Picture of DIY Pocket Protector
Maybe I've spent too much time at Instructables World Headquarters, but I woke up this morning with a sudden urge to make myself a pocket protector.

Upon seeing how cool my pocket protector was, everyone else at Instructables requested that I make some for them.

In short, making your own pocket protector will turn you into a very popular person.

Disclaimer: Melting vinyl or plastic may be toxic and should be done in a well-ventilated area. Do this at your own risk.
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Step 1: Go get stuff

Picture of Go get stuff
You will need...

- a 3-ring binder with a vinyl cover (as pictured)
- or a vinyl term paper cover

- a plastic bag sealer
- or a soldering iron and some wax paper

- a laser cutter
- or ink jet printer

Step 2: Start cutting up the binder

Picture of Start cutting up the binder
Cut off one side of the binder along the fold.

Trim excess plastic around the sealed edges.

Step 3: Remove the cardboard

Picture of Remove the cardboard
Cut off the edge on the side where the joint was.

Pull the cardboard out through this opening.

(Don't do like I've done in the picture. See picture comments for more info.)

Step 4: Cut the vinyl some more

Picture of Cut the vinyl some more
Measure 3-3/4" in across the length of the long-edge of the cover (the edge that is still sealed shut).

At this measurement, cut across the vinyl so that you produce a folded-over strip that is 3-3/4" wide and about 10" long.

Cut 3" off the strip so that it is 7" long (folded in half), but do not remove the side where the edge is still sealed.

Next, cut away the sealing joint that runs lengthwise down the strip.

You should now be left with a folded strip that is 7" long, a little under 3-3/4" wide and is folded over at the bottom of the shorter side.

Step 5: Fold.

Picture of Fold.
Pick one side, measure 2-1/4" from the top and evenly fold it over to make a crease.

Once you are sure the fold is correct, run your thumb back and forth over this crease a couple of times while applying a strong pressure.
kmeindl mason3 months ago

These instructions are the WORST!!! Holy Cow!!!!

trebuchet037 years ago
I'm totally gonna pimp out my pocket protector.... At least some sort of blinky light :D
how bout a tiny lcd and a embedded xp machine :P
Raspberry Pi is where it's at nowadays ;)
6 yrs after the comment, haha.
No! Embedded linux! XP doesn't work so great on embedded platforms... and I think it no longer makes it "embedded", as it can then do anything...
Aww... you didn't make it out of duct tape?
randofo (author)  BobsDogHouse7 years ago
Duct tape is soooo over. Besides, gaffers tape is better for making stuff out of.
huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh? How dare you say that about duct tape oh wait that means more for me. My precious
This is awesome.
bruce.cao6 years ago
hahaha I love this, thanks randofo!! I got me thinkin of making just a faux pocket protector and wear it as an ID Badge holder (around the neck style like my company likes) I'm sure I can find a way to get a clear side in the front somehow (clear vinyl binder + iron to melt it all into 1 piece?? idk) we'll have to see but thanks for the great idea!!
randofo (author)  bruce.cao6 years ago
Just be careful when ironing it, heating vinyl can produce chlorine gas which can be lethal.
zieak6 years ago
Oh how i wish i had seen this before the "nerd rodeo" party i went to a few months back. Sigh. I had all the accessories except a pocket protector. If you think about it a nerd rodeo is about the best themed party that anyone ever thought of. I knew you'd agree.
randofo (author)  zieak6 years ago
Nerd rodeo. That sounds pretty awesome. I wish I got invited to nerd rodeos. Was there a mechanical bull?
zieak randofo6 years ago
Sadly, no. But they had a corn-on-the-cob eating contest.
Supercoke6 years ago
how do you use it in the printer?
randofo (author)  Supercoke6 years ago
I would guess to print on it, you can cut it to an 8.5" x 11" sheet (the size of normal paper) and then play with your printer material settings and just try to send it through and see what happens.
pocket protectors are super hypo nerd.why would you not want one
randofo (author)  ninja slacker7 years ago
because they're awesome.
he said why would you NOT want one, so he was complimenting it, not insulting the project
johnpojman7 years ago
Great to see someone who values pocket protectors -- "the fasion accessory of the new millenium".
Check out the world's largest webseum of pocket protectors
adamthiede7 years ago
pocket protectors are super hypo nerdo. whyd you want one?
adamthiede7 years ago
pocket protectors are hypo-nerdo. why would you want one?
Austinbwood7 years ago
Yeah.....Go gaffiers tape!!! Sweet Pocket proctector too!
canida7 years ago
When do we get our pocket protectors?
I can't wait- it will make me look totally cool.
randofo (author)  canida7 years ago
Very shortly... In a whole rainbow of colors!
Can I get one when I come over?!
randofo (author)  T3h_Muffinator7 years ago
I'll be long gone by then. Send me your middle initial and I'll work something out for you when I make everyone elses.
Awesome! It's "M", for Michael... actually, no, it stands for Muffin!
canida randofo7 years ago
Awesome. Now I just need a slide rule holster to be the ultimate in retro nerdiness.