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.)
- Pliers (Two pliers may be useful.)
- Ruler (Optional)
- Hole punch - $4
- Spiral bound notebook - 25¢ to $2
- 15-30 minutes
Step 1: Obtain a Suitable Spiral Bound Notebook
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.
Step 2: Unbend the Spiral
On one side the wire should be bent so as to form another loop in the spiral. This is the side that will be pulled through the rest of the notebook. The opposite side only has to be unbent enough to allow the spiral to spin a turn or so.
I only used my multi-tool pliers but you may find a second set of pliers useful for this step.
Step 3: Remove the Spiral
Step 4: Cut the Box to Size
Start by cutting the box apart on the seems. Save the extra parts of the box for later. After you have the font and back of the box apart you will probably need to cut them down to size. I cut them down only across the short length. (To clarify: the cuts made the rectangle shorter.)
To determine what size I should use I placed the old notebook cover on top of the VHS box and cut the box down to approximately that size. Again, you can use a ruler if you like, but make sure to leave the cover slightly larger than the pages so that it overhangs them slightly.
Lastly, line up the front and back and make sure they match. You may have to do additional trimming here.
Step 5: Mark the Holes
Note: It is crucial that you do use the original cover as a template as the holes in the notebook are usually not perfectly aligned. Thus, if you measure and place holes your holes might not line up with the holes on the notebook.
After you have done one side of the VHS box you don't have to do the other. Just line up the front and the back of the VHS box and punch them both at once. Make sure to line them up as shown so that you punch the correct edges on the front and the back. Check this alignment twice and then tape those two together temporarily on the three non-hole edges.
Step 6: Punch the Holes
Step 7: Re-spiral the Notebook
Step 8: Re-bend the Spiral
Step 9: Enjoy
As for the extra sides of the VHS boxes, they can be used for bookmarks. For durability you can glue the long edges together back to back and add a piece of the old notebook cover to the short edges.
Thanks for reading.
A note on the use of copyrighted content: I have made limited use, in low resolution images, of a copyrighted work in a way that does not detract from the value of the work in question. It is for educational and non-commercial purposes. Given these facts the inclusion of these images falls under fair use.