How to Fix/Improve a Binder Hole Punch




Do you know those in-binder hole punches that are made of cheap plastic?  I found that the plastic loops always snap off, so I decided to try and improve the hole punch.  I improved the hole punch by removing the original plastic and replacing it with instamorph.  Instamorph is a lot stronger than ordinary plastic and it is flexible, so it wont snap.  The materials for this project are as follows.
-Broken Hole Punch
-Instamorph (
-Pot (at least half of the size of the hole punch)

Step 1: Prepare the Punch

The first step is to remove all the plastic from the hole punch.  I removed the plastic long before I decided to do this instructable, so there are no pictures of me taking it off.  Once the plastic was off, my hole punch had two rivets and two holes in the bottom half of the metal part.  Make sure yours has something similar to this so that you can attach the instamorph.

Step 2: Melt the Instamorph

Fill your pot with about 3/4 inches of water.  Place the pot on the burner and set the stove on medium heat.  Estimate how much instamorph you will need and place it in the pot.  You can add more later if you need to.  I used scraps from previous projects, but you can use the pellets if you wish.  Once the instamorph starts to turn clear, you can turn the temperature down a bit.  Once it is completely clear, remove it with your pliers or something similar to that.  Make sure most of the water is off because once you take it out of the hot water, the instamorph won't be hot, but any drops of water will be.  Roll the instamorph into a ball so it is more manageable.

Step 3: Shape the Instamorph

Turn the stove off.  Flatten the instamorph out so that is half the length of the hole punch.  Also make sure that it is twice as wide as you want the plastic for the bottom to be.  Place this sheet in the freezer.  Wait a minute or two.  Check the sheet.  If it is white again, you are ready to go.  Trim the sides of the sheet so that you have a rectangle.  Try and trim as little as possible.  Once all four sides are trimmed, cut the instamorph in half, longwise.  Line up these two pieces end to end, with your punch.  They should be slightly shorter than the punch.

Step 4:

Take one of the strips of instamorph and place it back into the hot water until it is clear.  Turn the stove back on if you need to.  Carefully remove the strip from the water by grabbing it in the corner with pliers.  Try not to let it touch itself.  If it does, you will have to start over and remelt and shape the instamorph.  Line it up with the punch and press down.  If you have a rivet, push down on the rivet, so that it sticks into the instamorph.  Place this in the freezer until it hardens.  Repeat this step with the other strip.  Take your lighter and use it to melt the instamorph where the hole in the metal is.  Keep the lighter at least 1 inch away from the instamorph or it might catch on fire and drip (previous experience).  When it is clear, place one pellet of instamorph in the pot.  Once this pellet is clear, press it on top of the hole on the top of the bottom piece of metal, securing the plastic to the metal.  Sorry for the glare.  Freeze it again and repeat the process with the other hole in the metal.

Step 5: Make the Corners and Loops

For the corners, remelt your scraps from before.  Flatten this instamorph into another sheet and freeze it.  Cut out the corner shape you want, I made mine rounded.  Make them a little longer than you need.  Take the lighter and melt the flat end of the corner, and the end of the instamorph that is already on the punch, and stick these two ends together.  Repeat for the other side.  To make the loops, take more instamorph and roll it into a long, thin cylinder.  Bend this into a U shape.  Flatten the U a little past the closed end with your fingers, leaving enough room for the binder ring.  Trim the excess with scissors, leaving some of the flattened part.  Heat up the flattened part of the U and the end of the punch where the ring would go.  Attach the loop to the end.  Freeze it.  Make another loop and attach it in the same manner.

Step 6: Tips and Tricks

-If your connections are not sturdy, dip them in hot water, or heat hem with a lighter and press them together with your finger
-You could add something to catch the paper circles
-if your joints are rough or you want to reshape something, heat it with a lighter and work it with your fingers
-You can dye the instamorph as per instructions on
-Remember, you can always restart if you mess up, instamorph is reusable
-If I change the design or add to it, I will post picture updates
-If you have any questions just ask, I will try to answer to the best of my ability.



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