Introduction: How to Make Decorative Page Separators

Durable page separators for binders can be expensive. 

This tutorial gives directions to create your own durable and decorative page separators with inexpensive supplies that you may already have on hand.

Creating your own separators not only saves money, but allows you to customize and colorize your binder!

These are both simple and fun to make!

Materials you will need:

- White (or colored) heavy card stock paper
- Decorative (or plain) card stock paper for tabs

- Scissors
- Double-sided adhesive
- Pencil
- 3-hole punch
- Rotary paper cutter (optional)

Step 1: Binding Holes

Start by creating 1" strips of card stock to use to reinforce the binding holes.  This can be done with a rotary cutter or scissors.  I have used blue paper for my reinforcing strips.

Using double-sided adhesive (my preference is Mono brand roller adhesive), glue the strip along the side that will be punched for binder holes.

Use 3-hole punch to punch each separator.  The tutorial photos will be for a set of 4 separators, but you can make fewer or more as you need.

Step 2: Tabs

Using the decorative paper you intend to be the tabs of your separators, cut rectangles  1 1/2" x 2 1/2".  I have used rainbow dotted paper for my tabs.

Fold each rectangle lengthwise in half with the decorative print on the outside.

Using a scrap of card stock, cut out a 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" rectangle for a template.  I have used blue card stock in the photos for my template.

This template rectangle will be folded widthwise in half, opposite of your decorative tabs.  We do this to create a mirror image template for our tab shape.

Cut the desired shape of your tab into the template and unfold to make sure it fits along the folded edge of your decorative tabs.  

Step 3: Tabs (Continued)

Place your cut template rectangle (blue),  along the folded edge of your tab paper.  Use a pencil to trace the desired shape.

Carefully cut out each of the 4 tabs according to your design. 

Step 4: Spacing

Using a straight edge (I have used a piece of blue card stock for my straight edge), draw a line on the inside of each tab to use as a guide for attaching to the white card stock separator pages.  

The lines on the tabs should all be the same distance from the tab's edge to ensure they are even along the white page when adhered.

Before applying adhesive, line the tabs up along the stacked white page separators.  Use a pencil to mark out the spacing along the white pages for your tabs.  

Apply adhesive to the entire inside of the decorative tab, being sure to get each corner well covered.  

Glue the tabs on one at a time, each to a separate piece of the reinforced white card stock pages, using your pencil marks as a guide.  Tabs should be glued well to both the front and back side of the page edge to avoid peeling.  

Step 5: Bind

Insert into a binder or pronged folder.

Labels can be written directly onto your tabs, or printed/written on small strips of paper and adhered to the tabs as desired.

By changing the spacing of your tabs, you can create as many or as few tabs as you desire for each binder/folder!