Step 1: Prep
1. leave 1/2" of space on the edge of the paper you want to bind
2. print on oversized paper and use at least a 1/4" of bleed space (assuming you're cutting this yourself, if not a 1/8" bleed will do)
3. if you're printing double sided, put crop marks on every other page. otherwise put them on every page.
4. and this is the biggie, put marks for the hole's you'll be making on your top page. These should be light and centered about 1/4" (or half the space you left in step 1) from the edge of the page.
You'll also have to decide on your cover. If you want the rivets hidden, leave an extra 1/2" on one end that you'll score and fold under. You can also make wrap covers, like I use on my portfolio, but these take a little more finessing to make lay flat.
Step 2: Gather Your Supplies
1. A hole punch. This is not the kind you used in elementary school. You can find a hole punch specifically for leather work at most craft stores. It should have a punch the exact size of the rivet you plan to use. Hopefully you'll be able to find the stick kind. I was only able to find a rotary one which I ripped the rotary head out of. This was not fun and not for people afraid of being stabbed by bits of metal.
2. A package of rivets with a rivet setter. You'll find this right next to the hole punch. You won't be using the anvil, but you will need the setter. After your first project you can buy the rivets on their own.
3. A hammer. Hopefully you already have one. If not, use a big rock.
4. Something clean for underneath/on top of your insides and cover. I use a manila folder and a plain piece of paper.
5. A concrete slab. You're going to be pounding in a minute and if you're not on concrete you're going to make a lot of noise. I find basements work well for this.
Step 3: Make Some Holes!
*Note* If you're making a cover with visible rivets, you can make the holes in that as well by adding it the the bottom of your stack. If you're doing this, skip the next step.
Step 4: Make Some More Holes (in Your Cover)!
Now that your holes are marked, unfold the 1/2" flaps on your covers, place the hole punch over the marks and lightly tap it with your hammer until you've made a hole.
Step 5: Assembly
Place the rivet cap on top of the rivet, cover it with the rivet setter and pound away with your hammer. (There will be instructions for how to do this on the package you bought. Follow them, but don't but the anvil underneath, this will just cause shifting.) Repeat for all the other rivets.
Hurrah, you've bound your first whatever it is that you decided to bind!
Step 6: The Finishing Touch
Please don't try this if you've printed on normal printer paper, you'll just cut though your page!
Step 7: And You're Done.
If you make a project using this technique (or improve on it!) I'd love to get a photo. If you'll let me, I'll add it to this page too.
Thanks for taking a look!
And now for some shameless self-plugging
If you'd like to take a look at what's inside my portfolio, you can check out my online version at: