So this is my first 'ible. I've made lots of stuff and thought, "I should make an instructable about this", but never got around to it. This project is painfully simple. I needed some notebook/binder divider tabs and I didn't want to pay $5 or more for a few pieces of paper with bits of plastic glued to them. I started brainstorming on a way to make some dividers that wouldn't cost anything but still be fairly sturdy and I decided to try using the cardstock advertisements that come in the mail. If you're one of those tidy people that disposes of junk mail before you enter the house, then you may have to save up for a few weeks before doing this project.
Junk mail (cardstock)
Step 1: Select Dividers and Determine Length
I decided that the ad pictured was a good length at 9.5 inches. You might want to go a little shorter, however, as once the holes are punched they can slide and stick out of the notebook. 9.25 inches is probably a good length for your standard US notebooks holding 8 1/2 x 11 paper.
Look for ad with a good amount of whitespace on the right, as this will be the tab. I found most had quite a bit of space to the right of the address. This will become less important if your notebook will have more than two tabs as you'll see later.
Step 2: Cut Dividers to Length, Punch Holes, Place in Notebook
Make sure not to cut off your whitespace. Position the stock so that you punch two holes in each piece and then place them where they will be in your notebook alternating between top two rings and bottom two rings. If you don't have any papers to divide yet, just stack as many as you want to make, being sure to alternate between top and bottom rings.
Step 3: Determine Where Your Tabs Will Go and Cut
Be as precise or as freeform as you like - use your ruler and T-square or just eyeball it.
So, after I'd made two tabs, I noticed a problem. I needed to make the next tabs on the "top" portion of the stock and there was no clear space on the top (The part that would be the tab had printing on it). I decided to use more junk mail to cut out blanks and tape them over the tabs.
Step 4: Trim As Needed, Add Your Titles, and You're Done!
You'll want to take you tabs out and put them on a flat surface before writing on them. I did have some trouble writing on the shiny yellow tab - I'll probably go back with a felt-tip or sharpie. If you want to reuse these tabs later, just cut out a new rectangle and tape it over the existing tab.
There you have it. Your cat bed, I mean notebook is all ready to go! Now you can throw the scraps in the recycling bin and congratulate yourself on cutting down the size of that mail pile.