Then fold the pocket edge under to match the inside piece, and iron it.

10.   Now sew a straight stitch down the inside edge where the fold is.  I used my serge first, and then sewed, just to make it more finished, but you won’t see it, so it doesn’t matter. 

11.   Repeat these steps with the other pocket and inside binder piece. 

Almost done…

12.    If you are doing any kind of application (ribbon, applique, stitching) do it now before you sew them together.
13.   Now lay each inside piece onto the outside piece with right sides facing each other.  Make sure you line up your inside edges with the spine markings on the outside piece.  I did one side at a time to make it more manageable.
14.   Now lay your binder back onto of the pined together fabric lining up the spine with the inside edges.

15.   Trace around the binder onto your fabric as a guide for where you will sew.

16.   Now sew around the entire thing on the line you just traced.  Then trim your edges and clip your corners and flip.  I like to use a chop stick or knitting needle to get the corners nice and crisp.

17.   Now fold your binder in half so that the rings are sticking out.

18.   Slip the cover onto the binder and close her up!

Isn’t it gorgeous!

I actually took a bunch of fabric I liked, pieced it together to make the outside piece and covered the seam with ribbon.

Sneak peak inside...

Jillian :)


  1. Turned out awesome! I can't believe you even made pockets. I think I need a tutorial in person. I'm going to find some binders and fabric to bring over :)

  2. Your binder is awesome. I need to find some cute material...I have a ton of binders. I need to figure out how to adapt to ugly 12x12 scrapbinders...

    On a side note..see you are in Ballwin...That is where my sister lives! I live about 45 minutes west now! Small world! lol

  3. wow that is beautiful!
    Leigh @ www.thesewingdivaandherreluctantmodels.blogspot.com

  4. Love it! I left something for you guys at my blog! Check it out!



  5. I love this. I always wondered how to make one. Have to try it soon. Thanks for your inspiration.
    Sam (An Organised Mum) www.anorganisedmum.blogspot.com