I was looking to make my own worm binder pages as they are too pricey for me. I looked online to get some ideas for this. I saw where someone suggested to use an iron and tin foil to seal plastic bags, of which I could not get to work. Thus I decided to figure it out on my own.
I have some things lying around that will be perfect for doing this. They are:
- zipper bags (size and mil thickness is up to you). Freezer bags are probably thickest.
- some printer paper or cereal box (chipboard?)
- a clothes iron
- small towel
- parchment paper
- something to cut the paper.
I started by laying out the towel to protect the counter top and turned the iron to the cotton setting. I cut my paper pieces to roughly 3/4" wide and slid the strip to the bottom of the bag. Next I took a piece of parchment paper big enough to sandwich the bag between. You want the part that will be fused to have the parchment on both sides. If using the printer paper, it will be easily seen through the parchment paper and this makes staying on track a breeze. After the iron has heated up, use only the tip of it (approx. the first inch) at about a 45 deg angle and go from one end to the other at a rate of about 3 to 4 seconds. Your time will vary depending on the width of the bag and the thickness (mil) of the plastic. After you have done one side, flip it over and to the other side the same way. I used both Walmart brand double zipper and some I got at work which are more durable than the Walmart ones. Fusing the bag to the paper really was about the same. I think the key is to keep the iron at a steady pressure and pace and don't stay on the corners too long at all or you will melt the plastic away.
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Step 1: Filling the Bag.
Insert paper strip into bag. Make sure the bottom edge is all the way down. Smooth out the bag. This paper strip can be whatever width you like. I chose about 3/4" as it gives a decent amount of room for when I punch the holes for the binder.
Step 2: Sandwich the Sandwich Bag.
Insert the bag into the parchment paper. Make sure the paper is on both sides of the bag. Also make sure you use a wide enough piece, about 1/2" overhang on both sides should suffice.
Step 3: Time for Some Fusion!
Adjust the heat setting on the iron to almost max. I have this old one set to cotton heat. Hold the iron at about a 45 degree angle and start at one edge then with moderate pressure, drag the iron along the paper strip 'silhouette' and off the other side. Do this at a pace of about 3 seconds, maybe 4 depending on your heat setting. Afterwards, flip the whole thing over and repeat for the opposite side. Please note that the paper and bag will be very hot. You can let it cool for a few seconds if you wish. I simply hold it on a cool section. After you have done both sides, you can pull the bag out easily. The plastic will not stick to the parchment if you have done this correctly. I suggest to practice with some old bags or whatever you can find. Seal the bag to almost shut and blow some air into it then quickly seal up the zipper. The fused paper and plastic should not come apart. If you see that it is, open the bag and flatten it out then repeat this step.
Also, if you want more durable edges, use cereal boxes or anything with similar paper. I think it's called chipboard. I'm not sure of the fabric type, but you can use the same material as is used in the reusable shopping bags. Then you can have control over color coding for whatever reason.
Another idea is to label the paper before fusing it in the bag. You can then keep up with brands, names, colors, mfg. numbers, etc. This can be done either on a computer or with an old fashioned pencil or pen.
I have not investigated it, but you can probably find brass grommets that can increase the life of your pages considerably. I usually try hobby lobby for that sort of thing.
Step 4: Fill With Goodies!
Fill the bags with your favorite worms. If you will notice, the worms have started to get into the paper area. This is caused by my not sealing the plastic just above the paper. For future pages, I will hold the iron a bit higher on the bag to get the plastic to seal and prevent any lubricant or liquid from getting onto the paper causing separation.
This instructable can also be used for those who are into scrapbooking. Use these 'pages' to organize your trinkets or whatever you can think of!
I hope this instructable has helped you in some way. If it has, please share it.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.