Picture of VHS Spiral Bound Notebook
I, like many people, have a good number of old VHS tapes laying around. Some of the movies I now have on DVD, others I no longer care to keep and whatever falls between I can digitize should I wish. This makes the collection of VHS tapes about as useful to me as a collection of rocks. So, I took a note from ivylanedesigns on Etsy and decided to make custom, one-of-a-kind, spiral-bound notebooks.

You can get just about anything flat spiral bound at copy stores or you could buy a machine to bind things yourself. But with the low cost of pre made notebooks and a do it yourself attitude I find it appropriate to take a pre-made notebook and replace the cover. This instructable will tell you how to do just that.

My goals for the project were:
  • to make unique spiral bound notebooks,
  • to reuse VHS boxes,
  • and to complete the project with minimal costs.
I used the following tools:
  • Small hole punch (~3.25mm diameter hole.)
  • Knife
  • Pliers (Two pliers may be useful.)
  • Tape
  • Ruler (Optional)
  • Hole punch - $4
  • Spiral bound notebook - 25¢ to $2
  • 15-30 minutes

Step 1: Obtain a Suitable Spiral Bound Notebook

Picture of Obtain a Suitable Spiral Bound Notebook
The first step, assuming you have a VHS box to cannibalize, is to obtain a suitable notebook. You will probably not be able to find a spiral bound notebook exactly the right size so you will need to find one that is close and get it cut. Depending on where you get it you can expect to pay as little as a quarter. If you buy from an office supply store you can have them cut it for you. (This is what I did.)

VHS Tapes are 7 3/8 x 4 1/16 inches. So, I got two notebooks that were 7x5 and had them cut down. I had one cut to 4" wide and the other cut to 3 7/8" wide. I preferred the 4" wide notebook.
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jnifrwebb4 years ago
AWESOME!! I just sold my VHS collection at a yard sale, but I've been wanting one similar to this: http://www.etsy.com/listing/63433846/golden-grahams-cereal-box-spiral?ref=sr_gallery_15&ga_search_query=spiral+notebook&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_page=&order=&includes[0]=tags&includes[1]=title&filter[0]=handmade But knew I could make it myself. I just didn't want to have to buy a bind it all. This is great inspiration, I knew it could be done.
arrowcrest5 years ago
 great idea, but if those star wars boxes were in great condition, which they look like they were, and if so were the tapes themselves, then they would have been worth a lot as a collectible.
WhyIsThisOpen (author)  arrowcrest5 years ago
Most such collectibles aren't as collectible as you think. Some such things sell on ebay for reasonable prices and some don't sell at all.
That is quite true. I have a huge record collection that is almost priceless to me. I went on eBay just to get an idea of the vast fortune I must have had in my fabulous collection and to my dismay, records are still about what they were worth back in their heyday. Still, in my eyes, my vinyl is gold. Lol Nice ible. Will do again and again and pass it on! Thanks.
frikkie5 years ago
I used to watch that star wars movie when I was still in pre-school.It a lot better than the new star wars.Lol  but anyway very nice instructable!
Daxterp5 years ago
lol from afar I thought those were the family guy parody films haha but great idea
Doctor What5 years ago
 Oh cool!  Now what to do with the leftover VHS tape?
Weave a rug? :D
 Hmm.... Maybe crochet a sweater?
That would be really cool! 
Fruppi Sunbanks5 years ago
It kinda sounds like it would be really sweaty, actually :)  But you could crochet a rug too.  Or knit one!
Sunbanks Fruppi5 years ago
Hehe yeah :P I so wish I could chrochet... I just saw that you crocheted a giraffe and I'm so jealous! Giraffes are amazing. 
kite tails..
MarcusAvery5 years ago
This is so COOL! I am SO going to try this! What a great use of outdated technology!
jello6665 years ago
 That phrase "about as useful to me as a collection of rocks" and others like that were once used to describe 33 1/3  and 45 rpm records. Sure glad I kept mine. 
WhyIsThisOpen (author)  jello6665 years ago
You have a point. I also know that some people, namely geologists, do collect rocks. I think this is a value judgement best left to the individual.
whiteoakart5 years ago
You have done a really nice job and I commend you.  However, couldn't you have simply glued the cut-down VHS cover over the stock cover?  That would have saved a lot of time and made for a stronger surface.  Admittedly, it wouldn't have looked quite as nice.
WhyIsThisOpen (author)  whiteoakart5 years ago
As you said, it wouldn't have looked as nice. I considered gluing it to the cover after undoing the spiral to add strength, but I didn't want to wait for glue to dry. It doesn't actually take that long to take apart notebooks and punch the holes. (And I usually pay careful attention to detail.)
 The finished product looks sooooo good. I would love to do this but I don't know if I could take apart my copies of the original trilogy. Maybe I'll just print them out and put them on.
blueyedaddy5 years ago
These are pretty cool.  Great step by step instructable.  Any ideas what to do with the plastic mold VHS covers...?
Ranie-K5 years ago
Great idea! I never even thought of swapping the cover -I just unwound the spiral and printed a funny message on the upper part of all the pages (used a laser printer).

I used it as kind of a gag gift -I actually just threw it into the mail-slot for the MASH unit in my battalion -one of the medics claimed it and none could find out who made it for a long time.
zieak5 years ago
I love this.  Maybe i will be able to part with my VHS collection after all...
WhyIsThisOpen (author)  zieak5 years ago
Thanks. That was my goal as well.
I went looking for them over the weekend and remembered that i took them to the thrift store a few months ago.  Drat.
They're probably still there!
fwjs285 years ago
WhyIsThisOpen (author)  fwjs285 years ago
Thanks for the heads up. This has given me quite a few hits in the past hours.
i frequent LH alot, so i see articles coming from Ibles and i usually try to leave the author a comment on it 
Beat me to it!

you are no match for me, BUWAHAHA!

ahem-oh...did i say that out loud? 
I made these over the weekend. They turned out awesome; thanks for the idea!
tsaman5 years ago
As a suggestion - If you don't want to punch all those holes by hand (and finding a tiny hole punch like the one shown may be more fun than you'd expect), most office supply stores offer binding services!  You can take your cover and back tot hem and have them punch it!

The only caveat is that lining up the first hole with the rest of the pages may also be a lot of fun... I'd recommend leaving it a little longer than needed and then trim it to fit/line up with your paper once punched!

Great idea!  Nice writeup!
WhyIsThisOpen (author)  tsaman5 years ago
I considered having an office store bind it for me and have had that done before. The problem for me is not only the cost of having the binding done professionally but that I feel it also makes it less special than being handmade. The punches are actually very easy to come by. I found the one I got in the first hobby store I tried. If you can't find one locally I found a similar one on Levenger for less than three dollars.
Great job! looks fantastic... just makes me sad to see those starwars boxes go like that.
Great instructable!

5 stars :)
Ninzerbean5 years ago
ChrysN5 years ago
Matching bookmarks too, nice!
Jayefuu5 years ago
This is awesome.
slimguy3795 years ago
wow!? star wars fan much? lol NICE... pretty cool idea
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